No way to avoid revealing condo problems

DEAR BOB: I own a very nice condo in what you might call a”bad complex.” The board of directors is in constant turmoil. Ourassociation reserve funds are inadequate so every time we need a major repairthere is a special assessment of the owners. Of 42 units, 12 are now listed forsale. Fortunately, we have a rule the owners cannot post “for sale”signs, so prospective buyers don’t know of all the units for sale. Fortunately,I took your advice and made only a 10 percent down payment when I purchasedabout four years ago, so I don’t have much equity. But I am getting married andwant to “move on” with my life. Is there any way I can advertise mycondo for sale “as-is” to avoid revealing all the problems with thecondo association? –Ken W.

DEAR KEN: No. An “as-is” real estate sale meansthe seller must reveal all known problems with the property, such as those youdescribed, but he does not have to pay for any repairs.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

I suggest you list your condo for sale with a real estateagent who has been successful selling condos in your complex.

HOW LONG SHOULD HOMEOWNER SAVE IMPROVEMENT RECEIPTS?

DEAR BOB: For years we have been saving the receipts forvirtually every home improvement we make. Should we continue this practice,considering the generous exemptions of $250,000 and $500,000 allowed byInternal Revenue Code 121, which you often discuss? We are well under theselimits and even if we stay in our home many years, I don’t think we will everhave that much profit. –Ray P.

DEAR RAY: Save those home improvement receipts”forever.” You never know when residential market values mightskyrocket in your town.

CAN ONE HEIR FORCE OTHER HEIR TO SELL?

DEAR BOB: After our mother died in early 2005, my brotherand I inherited her house. I have been living in it for about three years withmy wife and two kids. I want to buy out my brother’s half, but he prefers toreceive monthly rent for “his half” of the house. I want to get a newmortgage to buy him out. We are, and always will be, “best friends”so I don’t want to cause any problems, but I hate having to pay rent to mybrother. My wife isn’t happy about this either. Is there any way I can make himsell his half of the house to me? –Jeff R.

DEAR JEFF: No. Presuming both your names are on the title,probably as tenants-in-common, either one of you can bring a “partitionlawsuit” to force the sale of the entire property. The sales proceeds willthen be divided between the two co-owners.

However, if you and your family wish to stay in the house, apartition lawsuit is not the solution.

Perhaps if you dangle some cash in front of your brother, explainingif he cooperates he will receive all this tax-free cash (because you bothreceived a new stepped-up basis after your mother’s death), maybe he will sellhis half to you.

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

Copyright 2006 Inman News

Distributed by Inman News

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