Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Breakups and Housing Fall


Breakups are costly. Especially if one or both parties bring significant resources to the union. And if both parties have invested in real estate, splitting the sale money post-breakup might not be what it once was. When couples buy property together they face a different melody in the reality of the big housing fall.
The Times has a good piece on this. A paragraph says:

"In a normal economy, couples typically build equity in their homes, then divide that equity in a divorce, either after selling the house or with one partner buying out the other’s share. But after the recent boom-and-bust cycle, more couples own houses that neither spouse can afford to maintain, and that they cannot sell for what they owe. For couples already under stress, the family home has become a toxic asset.

“It’s much harder to move on with their lives,” said Alton L. Abramowitz, a partner in the New York firm Mayerson Stutman Abramowitz Royer.

Mr. Abramowitz said he was in the middle of several cases where the value of the real estate could not be determined. “All of a sudden,” he said, “prices are all over the place, people aren’t closing, and it becomes virtually impossible to judge how far the market has fallen, because nothing is selling.”"

Read more here.





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10 comments:

JJ said...

Ah, the old days of college where all people left behind were some CD's and DVD's.

Dave said...

And that's why I rent!

Brooke said...

I say, tough it out, people, till the market gets better. Breakups are tough as it is.

dana said...

This is really, really tough for a lot of people. Many have renegotiated divorce in light of the new market.

Jackie said...

Right. the days of breaking up in a matter of minutes are gone. Or if you're interested in keeping your money, you better play the game. Stay together for real estate...?

Nicki said...

I do feel for those in this situation. It makes me appreciate the real estate-free breakups I've had. That's Kinderspiel compared to this.

Alex said...

Right. That's why adult breakups are so messy and tedious. I believe in renting. Keeps things on an even keel.

Dan said...

Quite an article. It's def not a sellers' market, that's for sure. Glad I'm not in that position.

Sra said...

Yeah it's scary. On the one hand, housing prices should never have gone so high so quickly, and I think that's a lot of the problem. So they should bottom out, but that does leave people in a hairy situation.

Ian managed to sell his house and finalize his divorce a couple years ago, but I think he sold it easily because an oil company wanted the land for future expansion. Other people aren't so lucky.

B.R. said...

The economics of romance are sometimes left undiscussed and they need to be given more attention. My feeling on the matter is that matters of economy and economics always matter. Again, active awareness is something that's needed here.