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Welcome to Our

Fresh Start Guidebook!

Hello! This book is here to help you understand about houses and money when people are getting a divorce. Sometimes, when couples decide not to live together anymore, they need to make big choices about their home.


What Happens to Your House When You Divorce?


When people get a divorce, they might need to decide who will live in their house or if they should sell it. It's a big decision! This book will help you learn about these choices and what you can do.


We want to make things easier for you! 🏠💙


More About How Divorce Changes House Choices


When couples decide to divorce, they have to think about where they will live. Sometimes, they might sell their house and find new places. Or, one person might stay in the house while the other finds a new home.


It can be hard to decide because both people might love their house. They also have to think about how much money they can spend, and if they are parents, possibly where their kids will live. This book helps explain all these things in easy ways, so making these big house decisions feels a little easier.

Personal Anecdotes About Dealing with Real Estate During a Divorce


Sarah's Story:

Sarah and her husband decided to divorce. They had a big house where they had lived for many years. It was hard for Sarah to think about selling it. But she worked with a friendly real estate agent who helped her understand the steps. They fixed up the house and found a buyer. Sarah felt sad but also hopeful about finding a new, smaller house just for her and her kids.

Mike's Experience:

When Mike got divorced, he and his wife had to decide what to do with their house. They chose to sell it and share the money. Mike was worried about finding a new home with just his income. But he made a budget and talked to a bank about a loan. Soon, he found a perfect new place close to his work.

DefiNitions of Key Terms



Divorce is when two people who are married decide they don't want to be married anymore. They make this decision official through legal ways.

Real Estate:

Real estate means houses and land. When you buy real estate, you're buying a house or a piece of land.

Financial Implications

Money Planning and Budgeting in Divorce

When people get a divorce, they need to plan their money carefully. It means figuring out how much money you need to live, (if parents) buy things for kids, or get a new house. This planning is called budgeting. It helps you know how to spend your money wisely.


Divorce and House Loans

If you have a loan for your house, like a mortgage, divorce can change things. You might decide who will pay for it or if you need to change the loan. This part of the book helps you understand about mortgages and loans when you are getting a divorce.

More on Money Planning and Budgeting

Divorce means you need to think about money in new ways. You might have less money than before, so planning is important. Budgeting helps you know how much money you can spend on things like food, clothes, and a house. It's like making a money plan for every month.

Understanding Mortgages and Loans

If you have a house loan, like a mortgage, both people in the divorce have to think about it. You might decide together who will pay the loan, or if you need to talk to the bank to make changes. It's important to understand how the divorce affects your house loan so you can make good choices.

Sample Budget Template for Post-Divorce Financial Planning


Monthly Budget:

  • Income:

    • Job: $[Amount]

    • Other Income: $[Amount]

  • Expenses:

    • House/Rent: $[Amount]

    • Utilities (Electric, Water, Internet): $[Amount]

    • Groceries: $[Amount]

    • Car/Transportation: $[Amount]

    • Child Expenses: $[Amount]

    • Loan Payments: $[Amount]

    • Savings: $[Amount]

    • Other: $[Amount]

  • Total Income: $[Total Income Amount]

  • Total Expenses: $[Total Expenses Amount]

  • Money Left Over: $[Amount]

Managing Mortgages and Loans:
  • Mortgage:

    • It's like a big loan from a bank to buy a house. You pay a little bit back every month.

  • After Divorce:

    • Sometimes one person keeps paying, or you might sell the house and pay off the loan.

  • Scenario:

    • Lily's Story: After her divorce, Lily kept their house. She talked to the bank to change the mortgage so she could afford it on her income. Now, she pays a smaller amount each month.

Selling a Joint Property

Getting Ready to Sell Your House

When you need to sell your house because of a divorce, there are steps to get it ready. You need to clean it, fix anything broken, and maybe paint it to look nice. This makes other people want to buy it.


