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Jake Gyllenhaal Sells His Secluded Hollywood Hills Home

2014-11-01 00:20:00

Filed under: News, Celebrity Homes, Selling ZillowThe Hollywood Hills home that Jake Gyllenhaal just sold is set on almost 2 acres of land with a prime view of L.A. APJake Gyllenhaal Going, going, Gone! Jake Gyllenhaal has sold his gated Hollywood Hills house. Gyllenhaal morphed into an A-list actor during his tenure in Hollywood, and off-screen, he's been a very popular choice for a semi-temporary boyfriend by many actresses and singers, including Kirsten Dunst, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Rachel McAdams and others. When he's not stepping out with the hottest young thing in Hollywood, Gyllenhaal holed up in this gated compound on almost 2 acres of land since 2005, when he paid $2.5 million for the home. Perfect for staying out of the limelight, the home is located down a private drive and has sensational panoramic views. (See the slideshow below.) Insiders even say the views from Gyllenhaal's backyard are some of the best in L.A. The lushly-landscaped, estate-size lot has trails and a large, sprawling grassy yard. Gyllenhall had been asking $3.5 million for it, Zillow reported. The one-story home itself didn't have the modern appeal of some of the newer homes on the market, but that didn't stop a buyer from stepping in and snapping up the property. What it lacks in modern amenities and of-the-moment trends, it makes up for with charm, space and light throughout. The home also embraces the sprawling acreage and opens up to a large swimming pool and multiple entertaining areas. When the home first went up for sale in September 2014,The Real Estalker hinted that Jake may have been renting the place out for the last couple years and living elsewhere. He has recently been spotted house-hunting in New York. With his West Coast property pending and the sale about to be final, Jake's free to make a home on any coast! Denny Kagasoff of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services held the listing.  Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Spooky Household Noises That You Should Investigate

