Renting after a divorce is new territory for most and there are things to think about before signing a lease.
To avoid renter’s remorse, these suggestions will make sure you’ve got all of your bases covered.
After a divorce, the size of apartment you will need will most likely change. You’re probably used to a bigger space since you were sharing it, so think about what you really need.
If you have children, even if it’s only for a portion of the time, it’s important that you have a safe and welcoming space for them to stay. While you may only need a one-bedroom apartment, make considerations for the children to feel like they have a home when they visit you and not staying in a hotel room.
If you’ll be alone in the apartment, don’t sell yourself short on the amount of space you might need. It’s been shown that living in hyper-small spaces can have detrimental health effects, so make sure you give yourself space to breathe.
On the other hand, don’t go so big that you can’t clean and maintain it easily and quickly.
Keep the price right
Budget is always a consideration, but a recent divorce might place some restrictions on your spending that you hadn’t previously thought about.
If you need to pay alimony or child support to your former spouse, you need to account for the loss of that money to your monthly budget.
You should also be wary of any impending expenses related to the divorce. Divorces are often expensive for both parties and you may not have incurred the final costs. Lawyer fees, mediation fees and court fees can pile up quickly and add up to an amount you didn’t expect.
On the same note, you may have a recurring mortgage payment if you’re in the process of selling a family home. Paying rent on top of a monthly mortgage could really take a hit to your budget. Hopefully, you’ll receive equity from the sale of your old home, but you should never count on it. Real estate is a fickle business.
Know your endgame
There are a whole range of emotions you could feel following a divorce. You might be feeling a sense of relief, a sense of panic or maybe you’re not feeling much of anything. Regardless, to make the best decisions about your next home, take a breath to figure out your short-term and long-term goals.
If you’re looking for a permanent place, make sure you find a home that meets your needs in terms of amenities as well budget.
However, if you’re looking for more of an emergency residency to help you get back on your feet, you should prioritize a reasonable lease agreement over anything. Many cities have plenty of options with short term lease agreements.
Though you might be apathetic now, a few months down the road you’ll appreciate taking these steps to help any future moves go more smoothly.
Renting after a divorce is truly what you make of it. Consider yourself, your needs and the needs of your loved ones before renting a new space.