How Economic Turmoil Creates Major Life Events

August 7, 2020

Economic downturns tend to exacerbate a range of issues that create major life events. Fortunately for those facing big life changes, there are plenty of places to turn for help.

An economic downturn like the Great Recession or the pandemic-induced recession can produce financial hardships. And those financial hardships can bring about major life events like:

  • Job loss
  • Relocation
  • Retirement
  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Bankruptcy

Any one of those life events can persuade you to sell your home. Here, we’ll review each of these life events and the approaches you can take to selling your home.

Life event: Job loss

During the Great Recession of 2007-09, about 8.7 million Americans lost their jobs. That had ranked as the greatest number of jobs lost in the U.S. since the Great Depression — until the coronavirus pandemic came along. The U.S. response to the virus put more than 10 million Americans out of work at least temporarily.

Regardless of the total, if you were among those statistics — one of the millions of Americans without a job — unemployment affects everything in your life. A job loss can trigger problems paying bills, delaying medical care, and having trouble affording groceries.

One of the biggest struggles, though, is making mortgage payments. In the aftermath of COVID-19, about one-fourth of Americans reported missing mortgage or rent payments, or said they feared missing those payments.

While mortgage relief is available for some homeowners, others might not be able to take advantage of that option. For that second group of folks, mortgage bills keep piling up.

If you’re in that category, you might be thinking about selling your home. But selling through a real estate agent is time-consuming and costly. Meanwhile, selling the home on your own can be a huge headache. And you might not get the best deal if you sell your home to a property investor.

An alternative to the traditional methods of selling your home is going through an off-market buyer on Sundae’s marketplace. You can sell your home as is, without making repairs or preparing for property showings and quickly putting much-needed cash in your pocket.

Life event: Relocation

An economic downturn like a recession can prompt you to ponder whether you should stay where you are or make a move. You might be looking to:

  • Save money by moving to lower-cost housing.
  • Move to a nearby city or another state to take advantage of better job opportunities.
  • Head to a city with a lower cost of living.
  • Be closer to family or friends during a tough time.
  • Settle in a city with better amenities, such as health care and transportation.

Simply put, a relocation could help you save money or make money.

But if you own a home and decide to move, traditional home-selling approaches might take too much time. When you list your home with a real estate agent or market the home yourself, it could take months to close the sale. And if you sell to a property investor, you might wind up with less money than the home is really worth. Working with an off-market buyer removes those constraints, enabling you to quickly sell your home for a fair price.

Life event: Divorce

An economic downturn can cause financial stress and marital stress. For instance, research shows high divorce rates in areas with high rates of home foreclosures during the Great Recession. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some divorce attorneys saw a spike in inquiries about ending a marriage. Even when we aren’t experiencing an economic downturn, financial problems rank as one of the top reasons for divorce.

One of the issues that can complicate a couple’s divorce is what to do with the home that they co-own. The situation already might be pretty tense; dealing with a home sale ramps up the tension.

Putting the home on the market through a real estate agent can lengthen the divorce proceedings. Selling the home on your own can lead to even more arguments. And selling to a property investor can water down the amount of money that both sides in the divorce believe they deserve from the home.

A good compromise might be a quick, hassle-free purchase of the home by a cash buyer. This method can help speed up the divorce process, ease tensions, and assure both sides are being properly rewarded for their investment.

Life event: Death

Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has underscored how fragile life is, with thousands of Americans dying due to COVID-19. Even worse, the pandemic-fueled recession has threatened to cause even more deaths. Research indicates that during an economic downturn, death rates among certain segments of the U.S. population rise. The increase is attributed in part to an uptick in suicides and drug abuse.

No matter what the economy is like at the time, the death of a loved one can dramatically affect homeownership. For example, a daughter might inherit her father’s house after he has passed away. In many cases, the inheritance can get tangled up in probate court, which oversees the unwinding of a deceased person’s estate when they’ve left a will.

Read more: Guide to Inheriting a House

Life event: Retirement

An economic downturn can accelerate retirement plans. Maybe someone accepts a retirement buyout from their employer. Or perhaps a job loss spurs a sooner-than-expected retirement.

Once a job-free future is on the horizon, a retiring homeowner might seek to downsize or might plot a move from a chilly climate to a sunny climate. Whatever the case, a future retiree typically doesn’t want to wait around too long for their home to be sold. After all, there are grandkids to see, places to visit and new hobbies to pick up.

A sale through a real estate agent or a sale by the owner might delay your retirement dreams, while a sale to a property investor might eat into your future retirement savings. Going through an off-market buyer on Sundae’s marketplace can put a home sale on the fast track while preserving your hard-earned monetary gains and erasing the need to repair or stage your home. Even if you don’t take this route, there are number of ways to use your home to free up retirement funds.

Life event: Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy filings soared during the Great Recession, going up by 74% during the 24-month period that ended June 30, 2009. And they’re predicted to climb once again amid the pandemic-provoked recession.

While filing for bankruptcy isn’t an ideal solution for fixing financial problems, it sometimes is the best and only option for wiping the financial slate clean. Selling your home before, during, or after a bankruptcy might be one possibility for helping relieve your financial burdens.

But given the hard work and emotions involved in the bankruptcy process, traditional avenues for selling your home might not be desirable. Too much might be on your plate to consider selling through a real estate agent or handling the sale on your own. Dealing with a property investor might eat into the financial gains that you’re hoping for. Therefore, seeking out an off-market buyer on Sundae’s marketplace might be your best bet for a fast, uncomplicated home sale that can help reduce your financial pressures.

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John Egan

John Egan is a freelance writer in Austin, Texas. He has written for a variety of outlets, including HomeLight, Bankrate, CreditCards.com, Credit Karma, Experian, LendingTree and Urban Land magazine.