2014-10-31 12:09:00

Filed under: News, Home Improvement ShutterstockThose creepy noises that you hear in the night might be the sound of your house telling you that repairs are needed. By Christopher Solomon for BobVila.com Homes make strange noises. They're built of many different materials -- glass, concrete, wood -- that expand and contract at different rates. "[But] the most noise your house should make is a popping sound, like your knuckles cracking, and only once in a while," said Bill Richardson, former president of the American Society of Home Inspectors and owner of Responsive Inspections in Bosque Farms, New Mexico. If your home is making noises that rival the best of Metallica, then it may be sending you signals that there's a problem. We asked the experts to catalogue some of the more worrisome pops, hisses, groans, creaks and knocks, and tell us what they mean and how they can be remedied. Here are the top seven problem noises and how they can be solved. 1. What is that clanking sound when I turn on the heat? The problem: When most homeowners first turn on their heating system in the fall, they hear a little moaning and groaning as the heating system expands and rubs against the frame of the house, says Mike Kuhn, the New Jersey owner of HouseMaster inspection service and coauthor of "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Home Inspections." With a baseboard hot-water system, you can also expect "normal clinking and knocking," says Kuhn. The circulator pump or pumps to the system, however, "should be silent when they run," says Kuhn. If you hear knocking or clanking, typically located at the boiler itself, it might be a sign of impending failure of the circulator pump, he says. The solution: Get a repairman out to check on it, pronto. 2. There's a strange scratching sound coming from behind the walls. The problem: If you hear strange noises like scratching and possibly chittering coming from places where no one lives in the house, you could have mice, squirrels, raccoons or even bats sharing your quarters, says Richardson. "Any kind of wild critter could be up in the attic," he says. And these freeloaders aren't just a nuisance; bats can carry deadly rabies. In the Southwest, the droppings of mice can spread hantavirus. Some animals will tear up insulation to nest or chew through siding and even electrical wires, causing fires. The solution: As soon as you suspect an intruder, get on it: Set traps. (Call in a pro if the animal is stubborn or large.) Finally, prevent the problem from reoccurring by sealing up the entrances to your house with steel wool, metal sheeting, caulk and/or hardware cloth. To keep raccoons away, put garbage in sealed, secure metal cans that can't be tipped. Bring pet food inside. After pests have been removed, make sure vents and chimneys are securely covered with mesh or a grille, so those spaces can still breathe. 3. There's no one in the house and I can still hear running water. How can that be? The problem: "You definitely don't want to hear water running if nobody's using anything," says Richardson. The sound could indicate many things -- a busted pipe in a wall, under the floor or even in the irrigation system. The solution: If you hear running water when you shouldn't, shut the main off and see if the noise goes away, says Richardson. If it does, you've got a leak somewhere - and a problem in need of fixing. Unless you're really handy and ready to do surgery on your home, call in a plumber. 4. I hear a bubbling (or cracking) sound coming from the water heater. Is that normal? The problem: A gas-fired hot-water heater works pretty much like boiling a pot of water: A fire is lit and the water inside is heated until it's ready for use. "A lot of sediment builds up at the bottom of a hot water tank, and that sediment works like an insulator," forcing the burner to work harder, Kuhn says. The strange noise you hear is the bubbling sediment - and a sign that the tank is probably experiencing fatigue and may be facing premature failure, he says. The solution: Ideally, you should flush out your hot water tank every few months, using the drain valve near the bottom of the floor. "However, nobody does it," says Kuhn, because it can be a pain to do. If your water heater is already making these noises, draining it might help. "It could (work) a little bit longer, [and] it could go a lot longer," but the damage is probably done, says Kuhn. 5. My furnace is making a whistling (sucking) sound that it's never made before. Is it going to need to be replaced? The problem: "What that can connote is that your filter hasn't been changed," says Richardson. "And your furnace is trying to pull in air from around it." That's not good, he explains, because it means the furnace is working too hard. "What it will do is start sucking exhaust gasses from the furnace into the house." The solution: Install clean filters regularly -- "anywhere from three months to monthly, depending on atmospheric conditions," says Richardson. 6. I hear a switch turning on and off regularly but can't seem to isolate where it's coming from. The problem: If you have a well for your water, you've got a well pump -- either in the house or above the well in your yard. "If you are sitting in your house and hearing the pump-switch click on and off, you may have a problem," says Kuhn. The pump pulls water from the well and into a holding tank, where it's stored for your use. If you're hearing it when you, say, turn on the faucet, something may be wrong. The pump "should not operate every time there is a call for water. The wear and tear would cause the pump to fail prematurely," he says. It's likely that you have a leak in the system. "The leak is either going to be in the well equipment itself, or in a fixture," says Kuhn." For example, a leaky toilet fixture could be causing the holding tank to drain. The solution: First, check your fixtures for leaks. Then, if needed, call a plumber familiar with well systems. 7. What's that hissing sound? The problem: If your home has gas, a strange noise that sounds like hissing could indicate a gas leak, says Richardson. Sometimes you can hear a hissing outside at the gas meter, or at a home's outdoor gas light post - places where the line could have corroded, he says. "You should be able to smell it, but you never know." The solution: If you you smell gas around the gas main, don't mess with the gas shutoff unless you absolutely know what you're doing because any mishandling or spark could make things much worse, Richardson explains. If you hear the noise and smell the gas, immediately evacuate the house and call the gas company. Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Connecticut Ghost Town Sells for $1.9 Million

2014-10-31 11:17:00

Filed under: News, Buying, SellingJust in time for Halloween, a Connecticut ghost town was auctioned off for a scary $1.9 million Thursday, more than double the starting price for this abandoned town. Known as Johnsonville, the 62-acre village in East Haddam was once a thriving spinning mill community, then a tourist attraction, and then a deserted collection of structures that was occasionally used as a backdrop, most notably for Billy Joel's 1993 video "River of Dreams" and for Cuba Gooding Jr's. recent film "Freedom," according to Connecticut Today. (Take a video tour below.) Johnsonville currently contains eight historical structures, a pond, covered bridge, waterfall and wooden dam, says The Real Deal. The land, about two hours from New York City, can be used for single and multifamily housing, retail, education and entertainment. Auction.com handled the sale. Bidding for the property began at $800,000 and reached $1.9 million. The buyer's identity has not yet been revealed. #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-533116{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-533116, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-533116{width:570px;display:block;} try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-533116").style.display="none";}catch(e){}  Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Room of the Day: Creating a Warm, Welcoming Living Space

