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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 99492
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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I own a home with my mother 50/50 - both names on the title.

Customer Question

I own a home with my mother 50/50 - both names on the title. We took out a 200K 15 year mortgage and owe 22K on the loan. the current Zillow estimated appraisal value is 420K
She is suddenly demanding that buy her out at the current record high property values due to guidance from a financial advisor.
For the past 15 years I have been told that I could live here the rest of my life and once the mortgage debt was paid, I could pay her and then take the remainder out of my inheritance, but there is no documentation of this. Evidently this is no longer what she wants to do. (My parents do not need the money, it will go into a trust that will eventually be split among myself and four siblings.
Had I known this could occur I would have refinanced long ago before the valuation of the property had doubled. How do I know what a fair payment to her would be if I am not moving and there is no actual realized gain?
I am 55 and do not feel it is fair for me to take out another 30 year mortgage to repay her half along with an arbitrary profit.
What should I do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this situation. Do understand that someone in your situation is under no mandate to actually buy her out. However if you do, there is no "set" amount what would be "ultimately" fair - this is subjective. It is like buying a car - there is no real price and everything - Bluebook included - is only suggestive. In the end it is what the two of you decide. There are three ways to this. 1) Hire a special expert to appraise the value (Zillow is only an estimate) and then agree privately to a lump sum or a piecemeal buyout. She has to agree to this.2) Go to private arbitration/mediation, which is then binding. Then, the arbiter/mediator decides how to do this and what is fair. She has to agree to this.3) File for a partition. She does not have to agree to this, but it is a threat that can be used if she does not agree to one of the two above. A partition is a suit where the parties cannot agree what to do with the property, so the Court decides for them. The Judge may order one party to buy the other out piecemeal or over time, or simply order the property sold and proceeds split 50% each. A threat of expensive litigation that would achieve more or less that #1 or #2 would achieve may have her agree to either #1 or #2 to stave off a lawsuit. The agreement may have in it stipulations that if something should happen to you, your interest would be conveyed to a trust or a third party, etc. This is not uncommon. You may wish to also file an instrument with the county stating this upon reaching an agreement. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

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