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My Ex Has Stopped Paying the Mortgage — What Next?

A divorce is usually a stressful and emotional event — more so when it involves joint home ownership. If your ex has stopped paying the mortgage, it’s important to understand your legal position and your responsibilities.

We’ve put together a short guide on what to do when a joint homeowner neglects their financial obligations.

Who is liable when a partner stops paying the mortgage?

If your name is on the mortgage, you’re liable for the repayments — whether or not you’ve been responsible for them in the past. If your partner suddenly stops making payments and you fall into arrears, your credit rating will be affected. And you’ll be jointly liable for any interest charges and fees.

Couple managing the debt. Ex stopped paying the mortgage

I want to stay in the property

If you want to live in the property even though your partner has stopped making mortgage repayments, your options might be limited. Contact your lender to explain the situation. There may be the option of a payment holiday or reducing the monthly repayments somehow. As long as you’re honest and communicate regularly, your lender might respond to your requests favourably.

But this is only a short-term solution. Sooner or later, your mortgage company will demand monthly repayments in full — along with any arrears due. If you have a steady income, you have the option of taking on the mortgage repayments yourself. However, doing so without a legal agreement in place regarding ownership of the property doesn’t improve your claim to it.

The best course of action is to appoint a solicitor to deal with the issue of property ownership. If you’re determined to stay in the home, you have the option of making an offer for your ex’s share.

I want to leave the property

My ex has stopped paying the mortgage

If you can’t afford the repayments on your own, or you want to move on, you can sell the house. However, you’ll need the permission of your ex — even if they’ve stopped making repayments.

Sell your house fast, and split what’s left after the mortgage has been settled. But remember: you might have to pay an early settlement fee. And you’ll need to pay any arrears and penalty charges using the proceeds of the sale.

Exactly how the proceeds of a house sale are split depends on the circumstances of the divorce. You can either agree on percentages between you or go to court and leave the decision to a judge. If you’ve been paying the mortgage on your own for several months, you might feel you’re owed more than half the equity.

What happens to my home if we have children?

If dependent children under the age of 18 are involved, the process is a little different. In most cases, the primary caregiver will get the right to remain in the property until all of the children turn 18. A judge might decide this even if your spouse wants to sell the house. The court will usually force your partner to contribute to the mortgage during this time. Alternatively, you might be in a position to buy your partner’s share of the property outright.

Dealing with property ownership during a messy divorce is often complex and very stressful. If you’re determined to sell up and move on as quickly as possible, we can help. We buy houses fast — and for up to 100 per cent of their value.

5 Reasons Property Downsizing is a Great Idea

Downsizing involves selling a larger home to buy a smaller property to free up cash for retirement or other things. Whether you want to buy a second home or just have more money in your pocket for leisure activities, trading down this way can change your life for the better.

While there are some drawbacks — including having less room in which to live — downsizing your home delivers several positive outcomes. Here are five of the most exciting.

1. Remove the clutter from your life

The more space we have, the more we tend to hoard. Many of us could quite easily move to a smaller property if we simply removed unwanted and unused possessions from our home.

Downsizing makes de-cluttering your life a necessity. You don’t have the space for all the items you’ve accumulated over the years, so you give them away or sell them. And that’s a very liberating experience. Having fewer possessions in your home means less cleaning — and less stress.

2. Generate cash

Downsizing property

If you can easily move to a smaller property, you have a great opportunity to generate cash for large purchases or lifestyle changes. If you have a lot of equity in your home, downsizing can free a lot of it up. And that’s money you can spend on holidays, the purchase of a car, putting your children through university or simply living a more fulfilling life.

You might want to pay off your debts and leave yourself with more disposable income every month. Unlock the value in your property by selling it, and use the cash to settle your loans, credit cards and hire purchase agreements.

3. Slash the cost of living

A large home is always more expensive to run than a small one. Take your energy bills, for example. A lot more gas is required to heat a four-bedroom house with large rooms than a one-bedroom apartment. And a lot more electricity is required to light the big spaces in the larger property.