2014-10-31 08:57:00

Filed under: Design, News, Home ImprovementBy Jeannie Matteucci Photos by Eric Laignel There was a lot to like about the living room in Brian Garrett and Stephen Fronk's 1878 Victorian flat. Located in San Francisco's Liberty Hill Historic District, the home had 12-foot ceilings and lovely architectural details. But the long, narrow layout and the lack of storage options for media made the space feel uninviting. Turning to their friend and designer Sara Story for help, the pair created a welcoming living room that celebrates the beautiful architecture but has more warmth and better storage. Elegant window treatments, a new built-in enclosure for storage, a light gray wash on the wood floor and midcentury furniture and accessories transformed the space. "I really wanted them to use this living room," says Story. "This used to be the room that collected dust balls." Contemporary Living Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators, Sara Story Design The living room is the first space that greets visitors, so it was important that the room feel inviting. Drapes were a top priority. "Window treatments are expensive, and we didn't have the experience or confidence to know what to do there," says Garrett. "Sara picked the fabric, and once you do it, you realize it's worth every penny." The custom drapes are ivory cotton and silk with a contrasting black and cream striped hem. They dress up the tall windows and emphasize the room's height. "Drapes really create a formality to a room and add a glamorous element," says Story. "It adds an extra layer to the windows that creates warmth." Adding a white built-in enclosure with millwork (seen on the left side of this photo) gave the owners the storage they needed. A bottom cabinet with drawers holds barware; an upper cabinet with folding doors opens to reveal a large TV. Separate cabinets hold media equipment and an automated home system. (Ceiling light fixture: 1950s Diderot Double Cone Chandelier, Rewire) Custom Draperies 101 Modern Spaces by New York Interior Designers & Decorators, Sara Story Design The painting above the fireplace, purchased on a trip to Vietnam, inspired the living room's color palette, including the green and yellow silk pillows on the sofa. The pattern in the large ivory wool area rug was inspired by the natural veining of stone and marble. The existing oak floor was given a light gray wash to make it feel a bit more contemporary. The walls were repainted the same Dior Gray the owners had used before. ("That was the one thing we did right," jokes Garrett.) It's a rich, saturated tone that envelops the space and highlights the living room's classic molding. The left door in this photo leads to the dining room. The door to the right of the fireplace leads downstairs to the flat's front entry. (White side table: Design House Stockholm; area rug: Tracery by Kelly Wearstler, The Rug Company; wall paint: Dior Gray, Benjamin Moore; ceiling and trim paint: Seed Pearl, Pratt & Lambert) Contemporary Living Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators, Sara Story Design An oil painting by Oakland, California, artist Brett Amory was chosen for the prime spot over the tufted black leather sofa. The new sofa was just what the owners were looking for - timeless, stylish and masculine. "It's so comfortable and sophisticated at the same time," says Garrett. "It's also much more inviting than the Danish sectional we had before." (Sofa: custom, Marco Fine Furniture; side tables: vintage Paul Frankl nesting tables, circa 1950; side table lamp: 1949 Control Lamp by Mitchell Bobrick, 20th Century Interiors) Contemporary Living Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators, Sara Story Design The designer bought this vintage rosewood coffee table with a laminated black top, a white inlay and brass supports at an antiques store in Brooklyn, New York. One of two existing gray houndstooth chairs was paired with a vintage floor lamp to create a comfortable spot for reading. "Lamps and lighting in general give you a chance to add a sculptural form and create atmosphere," notes Story. "This floor lamp was an interesting form, similar to the chandelier above but in black." (Floor lamp: 1950s French, Bourgeois Bohème Atelier; chair: Design Within Reach) Home Bar by New York Interior Designers & Decorators, Sara Story Design A vintage 1950s Italian walnut bar cart with metal detailing bought at a local auction keeps entertaining supplies close at hand. Fronk bought the framed painting above it at a gallery in Hanoi, Vietnam. Now the owners and their friends have a comfortable and stylish place for hanging out, instead of heading straight for the kitchen like they used to. "I think this room really embraces the architecture, but it's also functional for 2014," says Story. See more Rooms of the Day  Permalink | Email this | Comments

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It's Official: Taylor Swift Bought Peter Jackson's Penthouse

