Divorcee faces home mortgage choice

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

Dear Dr. Don,
I am in the process of divorce and I would like to keep the house. We refinanced it about five years ago and now I am looking to refinance the house under just my name. Is it advisable to take out a new home mortgage for 30 years?
— Marge Mortgages

Dear Marge,
Are you sure that staying in the house is the best decision for you? I’ve heard from a few ex-wives over the years who regretted — at least financially — the decision to keep the house. I will admit, however, that ex-wives who are happy with their decision to keep the house don’t typically write in to me.

The Bankrate feature “Keeping the house in a divorce” provides some additional background on the topic.

It’s often a financial struggle for an ex-wife to qualify for a new home mortgage based solely on her income. The lender may suggest loans other than a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in order to qualify you for a mortgage.

While adjustable-rate mortgages may turn your head, a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is a good choice if you plan on being in the house for many years. Depending on your financial circumstances, you can make additional principal payments to shorten the loan term.

If you only plan on being in the house for the next three to seven years, consider a hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage like a 5/1 or 7/1 ARM. Bankrate’s ARM or fixed-rate calculator will help you compare the cost of a hybrid home mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Bankrate’s content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this Web site, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this Web site is governed by Bankrate’s Terms of Use.

To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the “Ask the Experts” page, and select one of these topics: “Financing a home,” “Saving & Investing” or “Money.” Read more Dr. Don columns for additional personal finance advice.