“I am separated and my husband has moved out. I want to sell our home but my husband wants to buy it at a price that I think is lower than what we can sell the house for. What should we do?”
Let’s get some objectivity here. You say you are separated and it sounds like you will be divorcing. If that is still a question, do nothing with the house until you know for sure that you will divorce. Then get a professional appraisal of the property done by a licensed appraiser. That will settle the issue of how much the house is worth. When the house becomes part of the overall marital division of property, your husband may take the house at its full appraised value. You will then take other marital assets having a combined equal value, assuming a 50/50 split of the marital estate. For instance, if the house is worth $300,000 and your husband keeps it, then you will take $300,000 worth of other marital assets.
Your husband will not be “buying” the house because he already owns half of it. What he does need to consider are any future capital gains taxes that will become his sole responsibility since the original tax basis that you shared passes entirely to him along with the entire tax obligation (or exemption) that you would have shared. In addition, any tax liabilities inherent in the $300,000 of “other assets” you accept in this deal need to be compensated for in the overall division of property. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is. A divorce financial expert can help you work through this and work with your attorney to assure that a settlement that appears equitable on the surface, actually is in the long term.
Rosemary Frank, is a financial service professional. Rosemary is the founder ofDollars of Divorce. Where she does a professional analysis of the marital assets, the effects that a settlement will have on your financial future, as well as all other factors with an overall impact for you to maintain your standard of living. You can reach her at (615)595-6850 or firstname.lastname@example.org.