Homeowner makes big mistake when adding in-laws to title

DEAR BOB: I bought a property, as a married man, as mysole and separate property under my name alone. Then I added my wife and thein-laws to the title. We refinanced and I signed a deed to my in-laws. Thetitle and mortgage is in their names. It seems like they don’t want me to goback on title. Is there anything I can do? I made the down payment from my 401kplan. Please help. –Eric D.

DEAR ERIC: Why would you foolishly add your in-laws to thetitle to your property? That makes no sense.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Worse, unless you have horrible credit, why would youtransfer your interest in the property to your in-laws? Was refinancing thatimportant to give up your ownership?

Now there is nothing you can do to force them to deed theproperty back to you unless you can prove fraud, duress or mistake. Pleaseconsult a local real estate attorney for details.


DEAR BOB: We live in a very nice apartment, which is locatedupstairs from a commercial grocery store, which our family owns and operates.It has been a very convenient arrangement for the 23 years we owned the storeand lived above it. Not many folks have the luxury of just walking downstairsto the work they love. But we had an opportunity to sell the conveniencegrocery store to a relative at a handsome profit. Now we are thinking ofselling the property, subject to the 25-year grocery store lease. Our niceproblem is our net profit will be around $800,000 for the sale of the building.My wife and I can shelter $500,000 of that with the principal residence saletax exemption you often discuss. Is there any way to avoid paying tax on theremaining $300,000 profit? –Hugo V.

DEAR HUGO: Congratulations on your profitable situation.

Yes, you can sell your combination principal residence andbusiness property and avoid paying tax on your handsome profits. Please consultan experienced tax adviser for complete details.

Be sure that tax adviser is familiar with Internal RevenueProcedure 2005-14. It permits concurrent use of both Internal Revenue Code 121for the sale of your principal residence portion of the property and Internal RevenueCode 1031 for the tax-deferred exchange of the business or investment part ofthe property by trading for another business or investment property of equal orgreater cost and equity.


DEAR BOB: About eight months ago, I received my real estatesales license. Since then I have been working in a large brokerage office whereI have yet to make a sale. My manager is very supportive. However, I feel sheis losing confidence in me. So am I. What can I do to get started sellinghomes? I have been trying to get listings, and have taken floor time to workwith buyers, but no sales so far. Fortunately, my husband has been verysupportive, but we need more income. Any ideas? –Sharon V.

DEAR SHARON: I notice your letter is postmarked from a largecity and you are working with an excellent brokerage firm. However, maybe youare trying too hard.

If your brokerage firm has an active rental department, Isuggest you ask to transfer to rentals and become a “rental agent.”The result will be almost immediate rental commissions when you rent a house orapartment.

If your brokerage doesn’t handle house and apartmentrentals, perhaps you should switch to another brokerage or property managementfirm, which specializes in residential rentals.

Then keep in touch with your renters with a monthlynewsletter. If you did a good job for them, when they are ready to buy a houseor condo you will be the first person they call. You can then gradually easeinto residential sales.

I know several super-successful realty agents who startedout as rental agents for immediate income and then switched to the “bigmoney” of house and condo sales.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “Pros and Cons ofFast and Slow House Flipping for Big Profits,” is now available for $5from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet delivery at www.BobBruss.com. Questions for this columnare welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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