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Mel, Other/Just Looking in 07801

We own a 2 family house in NJ. We own it with my husband brother and soon to be ex wife. They are going through a divorce and both are refusing to

Asked by Mel, 07801 Sun Dec 13, 2009

pay mortgage and taxes and home owners insurance. Their names are on the deed and taxes and ours are on the mortgage and homeowners insurance. My husband and I would like to convert the house into 2 separate homes, such as condos. All utilities are separate except for the 3 things mentioned. We would just like them to have their own mortgage, taxes and insurance so if they default it has nothing to do with us? Is this costly and difficult and how long does it take? Thanks!

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I have to clarify myself: to apply for a variance from township to separate the deed and the mortgage, can be the costly number I gave you in terms of attorney fees, township and assuming the mortgage company would even allow it.

If selling is not an option, I recommend a quit claim deed as it is most cost effective.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 13, 2009
Mel, you said the most important thing, which is you and your husband's names is on the mortgage. Regardless of who you deeded the property to, you are responsible for the mortgage.

The divorcing couple are essentially your tenants, which can become ugly considering they have ownership interests in the property.

You can do a quit claim deed were the divorcing couple remove their names or ownership interests in the proeprty. You then find other tenants. Of course, I have no idea how you hold title currently, but you should definitely speak to an attorney.

A quit claim deed can be the lease expense solution. The other is to sell and depending on when you purchased, you could have negativeequity and all parties would have to sign the contract, which I am not sure if this is a viable option for you on different levels. You may not want to move, it may be difficult to decide how to divide the proceeds if any!

In Union NJ, we helped two sisters separate deed on a duplex and I've seen some multifamily homes (2-3 story properties) that are essentially condos.

So, to answer your question of can it be done: Yes, but that avenue can be costly: 20k is my guestimate.

I have two attorneys I can refer you to where there main focus is real estate:
Email me if you want their names and numbers: aperez@weichert.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 13, 2009
Hi Mel,

There are 2-unit condos in New Jersey, many have been built in Bergen County in areas like Palisades Park. However, I suspect it would not be cost effective with legal fees. And you would have difficulty in selling either unit due to financing. An appraiser would have no comparable sales to utilize so delivering a credible appraisal for financing purposes would be very challenging. Additionally, there are zoning issues to be dealt with. Since it is an unusual form of housing, the municipality might throw up some resistance or make it onerous in some other way, especially if the home is considered a legal non-conforming use, which is the case with many 2-family homes in northern NJ.

An easier solution would be to just sell it. Of course, accomplishing that with a hateful divorcing couple in the way will probably be impossible.

A difficult problem. Do make sure the mortgage and taxes get paid somehow, or their miserable divorce will become your nightmare as well.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 13, 2009
For an accurate answer regarding your dilemma, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney specializing in real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 13, 2009
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