Understanding the Market and Prices

The market is like a big store where people buy and sell houses. The price of your house depends on the market. Sometimes prices are high, sometimes low. We will help you decide the best price for your house. And, we'll talk about how to talk to buyers to get a good deal.

More on Getting Ready to Sell Your House

Before you sell your house, it should look its best. This means cleaning every room, fixing things that don't work, and making your house look pretty. You might even put away some personal things so buyers can imagine living there. This helps buyers like your house more.

Talking About the Market, Prices, and Making Deals

Selling your house means understanding the market - this is how much people will pay for houses like yours. We'll help you set a good price. Then, when people want to buy your house, we'll help you talk to them. This “talking” is called negotiating. We make sure it's fair and that you're happy with the deal.

Preparing Your House for Sale: Guide, Checklist, and Tips

  • Clean the House: Make every room look neat and tidy.

  • Fix Things: Repair anything that's broken like leaky faucets or squeaky doors.

  • Paint Walls: Fresh paint can make rooms look new.

  • Declutter: Put away personal things like photos.

  • Staging: Arrange furniture nicely to show off each room.



  • Clean all rooms

  • Repair broken items

  • Paint walls (choose light colors)

  • Declutter personal items

  • Stage each room



  • Let in natural light during showings.

  • Make the house smell nice, maybe with flowers.

  • Keep the yard tidy too.

Basic Real Estate Terms

1. Listing:

  • Putting your house on the market to sell.

2. Agent:

  • A person who helps you sell or buy a house.

3. Market Value:

  • How much people will pay for your house.

4. Staging:

  • Decorating your house so buyers like it more.

5. Offer:

  • When someone says how much they'll pay for your house.

Buying a New Home

Looking for a New House After Divorce

After a divorce, finding a new house is important. You can look for houses on the internet or with a real estate agent. Think about what you need, like how many rooms, a yard for playing, or being close to school.

Money Tips for Buying a House

If you have one income now, planning your money is key. There are different ways to pay for a new house, like loans. We give tips on how to budget your money, so you know how much you can spend on a new home.


More on Looking for a New House

When searching for a new house, make a list of what you want, like a big kitchen or a room for each kid. Websites with house listings and real estate agents can help you find places. Remember to look at houses that fit your budget. It's like shopping for something you really need.


Understanding How to Pay for Your New House

If you're the only one making money now, think carefully about how much you can spend. Some people get a loan called a mortgage to buy a house. We'll show you how to plan your money each month, so you can afford a nice new home and still buy other important things.

House Hunting Checklist


What to Look For:

  • Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms

  • Size of Kitchen

  • Living Room Space

  • Yard for Playing or Gardening

  • Nearby Schools or Parks

  • Safety of Neighborhood


Tips for Working with Real Estate Agents:

  • Tell them exactly what you want.

  • Ask lots of questions about each house.

  • Visit many houses to find the best one.

Guidance on Attending Open Houses and Making Decisions

At Open Houses:

  • Look carefully at each room.

  • Imagine your furniture in the house.

  • Check things like faucets and lights.

Making Decisions:

  • Think about what you really need in a house.

  • Don't hurry. Take your time to decide.

  • Talk to your real estate agent about what you like.

Handling Joint Property


What to Do with a House You Both Own

After a divorce, you and your ex-partner need to decide about the house you both own. You can choose to sell it, one of you can keep it, or you can own it together for a while.

Advice on Splitting the House

It's important to talk about who gets what part of the house. Lawyers and money experts can help make it fair. They understand the rules about dividing things and can help you make good decisions.


More on Managing a House Together

When you both own the house, here are some choices:

  • Selling the House: You can sell the house and share the money.

  • One Person Stays: One of you can keep living in the house. The person who stays might pay the other person for their part.

  • Keep Owning Together: Sometimes, both of you keep owning the house. This might be good if you have kids.


Getting Help to Divide the House

A lawyer can help you understand the fair way to divide the house. A money expert can also help figure out what works best for everyone's budget. They make sure everyone is treated right.



