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Furnishing a New Home after a Divorce

You are in the home stretch of your divorce settlement. The family home has been sold and you are beginning to give some thought to where you and the kids will live next.  Apart of you is excited to start over in a new home where you can finally make all the decisions on what you want without any compromises. Finally, your decorating plan does not have to include making reclining chairs and 50 inch TV’s work in the family room.  Your main concern at the moment is worrying about where you will live, what type of place you should get ( a house or condo) and  whether or not you should buy right in this crazy market, where house prices keep climbing out of your reach. Read on to find out what you need to consider when moving to a new home after a divorce.

Consider Renting Before You Buy

Have you and your partner worked out the details of your custody arrangement or have they not decided on a location yet? Settling on where you live too early may create chaos. Think about pickups and drop offs with the kids.  You may also need to think about what the area you are considering moving to offers you. Is it close to your support system, to your job, or to the kids’ school and activities?  Buying a home is a major purchase. You want to ensure are in the right frame of mind before making the commitment. Especially as you contend with the divorce.

Consider the Space You Will Be Living In

What type of space will you be moving to? Are you downsizing? Will you be moving to an apartment, townhouse or condo?  Will you have access to the same amount of space you have now? For example, if you are moving out of the city you may be able to find a place that offers the same amount of space at a lower price tag. This could allow you keep most of the furniture you love. However, if you are downsizing to a significantly smaller place, you may find that your current furniture may not suit the space.  

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Again, lots to consider here. If the move is temporary and you plan to downsize for a short time you may decide not to make an investment in new furniture and only take essential items for the new space.  If you are ready to part with the items you have, consider selling the items you no longer want to own for cash.  Kiijii, VarageSale and Karrot to name a few.  Money from the sale can be used towards purchases for your new home! You may even find deals on furniture you want to own on these websites.

Think Twice Before Storing Furniture

A financial mistake that many people downsizing make is they choose not to part with furniture, seasonal equipment or items they don’t have space for assuming they will use it some time in the future. This leads them to pay storage costs that can quickly add up over time.  For example, a medium to large storage unit can run anywhere from $160- $290 per month. Keep in mind more than half of storage users keep stuff in storage for a year or more. Consider items that are left in storage for 3 years:  $5760 for a medium storage unit, and $10,440 for a large unit.

The bottom line:  It costs you money when you procrastinate parting with the stuff you have.  Consider selling items you are not using to reduce clutter and save money. A reminder, furniture and lifestyle assets depreciate so it will often be worth less when you finally retrieve it. Especially when you consider the impact of investing the same amount towards your financial future.  Also, the longer you store items in storage, the greater the chance of damage or deterioration.

Take Inventory

Look at what items you currently own.  Go through each room and make a list. What furniture do you already love?  What furniture do you need?  Chances are, you will spend most of your time in the kitchen, living room and bedrooms of the house. If your budget is tight, focus your energy and money on what you have and what you need in these key areas of the house.

 Be Careful Not to Overspend

Shopping Therapy.. can feed your soul and burn a hole in your pocket.  Create a spending plan based on the essential items you will need to furnish the key areas of your home.  Review décor magazines to get inspired on items you may want to shop for and then search for deals on items that look similar to your inspiration piece. You may find these items on discount websites, on Kiijiji or in flea markets.  Your budget may be limited but your imagination is endless!  Enlist a friend who loves decorating to help.

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