Downsizing your home should result in lower maintenance and repair costs. And the cost of decorative works and renovations should be a lot lower, too. If all this isn’t impressive enough, you can also look forward to greatly reduced Council Tax bills.

4. A fresh start

Downsizing home for a new start

Living in a large home for several years doesn’t always give you the chance to create your personal space from scratch. You add to the property over many years. And then one day, you realise it’s nothing like the home you initially imagined.

Downsizing is an excellent opportunity to choose a home that suits your requirements. Perhaps your children have grown up and moved out. Or maybe you’ve decided to work from home now. It may be that your tastes have changed. Whatever the reason for downsizing, it’s a chance to start your life with a blank canvas.

5. Help the environment

If you own a large, older property, the chances are it’s not as environmentally friendly as it could be. And to make it so might cost several thousand pounds. But choose a smaller, new-build property, and those energy-saving features you want will probably be in place from day one.

A smaller home requires a lot less energy. And it’s built to modern standards of efficiency and energy preservation. You get to save a lot of money and reduce your own carbon footprint at the same time.

If you’re looking to downsize a home as quickly as possible, Flying Homes can help. We buy homes in the UK directly from owners, so you don’t need to waste time on marketing, negotiating and drawn-out legal processes.

A Guide to Property Inheritance

Dealing with property and legal issues is the last thing anyone wants to do after the death of a loved one. But it’s something that has to be done eventually. Property inheritance, in particular, is often a complex issue to deal with, so it’s important to know how to approach it from the outset.

If you’re facing the difficult issue of dealing with property inheritance, you need answers to a few crucial questions.

There isn’t a will. What do I do?

If a close relative passed away without a Will, you could apply for a grant of representation. This gives you access you the deceased’s financial affairs, bank accounts, and assets.

What does the law say about property inheritance?

Property inheritance tax

Inheritance tax applies to estates worth over £325,000. If the deceased’s estate is worth more than this, the tax is payable at a rate of 40% on anything over this threshold. This tax doesn’t apply if the deceased was your spouse or civil partner, however.

What should be my first steps?

The first thing to do in relation to inherited property is to check whether or not there’s an outstanding mortgage. If there is, you should be able to negotiate a brief delay in repayments. This gives you time to mourn and decide what you’re going to do with the property.

If you’re the administrator of the estate or the executor of the Will, you’ll need to declare the full value of the estate to HMRC within a year of the deceased’s passing.

If the property is standing empty, you should buy unoccupied insurance immediately. This should cover damage to the property, vandalism, and theft. The terms of your policy may require you to check the condition of the home every week or so.

What can I do with my inherited property?

Move in

If you’ve inherited the property alone, there’s nothing stopping you from moving in immediately after probate is complete. But you’ll need to take on the mortgage repayments, and you’ll be liable for any debts attached to the property.

Sell the property

Property inheritance: Selling a house

You may already own your own home — in which case owning a second may not be appealing. You may not want to take on mortgage repayments. Or you might want to avoid maintaining and renting out the property. Whatever your reasons are, you might want to sell as quickly as possible.

If you’re in a hurry to raise funds or simply move on, selling to a national home buyer might be the best option. SellPropertyFastCash buys residential property for up to 100% of its market value. And because there’s no property chain or negotiations involved, you could have the proceeds in your bank account within a month.

If the inherited property increases in value between the death of the owner and the date of completion, you may be liable for capital gains tax.

Let the property

You have the option of letting your property for an additional income. But you’ll have to maintain the home and satisfy all the legal requirements of landlords in the UK. This may not be something you want to take on at this stressful time in your life.

And if you let your property, you’ll need to declare the income for tax purposes.

Property inheritance is always a tricky issue to manage, as it only ever occurs when a loved one passes away. Decide what you want to do with the home, and get the necessary advice from professionals as soon as possible.

Can Certain Features Add Value to My Home?

Making big home improvements is always a big step. We all want to make our home better, but deciding which improvements should take precedence isn’t always easy. If you’re planning to sell your property in a few years, adding features that increase its value might be the best course of action.

