In many divorces, the house is the biggest asset acquired during the marriage. It is important to accurately determine the value of the marital residence for property division purposes. A recent article in the Huffington Post mentions three ways how to best value your home.
1. Get A Home Appraisal. A licensed appraiser can offer you the most accurate value of your home. However, an appraisal will cost you. Even if the cost of the appraisal seems like it's too much in addition to what you're spending on your divorce, it can potentially save you money in the long run. Furthermore, an appraiser can prove the real value of the residence in court should the need arise.
2. Comparative Market Analysis. In addition to a home appraisal, a Comparative Market Analysis can be made. A CMA often costs next to nothing and can provide you with a fair market value for your house. A CMA compares the sale prices of other residences sold in your neighborhood with your home’s value. However, a CMA is not always as accurate as an appraisal.
3. Do Your Own Research. Some couples may want to do their own research online for the purposes of determining the value of the residence. Online documents, however, won’t be considered as accurate or reliable by the court as a CMA or appraisal.
No matter how you decide to determine the value of your residence, it is prudent to use the services of a neutral third party. For example, if your relative is an appraiser, it is not a good idea to have them do the appraisal.
Property division issues are often very complex. It is always in your best interests to consult a family law lawyer about the details of your divorce. Contact a skilled divorce attorney in Illinois today.