Articles filed under Lank, Edith

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  • When selling, first steps don’t cost anything May 3, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I would like to chime in on the often-asked question about whether to remodel before putting a house on the market. As a recent buyer, I walked away from more than one home where the updates were not to my taste.

     
  • Neighbor upset with agent’s low-cost deal Apr 19, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. One of my neighbors is quite elderly and he and his wife (who has Alzheimer’s disease) moved across the country to live near relatives. He listed his move-in condition house with another neighbor at about $20,000 below market value. An agent in that firm bought it immediately, and she is renting it out.

     
  • Don’t gang up on mother demanding home renovations Apr 12, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am one of five siblings, and we are all over 50. Four of us are married and have families, while one brother who is single lives with Mom. My mom is a widow, 82 years old, and she owns her home, but over the years it has come into disrepair. It has been tuck-pointed and re-roofed, and we put in a new garage, furnace and AC, but the interior needs upgrading. The original electric and water need to be replaced, as well as remodeled kitchen and baths.

     
  • Who pays for the sewer? Mar 22, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am considering the purchase of a small house. The house is not on a septic system but could hook up at a cost of $3,750. However there is also a sewer bond of $4,000 that is billed over the next 10 years at $400 per year in the tax bill. I feel that I should receive a credit at closing of $4,000

     
  • How to determine a fair price within the family Mar 15, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We are selling my mother-in-law’s property. Family members expressed interest but did not respond to phone calls and emails. After four months of cleaning out the home, we went ahead and listed the property for sale. Days later, the family decided they do want to purchase after all.

     
  • Timing a home sale to avoid taxes on profit Mar 8, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I understand that I must live in my house at least two years to avoid the tax on my profit. It will be two years on Aug. 9 that I closed on my home.

     
  • Reverse mortgage requires home to be sold Mar 1, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My parents, who passed away in 2013, had a reverse mortgage on our family home. Evidently, they did not pay their property taxes and insurance premiums, so the costs were added to what they owed on the mortgage. The home is not worth the reverse mortgage balance. Is there any way to work with the mortgage company to refinance and get back our family home for less than the balance?

     
  • Be clear on what services a discount broker provides Feb 22, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am planning to list my house by March or April. What is your opinion, pro and con, about listing with a low-rate agency that advertises to sell with 0 to 2.5 percent commission. Can a multiple-listing agent sell through them and add to the commission?

     
  • Mortgage worries burden couple facing heath issue Feb 15, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. My husband and I have a mortgage with a VA guaranteed loan. He is very ill. As his caregiver, I have not worked in over a year so I would not qualify to borrow anything. If he dies, will I have to refinance the loan? I would be able to make the payments.

     
  • Unmarried buyers should discuss common pitfalls Feb 1, 2014 12:30 AM
    Q. My boyfriend and I would like to buy a house together but we don’t expect to get married until next year. Will we have any problem getting a mortgage? We’ve been renting an apartment together for two years now.

     
  • How long to wait when switching agents Jan 25, 2014 12:30 AM
    Q. We are trying to sell my deceased mother’s house. The listing contract expires this month. We are unhappy with the Realtor and will likely list with someone else. My sister-in-law thinks there is a period of time that must pass before the home appears as a new listing again.

     
  • Net listings can cause trouble in Florida Jan 18, 2014 12:30 AM
    Q. In Florida, is it legal for a real estate agent to offer a contract for a certain price and sell it for a higher price for their commission, if the seller agrees to it? In other words, the seller says what they want to get, and the agent can sell it for more and keep the difference.

     
  • Seller can change her mind if no sales contract signed Jan 4, 2014 12:30 AM
    Q: I have put my home up for sale, and my agent's contract goes for two more months. I have now changed my mind and do not want to sell. What are my options; what is my liability to the Realtor?

     
  • Condo, townhouse, patio home definitions are varied Dec 21, 2013 12:30 AM
    Q. Would you please clarify the differences among the following: condo, townhouse, patio home and carriage home? Can they be one- or two-story buildings?

     
  • Federal consumer bureau persuaded bank to send deed Dec 14, 2013 12:30 AM
    Q. Like your recent reader, we also had a problem obtaining our Discharge of Mortgage. Filing a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau finally yielded results with getting it recorded.

     
  • Letters often scream ‘Go see an attorney, now’ Dec 7, 2013 12:30 AM
    I try to say “see a lawyer” not more than once per column. But recent mail is full of questions from people who need just that advice, so to start clearing out a backlog, here’s a sample of what came in this week:

     
  • How to make real estate contract binding Nov 30, 2013 12:30 AM
    Q. This is written in response to the letter .asking how to make a purchase contract “more binding.” One simple method is to require more deposit money at the time of acceptance. This money would be tied up and not so easy to walk away from if the buyer does not close.

     
  • More concerns over reverse mortgages Nov 23, 2013 12:30 AM
    Q. My dad has a reverse mortgage. It had a cap of $150,000. The tax-assessed value on his house is $224,140 but I know it wouldn’t sell for that, since it needs major updating. I’ve read several Internet articles that state that heirs of reverse mortgage owners cannot be liable for any amount not covered in the sale of the house. But is that in fact true?

     
  • Mortgage deal between siblings is part of an estate Nov 16, 2013 12:30 AM
    Q. I lent my sister the money for her house. I had the mortgage recorded. My question is: In the event of my death, how can I make sure she keeps up the payments of her agreement?

     
  • Costs of refinancing help determine if it is a wise move Nov 9, 2013 12:30 AM
    Q. I agree that it is a good idea to refinance. But I think you left out a couple of things in your response. The costs of refinancing, in a recent letter I got, were over $4,000. Besides, at the beginning of a new loan payments are almost all interest and very little comes off the principal.

     
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