If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the properties you own will take center stage in your divorce.
First, there is your main residence in Tempe, but you also have a vacation home in Colorado and an investment property outside of Phoenix. How will the judge divide these properties?
Valuing the properties
As you approach the property division phase of divorce, the first step is to assign the proper value to each piece of real estate you own. You will need the services of an appraiser who will begin by looking for comparable properties that have recently sold. Comparable properties will have approximately the same square footage. They will also have similar features, such as two bedrooms and two baths, and will be located in similar neighborhoods.
The appraiser will arrive at fair market value by making adjustments to account for major differences. For example, if your vacation home has a sleeping loft for extra guests but similar properties do not, you can add value. On the other hand, if your mountain home does not have a deck like the others in the area, the lack of outdoor gathering space would lower the value.
To determine how much equity you and your spouse have in each of the properties, you will need to subtract encumbrances, such as the mortgage, from the value. Once you have the final numbers, the next decision will involve whether to keep the properties or sell them and split the profits. A judge will help determine the answers to those questions.