2014-10-31 07:44:00

Filed under: News, Buying, Celebrity Homes ZillowTaylor Swift' has put down roots in New York City with the purchase of this penthouse formerly owned by the "Lord of the Rings" director. APTaylor Swift By Catherine Sherman It's been waiting for her. And Taylor Swift could dance to this New York City beat forevermore. With the release of her fifth studio album, "1989," this week, the singer is leaving her country roots behind and embracing life in the Big Apple. But Swift first said "Welcome to New York" this spring when she moved into Peter Jackson's former penthouse. Reports of the purchase first surfaced in March, and now property records confirm the deal closed for $19.95 million. Rolling Stone recently paid the country girl a visit to see how she's settling into her Tribeca digs. "There's my piano," she told the magazine. "Here's my pool table that always has cat hair on it. ...That's a door that I walk into." It appears Swift is taking her own advice and "keeping the joke on me." On a more serious note, though, she's opening up her home to die-hard fans, known as "Swifties," for secret jam sessions. "Instructed to conceal their shrieks of excitement, they climbed the stairs to the top floor of a Tribeca building, where their suspicions were confirmed," writes the New York Post about her recent night entertaining fans. "...Then, they headed across the hall and into Swift's apartment - outfitted with a beautiful piano, books whimsically displayed in birdcages, a signed Oscar de la Renta sketch of Swift's 2014 Met Gala gown and lots of Le Labo candles, personalized to read 'Taybeca.'" The home -- previously owned by the bearded genius behind the "Lord of the Rings" movies -- has seven bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and a cool warehouse-loft feel with exposed brick and overhead beams. There's also a smaller, three-bedroom unit across the hall, which Swift reportedly purchased for her security detail. In addition to media interviews and events with fans, Swift is trying to be the Global Welcome Ambassador for New York City. While some are skeptical, she's trying to get into the things New Yorkers like to do -- like watching the Knicks on NBA opening night. This Wednesday, she was spotted courtside along with Justin Bieber and Ben Stiller. Time will tell whether Swift makes the Big Apple her permanent residence. From Nashville to Beverly Hills and Rhode Island, she's been known to shake it off and keep cruising. Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Reese Witherspoon Sells Last Part of Her Brentwood Compound

2014-10-30 15:59:00

Filed under: News, Celebrity Homes, Selling TruliaReese Witherspoon sold the larger part of her compound in Los Angeles' Brentwood district for more than $10 million. APReese Witherspoon Bye, Bye, Brentwood! Reese Witherspoon has just sold the remainder of her massive Brentwood compound for $10.068 million. After listing that entire Los Angeles property and an adjacent side lot for sale for a whopping $14 million in June, Witherspoon peeled off the smaller lot in a side deal, getting $3,550,000 for the lot (with a "teardown" home) on Sept. 11. Now, property records show that on Oct. 14 Witherspoon sold the larger part of the A-list compound, which includes a five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 6,956-square-foot Spanish-style estate, and adjacent lot tucked away at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on a double lot in the desirable, guard-gated and celebrity-friendly Brentwood Circle. (See the slideshow below.) Witherspoon apparently wanted out of the Brentwood compound now that she's bought a brand-new Pacific Palisades home for $12.705 million and a stately fixer-upper in her hometown of Nashville. When the estate first hit the market, Witherspoon welcomed Vogue.com video cameras into the home for a closer look.  Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas Double-Down

2014-10-30 12:31:00

Filed under: Design, News, Buying, Celebrity Homes ZillowMichael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones' latest Colonial-style home in Bedford is twice the size of their last one. APMichael Douglas, left, and Catherine Zeta Jones By Catherine Sherman Sometimes you just need a fresh start. After ending their separation, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have sold their former Bedford, N.Y., home and purchased another for $11.25 million. The Oscar winners haven't moved far, and when it comes to architecture, they're staying traditional. Their former home was a brick center-hall Colonial; the new place is also a Colonial, but more than twice the size. (See the slideshow below.) One of Westchester County's most illustrious properties, the 19th-century estate spans 15,458 square feet with eight bedrooms, 13.5 baths, equestrian facilities, magnificent gardens, a greenhouse, tennis court and pool. The interior has been renovated, mixing sleek, new appliances with historic moldings and woodwork. The news comes on the heels of Bruce Willis' recent real estate purchase in Bedford: two hilltop properties overlooking the Croton Reservoir. Over the years, several members of New York's social elite have called Bedford home including Bill and Hillary Clinton. First listed for $12.75 million, the deal closed at the end of September, according to property records. Houlihan Lawrence held the listing.  Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