But which features should be at the top of your shopping list? We take a look.

A converted basement

If you have the money to convert your cellar into a comfortable living space, you can increase the market value of your home by up to 30 per cent. You won’t need to obtain planning permission, and how you use the room is up to you. However, basement conversions are often more expensive than extensions.

An extended kitchen

Can certain features add value to my home?

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. We are spending more time than ever in our kitchens. We don’t just cook there now — we socialise and catch up with loved ones over drinks and food. For this reason, we need more space. And more of us want to separate laundry from cooking.

Add an extension to your kitchen to create a larger dining or communal area, can add value to your home. If you have the budget to add a utility room as well, you can increase the market value of your home by up to 15 per cent.

A converted loft

Converting your loft is a cost-effective way to add more living space to your home. And the more space there is, the more valuable your property is. A properly extended loft with stairs, doors, windows and utilities is usually expensive. But it’s a lot cheaper than converting a basement or building an extension. Turn your loft into two extra bedrooms with en-suite facilities, and you stand to increase the value of your home by up to 15 per cent.

Can certain features add value to my home?

Exactly the same goes for a garage. In fact, converting most garages is cheaper, as this space often already has power and a water supply.

Planning permission

You don’t always have to invest in significant improvements to increase the value of your home. Just by getting planning permission for major extensions and improvements, you can make your property a lot more attractive to buyers. If all the legal permissions are in place, you can expect the value of your home to increase by up to 10 per cent.

A conservatory

Adding a conservatory is a cost-effective way to increase the value of your home. A conservatory that extends into your back garden can increase the value of your property by up to five per cent. But put a real roof on it, and the value of your home can increase by up to 10 per cent if the new space is large enough.

A new bathroom

If your bathroom is tied, old-fashioned and past its best, replacing it with something modern, functional and stylish could add up to five per cent to the value of your property. And you don’t need to fork out for the latest features and luxury fittings to unlock your home’s price potential.

Always get a realistic estimate of the renovation costs before proceeding with home improvements. If you want to increase the market value of your home, it’s only worth your while if the works cost less than the projected value increase.

What Are the Advantages of Selling to a Property Cash Buyer?

A property cash buyer is someone who makes an offer on a home with the funds required already in their bank account. There’s no need to apply for a mortgage, which means the entire process is concluded a lot faster.

According to stats from the Land Registry, around a third of all house purchases in England and Wales involved a cash buyer in 2017. And this percentage has been rising in recent years. Why? Because there are several advantages involved — and here are a few of the most impressive.

The sale completes quickly

Cash property buyers

A cash buyer has the money needed to buy a property readily available. There’s no need for a lengthy mortgage application — something that often holds up a house sale. By cutting out the involvement of banks, a lot of the red tape is removed. Banks perform several checks before releasing funds, which always slows things down.

This is why more and more homeowners want to find cash buyers — whether that’s in the open market or through a house buying company such as Flying Homes.

There’s often a discount for cash

One of the most exciting advantages of being a property cash buyer is the opportunity to get a modest discount on market value. There’s no property chain involved, and no need for a long, drawn-out mortgage application process. This is highly desirable for sellers in a hurry, no need to bother with staging your home for a sale, just sell in an instance! And to attract cash buyers, a lot of homeowners will offer their property at a slightly reduced price.

No complex property chain

A broken property chain is a common cause of collapsed house sales. Some chains are very complex and involve 10 or more parties. When just one mortgage application or survey, the whole chain collapses.

Most chain collapses occur because of problems with finance. But take the need for a mortgage out of the equation, and an entire property chain can be put back together in a day. This is why a lot of sellers who’ve been let down by their buyer actively seek cash buyers.

If you’re in this position, it might be worth bypassing the open market completely. Flying Homes works with cash buyers around the world. If you need to find a buyer in a hurry, selling to a “we buy any house” firm could be your best option.

