Life's challenges

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Life's challenges

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

Click here for Q & A about relocating for work

We’ve separated. Who has to move out?

There is no set rule as to who has to move out of the house once a couple separates, especially if the house is jointly owned. Often this can be mutually decided by both parties and is usually influenced by factors such as if there are any children living in the house, who the primary caregiver of the children is and the reason for separation.

Separation does not necessarily mean one party must move out, and sometimes if neither party wishes to leave, both parties may remain in the property until the property settlement. In the event of a intervention order being issued, sometimes the Court can order the sole use or occupation of the family home, however this extremely rare.

We’re getting divorced. How will our property be divided?

The Family Law Act requires a just and equitable division of assets. In many cases the parties are able to come to a decision between them as to how the property will be divided. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Family Lawyer in the event of requiring a property settlement.

If you and your ex-partner are unable to agreed, the Court will determine how to divide your property and will consider things like:
  • Current and past incomes
  • The assets that each party brought to the relationship
  • Health and age
  • Inheritances
  • Superannuation funds

What sort of process is followed in a divorce property settlement?

There are four fundamental stages in the division of property after divorce:
  • Identification of assets and liabilities such as Super, Trusts and companies
  • Assessment of the contribution made by each party to the assets
  • Future needs of each party, income earning potential, care of children, health, age, education
  • An assessment of whether the proposed overall settlement is fair

Does Divorce resolve property matters?

No, divorce cannot resolve parenting or property matters. Divorce is simply the process of dissolving the matrimonial union.

I’m in a De Facto or Same Sex relationship and we’ve separated. Is my property affected?

If you’ve been in a relationship for more than two years and separated after March 2009, potentially yes. The Courts now have jurisdiction in many de facto and same sex relationship breakdowns to make property orders, as they can with married couples.

How do we choose the right real estate agent?

One of the most important elements when choosing the real estate agent to represent you is ‘trust’.

An agent offering you the lowest commission rate and/or the highest appraisal is not necessarily the best option. To make your selection easier, take the advice of the professionals:  

  • Ask your colleagues, family, friends and neighbours if they are able to refer you to a proactive agent
  • If you are unable to receive referrals, search the internet for reviews from past clients of local agents
  • When you interview your potential agent, ask the following questions:
-    How many properties did you sell last year and last month?
-    How many buyers are you working with at the moment?
-    Can you provide me with an example of your marketing campaign?
-    How many salespeople do you have in your team?
-    What charges will I incur if the house doesn't sell?
-    If I am not happy with your performance, how do I cancel our agreement?
-    Can you provide me with a list of your past clients and testimonials?
-    How often will I receive feedback on the progress of my sale?
-    Can you provide me with 3 recent sales in the area, similar to my property, and what they sold for?
-    What is the average house price in my area?
-    Do you have similar properties to mine currently for sale?

Click here for more information on choosing the right agent.

First National Real Estate has over 400 offices around Australia & New Zealand. Our real estate agents would love to help you today. Click here to contact one of our agents

How long does it take to reach a property divorce settlement?

A property settlement can be entered into any time prior to the finalisation of the divorce. Once a divorce has been granted, often called a Decree Absolute, the parties only have 12 months from that time to make an application for property settlement.

What is defined as property in a divorce settlement?

Property which will be dealt with during a divorce property settlement include:
  • Any real property e.g. the family home
  • Cars, boats, caravans and other vehicles
  • Businesses assets (current and fixed assets)
  • Jewellery, furniture, paintings, artworks
  • Financial assets such as cash in bank, fixed deposit funds, shares and superannuation.

What should I do to prepare for an open inspection?

Everybody knows first impressions are everything. So when you open up the doors of your home to the public for an open inspection, you'll want to ensure it's looking its absolute best.

Accentuate its features

Your home might possess many great features - and now is the time to really show them off.

Depending on what the season is, you might want to showcase some features more than others. In winter, light the fireplace or turn on the heating to demonstrate how warm and cosy your home can be.

Alternatively, open up all windows, blinds and doors in warmer months to let cool breezes flow into the home.

Throw out your junk

Open inspections are a time to clear out all of your clutter. Not only will this reduce how much stuff you'll have to take with you when you move, but it will also help to make your house look tidier too.

If you really need to keep all of your possessions, consider hiring some storage space for the short term.

Leave them to it

When people start arriving to look at your home, it's a good idea to pop out for a while. This will leave prospective buyers to feel more relaxed and free to roam your property.

If you have a dog, take this opportunity to go for a walk with it, as this will get both of you out of the house. Make sure you put you pet’s bowls out of sight as well.

Give your home a facelift

Have you had a good, long look at the front of your house? Does it look welcoming and attractive? If the weeds have popped up and there are nasty oil stains on your driveway, you might want to think about giving your home a quick facelift.

The front of your home is the first place a prospective buyer will look, so it pays to make this part clean and tidy. Don't forget to wash all of your windows and pull back the curtains, too!

What are the signs that you need a new home?

Moving into a new home can be a hassle. Nobody really enjoys packing up all of their belongings and carting them off to a new place. This can lead many people to stay in their houses for a long period of time, despite their needs or the family's changing over time.

But sometimes moving house is a necessary part of life. Whether it's due to a steadily growing family, children moving out or shifting for a new job, there are many reasons why you might need to relocate.

It's no longer what you want

There may be many things you like about your home, but over time, there may be other things you have begun to dislike.
For instance, perhaps you liked your home's proximity to a nearby primary school for your children.

But if your kids have all grown up and moved out, you might not appreciate the noise anymore.

You're strapped for room

When you bought your home, you may have thought two bedrooms would be sufficient. However, since you moved in, your family might have expanded - rapidly.

If you're so strapped for room that all of your kids are sharing bedrooms, it might be a sign that you need to move on to a bigger house.

Maybe you've accumulated a lot of belongings over the years and your garage is now full-to-bursting, bringing about the need for a home with an attic and other storage capabilities.

Neighbourhood

Over time your neighbourhood can change. The house next door might have once been occupied by a nice family, but has since become rented student accommodation. A busy shopping mall may have been erected at the end of your street. Perhaps the owner of the house next door has now become the neighbour from hell.

These are all good reasons why you might want to consider moving to a brand new area, as being happy in your home is extremely important.

If one or more of these signs is evident in your home, get in touch with a First National Real Estate agent to get closer to finding a house more suitable for your needs.
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