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30-Year Mortgage Rate Rises to Just Below 4%

2014-10-30 12:24:00

Filed under: News, Buying, Financing, Refinancing Lenny Ignelzi/The Associated PressMortage rates have ended a five-week decline according to the latest survey by mortgage giant Freddie Mac. WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates arrested their five-week decline this week but the benchmark 30-year loan remained below 4 percent. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.98 percent from 3.92 percent last week. It remained at its lowest level since June 2013. The rate stood at 4.53 percent back in January. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, increased to 3.13 percent from 3.08 percent. The sustained decline in long-term rates sparked a boomlet of homeowners looking to refinance mortgages. Homeowners eager for a bargain rate fired off inquiries to lenders. Applications for "re-fi's" jumped 23 percent in the week ended Oct. 17 -- reaching their highest level since November 2013, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But refinance applications fell 7 percent in the latest week, ended Oct. 24. In recent weeks concern over global economic weaknesses brought market turmoil and sent investors seeking safety by pouring money into U.S. Treasurys. Higher demand drives up prices for those government bonds and causes their yields to drop. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note touched new lows. Mortgage rates often follow the yield in the 10-year note. This week, the 10-year note rose to 2.32 percent Wednesday from 2.22 percent the previous week. The note traded at 2.29 percent Thursday morning. To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount. The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.5 point. The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.94 percent from 2.91 percent. The fee was steady at 0.5 point. For a one-year ARM, the average rate edged up to 2.43 percent from to 2.41 percent. The fee held at 0.4 point. Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Bruce Willis Buys 2 Parcels in Woodsy Bedford, NY

2014-10-30 07:48:00

Filed under: News, Buying, Celebrity Homes ZillowBruce Willis spent $12 million on this shingle-style home and an adjoining parcel in Bedford. New York. APBruce Willis By Catherine Sherman Bruce Willis' new digs give his Idaho getaway a run for its money. The "Die Hard" actor is living free with 22.32 acres on one of the highest points in Bedford, New York. The actor has dropped $12 million on a shingle-style home and adjoining parcel in Westchester County overlooking the Croton Reservoir. The sale closed in August but has flown under the radar until recently. The main residence has five bedrooms, six baths, a climate-controlled wine cellar, mature gardens, a swimming pool and heated cabana. Willis also scooped up land not listed on the Multiple Listing Service: eight acres with an antique house and two renovated guest cottages. It seems the actor is slowly settling back East. He recently listed two of his other properties -- a Sun Valley ski home and a Beverly Hills estate -- and purchased a Central Park West apartment from U2 bassist Adam Clayton. Willis and wife Emma Heming will be neighbors with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who recently sold a Bedford house and are buying another, according to The Journal News.  Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

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How to Manage a Mortgage After a Divorce