You’re less likely to be asked to perform repairs or modifications

Cash property buyers

Banks want to know that their cash is being used to purchase a safe home in a reasonable state of repair. Or at the very least, they want to know that the sale price reflects the current condition of the property. For these reasons, banks insist on surveys, searches and a range of other checks before they release cash.

If a problem is discovered that holds up the sale of your home, you’ll be expected to rectify it yourself. And this could be a costly process. But cash buyers don’t often impose such strict stipulations.

What’s the downside of selling to a property cash buyer?

Finding a cash buyer gives you a degree of certainty during the house selling process. But don’t expect a free ride. In return for this increased certainty and shorter timeframe, you’ll probably have to reduce your price expectations. Remember: selling to a property cash buyer gives you a chain-free quick sale. And this could be crucial if you need to raise funds quickly.

Selling your home to a cash buyer makes the entire process faster and less likely to fail. But you might need to lower your price expectations if speed and certainty are your priorities.

Selling Your House Guide

Are you selling your house? Should you employ a professional or do it yourself?

Wondering ‘how to sell my house?’ Who to choose, what’s the best way to market it for sale? Selling your home can be a minefield. Once you have made the massive decision of selling your house and moving, you will need to decide who will take charge of the house selling process.

The use of a proactive and skilled online estate agent will give you an instant network of contacts, local knowledge, excellent negotiation skills and the time required to secure the sale of your property. However, this will involve a significant cost – often a percentage of the final sale price which could be as high as 5%.

Going it alone and selling your property yourself might save you a lot of money, but without the time and knowledge, you run the risk of achieving an inferior final sale price. In some cases, selling a property via an estate agent delivers a higher return, as the cost involved is outweighed by the extra value achieved.

Selling your house – what’s involved

The process of the sale of property – from preparing for viewings to exchanging contracts – is a complex one. Only if you are confident that you have the time and know-how to address the following necessary tasks to sell your property, should you consider a private sale, as mistakes can affect property prices?

  • The valuation and setting a realistic asking price.
  • A comprehensive marketing strategy.
  • Arranging and hosting viewings.
  • Price negotiations.
  • The legal process for progressing a sale.

Whereas you will need to develop contacts, register with private listing services and find the time to manage the entire process, a reliable and reputable estate agent will already have all these in place. The people buying a house in your area will most likely register their interest with local estate agents, giving you an instant market for your property.

The Advantages of Choosing an Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Although it may be sorely tempting to save the money and sell your home privately, (many websites will help to sell your property online), you should remember that there are probably hundreds of houses for sale in your area. Achieving a satisfactory price in an acceptable amount of time is very tricky for the most experienced online estate agents, so it could prove exceptionally challenging and time-consuming to do it yourself. Registered by The Property Ombudsman, many estate agents charge for their expert services, they deliver some advantages:

  • Access to a network of potential buyers.
  • Marketing contacts.
  • Local property market knowledge.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Ability to manage the viewing process.
  • Expert market experience.
  • Help to find a property to rent if you sell before you see the perfect home.

Choosing the Right Agent for You

House buying and selling is a specialist role, so hiring an agent for the task could prove cost-effective in the long run. However, there could be hundreds of estate agents working in your area, and choosing the best one for the job can be a daunting prospect.

Start the process by asking your family and friends for recommendations based on their personal experiences. You can also use a specialist property advisory service with an online comparison tool that will give you information about agents in your area.

The vast majority of estate agents are skilled, experienced and trustworthy; however, there might be a few who ask you to take photos of your property and compile a description for marketing purposes. Any agent worth their salt will take charge of the marketing process, so proceed with caution if you are asked to do this.

Find out the best ways to sell your house here.

The prospect of negotiating the minefield that is the property market is often a daunting one, but you can sell your house fast by taking advantage of Flying Homes’ simple home buying services. We’ll buy any house without putting you through the stresses and strains of the open market, meaning you can take the time to find property for sale that is perfect for you and your family.

Call Flying Homes now on 0800 68 99 420 or complete the online enquiry form for more information on selling your house!

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