For many couples in Massachusetts, the family home is a place full of memories and, at least at times, a place where one feels secure and safe. Financially, it is also a valuable investment, as many ordinary residents of Springfield have a lot, even the largest share, of their wealth in their residence.
These and other reasons make it fairly likely for a divorcing couple which is dividing marital property to argue about who will continue to own the house. Sometimes, fighting for the house makes economic sense or, even if it doesn’t, is justified for other reasons, such as the well-being of a couple’s children.
However, it is important for a Massachusetts resident to resist the temptation to think that keeping the house is always a good idea, such that every effort should be made to keep it. In fact, there are several considerations in play which could well mean that a person should not keep the house.
Particularly if it is not paid off, but even if it is, a house is an expensive thing to maintain. The property tax bill itself is a big expense, big enough where one will likely have to prepare for it month-by-month rather than just paying it when it comes due. Moreover, it costs money, even a lot of money, to maintain a home and insure it.
Moreover, as those of us who lived through the Great Recession know, houses don’t always appreciate in value. At least in the short term, a person can wind up trading a lot in order to keep the house only to find it is a drag on her own financial situation.
The bottom line is that whether to keep the house or let it go is a question that should be discussed with one’s attorney as part of their overall legal strategy.