The Home Buying and Divorce Intersection: Residential and Divorce Appraiser’s Take

divorce and residential appraisal

Great big illusory dreams of residential home buying plague us all. In our society we’re encouraged to update, buy/sell, improve and fantasize about our dream homes in order to contribute to the economy. As a residential appraiser, I jump into the home sale process right at the beginning, and am often there to see it to the end. As a divorce appraiser, I have much the same experience. Now, while it’s true that we can sometimes actualize our dreams, the process can be gruelling and a bit dangerous for our relationships and finances.

Home buyers can have unrealistic expectations, or broken expectations. Sometimes these expectations are based off of what they’ve read online or heard from friends–sometimes great sources, sometimes unreliable. Expectations about what a property is worth, what the market is like, and what bid they should put down for a home could all be altered as the home buying process takes flight. These stories of broken expectations can have similar reflections in the divorce  and divorce appraisal process. When going through a divorce (and appraisal), individuals might find that their partner places value differently than expected. Both processes make couples learn about their own (and each other’s) financial psychology; these questions about value and financial planning can come up during the home selling process as well.

An appraiser’s job is to come up with property value, and use that information to help in making financial decisions. From an appraiser’s perspective, a property value has to be accurately communicated in order for that information to drive successful decisions. We’re no marriage counselors but, it seems that the similarities between the home buying/divorce appraisal process are based in communication. You can double check if you’re asking home buying and selling questions that are productive, here.

To further understand how to bolster you and your spouse’s home buying communication, check out this article featuring divorce coach Laura Bonarrigo.


Till next time,


San Jose Area Appraiser

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