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January 5, 2007     Cape Gazette
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January 5, 2007

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54. CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, January 5 - Monday, January 8, 2007 Howis profit determined on resold property? Dear Edith: We purchased a home to fix up and resell. We had it in our name for a year and a half. Can you take a moment and share with me what I need to do in regard tO taxes? - A.J.M. Dear A.J.M.; I'm not printing the rest of your letter, because it's mostly details about taking out and then repaying the loan you used to finance the project. That has nothing to do with the calcula- tion of your profit, which will be subject to long-term capital gains tax at a relatively low rate. Get professional help with your return for this year. Making her will Dear Mrs. Lank: It is time to make some decisions about where my house and property should go, and I am going to make a will. I had one son who died and left a daughter. My other son has three children and my daughter has four. What should my will show about dividing things? - via email Answer: There's no should about it. Your money should go wherever you want. One person might want to leave the money to the surviving son and daughter equally. Another would choose to leave it in the way lawyers call per stirpes - one-third to your son, one-third to your daughter and one-third to your deceased son's child. Someone else might divide it into eight parts, so that one- eighth would eventually go to h, grandchild. ii'!Ocouid: even leave the whole hitit0he iocai refuge for home- lesscats. Truly, there's no should involved. A lawyer who special- izes in estate planning could dis- cuss the matter with you, taking into account the size of your estate, the needs of your possible heirs and your own feelings about the matter: Keeping the store Ms. Lank" if I trying to sell the building that my store is in, is it better to have the store running, or is it better that the building be unoccupied? It's a retail gift shop, but business is bad, and I doubt a buyer would be interested in the gift shop anyway. I do know you recommend that houses be very simple inside, so I am wondering if that holds true with a building. - via email Answer: Most hones show bet- / ter with furniture in them, as it happens. And I'd guess that your store should remain open while HOUSE CALLS Edith Lank you have the building on the mar- ket. The real estate agent who" handles your sale, though, will be in a better position to judge than I am from this distance. Families buying together Dear Edith: We were talking with some friends about the expenses of keeping a home, and the idea came up of two families sharing a big house. Have you any suggestions on how this could be set up and how it would work? - via email Answer: During the Great Depression of the 1930s, many families lost their homes and dou- bled up with relatives. My par- ents did, several times. But in most cases, I believe, it was a matter of sharing rent, or living together in a house that belonged to one family or the other. As usual, I'd recommend lots of input from lawyers for each fami- ly before any arrangement is finalized. I wonder if you'd run into any zoning restrictions that migh t limit occupancy to one family. I don't have much advice, but if I publish your letter, perhaps we'll hear from someone who's been there. Here's biweekly again Dear Edith: I have a 3-year-old 30-year mortgage on which I make monthly payments. I just received an offer to change to a biweekly payment schedule. The information shows benefits including earlier payoff, interest savings and quicker equity growth. There is, however, a $250 enrollment fee and a $6 monthly participation fee, I was going to start to pay additional toward the principal each year, and I now would like to know which option would be .more ben- eficial toward paying off the mortgage sooner. The idea of the fees bothers me, as I am trying to shorten my mortgage without having to pay more to do so - J.Y. Dear J.Y.: I assume it's half payments they're asking for every two weeks. That amounts to 26 half-payments, or 13 months' worth a year. App!ying one extra payment to principal every year, _on your own, would accomplish the same thing. You could even throw in the $250 you didn't pay to enroll, and the $72 you'd save -every year on fees. Just be sure you send any extra money on a separate check, marked "to be applied to principal reduction." Then, check your monthly or annual report to see that the money was properly creditedl Editor's note: Edith Lank is a past director of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, and the Real Estate Educators Association, She will personally respond to any questions sent to her at 240 Hemingway Dr., Rochester, N.Y 14620. Include a stamled return enve- lope. She also accepts email at CR()WLEY Rentals Sales 4129 Highway One ASSOCIATES Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 1000 N. Pennsylvania Ave. at Route 1 R EA LTY, i N C. wo00" Bethany Beach, Delaware 19930 :i [],,,s Rehoboth Beach - Bethany Beach, Delaware 302-227-6131 800 242-4213 e-mail at :.i i:j-,;i :: : : .... ...... ............ ............. GOT A HOT NEWS TIP? Call the Cape Oazette at 645-7700