Moving on when divorced or widowed can be extremely difficult.

Finding a new home is just the beginning.

The grief of surviving a change can swamp us with all sorts of emotions and prevent us from making the right decisions.
You might have jointly owned a property for many years together and now face life alone. It can be a minefield of emotional change so it is best to tackle it with logic and practicality.

When my husband died, I knew that I could not live in our large home with the big garden and pool that gave me a headache just thinking about cleaning the filter out or manhandling the heavy lid on the filter trap!
I had tried mastering the lawnmower during my husband’s courageous battle with cancer but feel sure he must have watched me in utter frustration as I whipped up the stones which smashed the living room windows and sighed with disbelief as I hacked his coveted rose bushes whilst trying to prune them like he did.
It must have been torture watching me wrestle with the pool equipment during the many storms we experienced at the time of his cancer battle, and come in from outside sodden not only with rain but with despair as I had failed to backwash an overflowing swimming pool.

There will be others who have survived a divorce with very little furniture and perhaps happened to be lucky enough to receive half the proceeds of the family home, whereas others might have had to sell up everything to pay off debt.

Perhaps one of you kept the family home and the other moved out.

Shared debt to be settled also has a huge effect on our borrowing potential when buying a new home if that is what you want to do.

These are all life changing episodes that can make or break even the strongest amongst us.

We all need somewhere to live.

Renting again can be stressful too!

Most of us will choose to rent first while we survey the property market. Perhaps we need to gather our finances together to be able to start again.
The decision of where to live can often be dictated by our past – it is often common to want to move away as far as possible from the past hurt and in doing so we could inadvertently make it harder on ourselves.
For instance, moving away from our children if they are going to be living with one parent would make it harder on the children. School zones, distance from our jobs, all these things need to be considered.

Moving away from friends and family and places that we have become used to are decisions not to be taken lightly.

On the other hand, a complete change of scenery is often good for the soul.
I found that moving into a smaller place where I could watch the ocean and enjoy the sea breeze whilst walking each day helped me with my grief.
My family were never far away, even the ones who lived far away. FaceTime and WhatsApp are great to keep in contact. I found that all of a sudden I only had myself to care for.

I could cook if I wanted to, or not at all. There were many things that I found that interested me again, and slowly I began to feel a little more normal again. They say time is a great healer and perhaps this is true.
But it does take a little while to feel like your old self again, or rather the new self who should be wiser and stronger.

Matters of the heart make changes difficult

Matters of the heart no matter whether it is the loneliness from the death of a loved one, or the dissolution of a relationship, make the changes we have to endure difficult ones so having a plan helps.
Some of the decisions to be made are often ones we would have made as a couple perhaps so if you are worried about what lies ahead, seek expert advice.
There is also so much available “on line” when we are searching for guidance to buy or sell a property. Do your homework.

Make a logical and practical list of areas you would like to live in, noting the distance from work and family, or transport options available. Research is vital if you have children.

If you are renting, be prepared

Have the necessary documentation on hand, do the research, and be proactive if you find an area, and a property that you like.

Property Managers or Landlords might ask for the following:

Pre-tenancy application form — if there isn’t a link on the property advert, ask the landlord/property manager to send it to you. Bring a filled out copy with you to the open home to apply on the spot.
Referees — list a previous landlord as one of your referees. This gives information about what you are like as a tenant. Other referees could be your employer or senior colleague, a teacher or lecturer, or coach. Make sure you ask your referees first, check if they’re available to talk to the landlord, and their contact details are correct.
Rental history — write down dates and addresses of your previous homes, including why you left each property.
Proof of income — a payslip or bank statement will work. If you don’t want to show your entire bank statement you can cover entries so the landlord can only see what they need to. This is called a redacted bank statement.
Credit check — the landlord/property manager will do this, but they need your permission.
Photo identification — driver’s license, or passport

If you are buying a new home, also do your homework, but take your time.

Firstly, sort out your finance – seek out a Mortgage broker and get the right advice – there is no point searching in the wrong price range.
Make sure you have a Solicitor on hand to act for you. This is important in many countries due to the many Acts that govern real estate transactions.
Investigate Insurance companies as you will need insurance on the property that you purchase.
Go to open homes or find a salesperson to help you. Often experienced real estate salespeople will give you a lot of excellent advice to get you prepared and be able to point out the properties as they come onto the market that would suit you.
Understand the different methods of sale.
Do your homework and research sales in the area of your choice.
Once you find a property, make sure that you understand the sales and purchase agreement and the requirements to be met.
Understand any hazards or issues relating to the property and seek professional help if necessary.

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

© 2020