Scenarios for Handling Joint Property

1. Selling the House:

  • Tom and Emma's Scenario: They decided to sell their house and share the money. They used the money to help buy new, smaller places.

2. One Person Keeps the House:

  • Carlos' Scenario: Carlos stayed in the house and paid Maria part of its value. This way, Maria had money to find a new place.

3. Keeping the House Together:

  • Lisa and Mark's Scenario: They kept the house together for a few years until their kids grew up. Then, they sold it and shared the money.

Simple Q&A on Property Division

Q: What if we can't agree on what to do with the house?
A: You might need to talk to a lawyer or mediator to help decide.

Q: Can one of us keep the house without buying the other out?
A: Yes, but you should agree on how to handle the mortgage and other costs.

Q: Should we sell the house right away?
A: It depends on your situation. Sometimes it's better to wait for a good time to sell.

Moving and Transition

Making a Plan for Moving

Moving means going to a new house. It's good to have a plan. We use checklists to remember everything we need to do, like packing toys and clothes. A timeline tells us when to do each thing, so we don't forget anything important.


Feeling Okay About Moving

Moving can make you feel sad, and that's okay. It's a big change. Talking to friends, family, or someone who listens well can make you feel better. Remember, it's a chance to make new friends and have new adventures.


More on Planning Your Move

When planning to move, use a checklist to remember things like:

  • Packing up each room.

  • Changing your address for mail.

  • Setting up internet and TV in your new house.

A timeline helps you know what to do first, next, and last. It keeps everything organized.

Feeling Better About Moving

It's normal to feel lots of things when moving after a divorce. Try these to feel better:

  • Talk about your feelings with someone you trust.

  • Make your new house cozy with things you love.

  • Explore your new neighborhood to find fun places.

Moving is a big step, but it can lead to happy new starts!

Comprehensive Moving Checklist


Practical Aspects:

  • Notify landlord or real estate agent.

  • Change your address with post office.

  • Arrange utilities for new house (water, electricity, internet).

  • Hire movers or rent a moving truck.

  • Pack your belongings room by room.

  • Label boxes clearly.

  • Prepare an essentials box for the first night.

  • Clean the house before leaving.


Emotional Aspects:

  • Say goodbye to your neighbors.

  • Visit favorite local spots one last time.

  • Create a memory book of the house.

  • Plan a small leaving ceremony.


Tips for Emotional Well-Being During Moving

  • Talk About Your Feelings: Share your thoughts and feelings with friends or family.

  • Stay Connected: Keep in touch with old friends and neighbors.

  • Create New Memories: Start a new tradition in your new home.

  • Take Breaks: Don't rush, give yourself time to adjust.

  • Explore Your New Area: Discover new places and activities in your new neighborhood.



Summary and Encouragement


Good Job Reading this Guide!

You learned a lot about houses and money when people get a divorce. Remember:

  • Selling or buying a house can be okay.

  • Planning your money helps a lot.

  • It's okay to feel different feelings.


You Can Do It!

Even when things change, like moving to a new house, you can be brave and strong. Every step you take is helping you start a new, happy part of your life.

Recap of Key Points

  • Understanding Your Options: You can sell your house, one of you can stay, or keep owning it together.

  • Money Matters: Plan your budget, understand mortgages, and manage your finances wisely.

  • Preparing to Sell: Clean, repair, and stage your house to attract buyers.

  • Finding a New Home: Make a list of what you need and explore different options.

  • Handling Joint Property: Decide together on the best way to handle your shared property.

Motivational Messages and Quotes

  • "Every ending is a new beginning."

  • "Change is not the end; it's the start of something new."

  • "You are stronger than you think, and this step is part of your journey."

  • "Believe in new chances and fresh starts."



Need More Help?

If you have more questions or need help, you can ask us anytime! 

Just call [916] 572-1117 or 

email us at Giacomini Real Estate:

We're here to help you! 🏠💙

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