2014-10-29 14:34:00

Filed under: News, Financing, Home Equity ShutterstockIn divorce, the matter of who gets the house can become moot without proper financial planning and professional advice. By Geoff Williams In a divorce, it's bad enough that you're losing someone you once loved or may still love. It's even worse when you find out you may lose your house, too. And finding a replacement, much like starting a love life all over, won't be easy. After all, lenders tend to give mortgage loans to people with good credit and a solid stream of income. If you were previously a two-income household, you aren't now, and if you're paying alimony, you have less money than you did. Whether you're in the midst of a divorce or its aftermath, here are some things you can do to land a mortgage and what you can reasonably expect. You may want to get your name or your ex's name off the mortgage. But perhaps not; it depends. If you are planning to buy a house, and your ex is living in the home you co-own, then ideally, your ex It can be difficult for a person paying alimony to buy a house because of the way lenders look at that alimony. needs to refinance in his or her name. That will decrease your debt and increase your odds of being able to get a new mortgage. What if your ex can't refinance on her or his own? If you'd like to see your ex and the kids remain in the house, you may want to leave your name on the mortgage and co-own the house for a while with your ex. "People do that all the time," says Katie Connell, a family law attorney with Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle in Atlanta and a governor-appointed member of the Georgia Commission on Child Support. "I'm stereotyping, but often a woman who didn't work full time and doesn't have the income stream or the credit to buy her own house, she and her ex-husband have agreed, with their family transitioning and changing, that it's in their better interest to keep mom and the kids in the house for, say, four or five years or when the kids go into their college freshman year," she says. "The husband is often willing to essentially extend his credit to his ex-wife by letting his name stay on the mortgage." If you're going that route, Connell says you'll want to work out details about how profits will be split once the house is sold down the road. It may not be an equal split since one ex-spouse will be likely making the mortgage payments and possibly spending money to maintain the home for those extra years. Connell says that arrangement tends to work better if the ex without the house still has enough income and good credit to buy a new home of his or her own. Don't buy a home during the divorce proceedings. Even if you're rich beyond belief, and your credit and income stream are solid, it's still a risky move. Connell says one of her clients lost $10,000 in earnest money when he tried to buy a house during his divorce proceedings. "He had great credit, a very good income, but when the lender found out he was going through a divorce, they said, 'Your alimony and child support payments are question marks,'" Connell says. "By the Some lenders won't even consider letting a divorced person who receives alimony use that alimony as evidence of income.... way, this client had a different lawyer back then. If I had been representing him, I would have said, 'Don't do it!'" Connell adds that when the client's ex learned he lost $10,000 in earnest money, the ex's lawyer naturally felt that the ex was entitled to at least half of that money - it was, after all, money that otherwise would have been in the pot of assets to split. It can be difficult for a person paying alimony to buy a house because of the way lenders look at that alimony. "Alimony is considered a debt," says Susan Pryor, branch manager of Silverton Mortgage Specialists, a direct lender in Atlanta. "If you make $10,000 a month and give $3,000 to your ex-spouse, the lender doesn't look at it like you're making $7,000 a month. They look at it like you have a $3,000 car payment every month." Where should you live during the divorce proceedings? Assuming you aren't selling the house immediately and you're both looking for a place to rent, there are two common approaches couples take, according to Connell. Stay in your house with your soon-to-be ex. "We definitely see more people grinning and bearing it and living together longer," Connell says. "We saw a lot of that in this last recession." It's an idea that makes some sense. Living together awhile longer will save you both money. And especially if you have children, maintaining a civil relationship under the same roof may help with your post-divorce relationship. You could nest. You hear "nesting" used a lot in pregnancy, but Connell says that in the divorce industry, the term refers to renting an apartment near the house and living there while a divorce is worked out. "We see a lot of couples who take turns living there, and the kids stay in the house," Connell says. Connell adds the latter arrangement may not work for couples who still harbor a lot of anger or suspicion. She recalls an instance where a wife was convinced the husband was unplugging lamps and cable cords throughout the house before he would leave for the week. "No damage or harm was done, but [the wife felt] it was just to be a pest," Connell says. Meanwhile, the husband said the cords came unplugged from his vacuuming, and that the wife was leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Whatever you do, Pryor urges divorcing homeowners to not rush their decision of where to live next. "You may be under tremendous stress, and it's an emotional situation. Divorce can shake your planning, and you may not be able to make the right decisions," she says. Besides, you may not be able to rush, even if you want to. Some lenders won't even consider letting a divorced person who receives alimony use that alimony as evidence of income until there's a six-month history of alimony payments being paid on time, Connell says. You may be better off without a mortgage. This may be the last thing you want to hear if you want to hang onto your house or buy a new home. But the money math may not add up. It's a common mistake with divorced homeowners, says Jean Ann Dorrell, a certified estate planner in Sumter County, Florida. Many people, she says, are "trying to hold onto a house because it's where the kids grew up or because you don't want the kids to have to change schools, you don't want to lose friends and you stay too long trying to afford something you never could have or should have." Pryor agrees. "We see it a lot," she says. "It's especially emotional when children are involved." She adds that spouses who didn't know a divorce was coming tend to be the ones who can't face their new budget. Pryor recommends professional help for anyone divorced and struggling to keep their home or figure out where to live next. "I think it's important to do some financial planning, and there are planners who focus on divorce, so you can see what money is coming in and what's going out," Pryor says. "Just because you can barely make that mortgage payment every month doesn't mean you should stay in the house." Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Last updated on Nov 01, 2014.

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