Today, I'm sharing some questions I've saved over the years. I couldn't quite bear to discard them, but I never printed them. The first one came from a state prison.
Dear Edith: I have a building that I'm selling, and I stand to make $1.6 million. Could you tell me the correct way a 1031 exchange is done and whether it is exempt from taxes? -- X. X.
Answer: Consult a lawyer, and while you're at it, ask the attorney to suggest an accountant.
Edith: Upon selling a co-op or condo in a multistory building, would it be mandatory to divulge the fact that at times there are leaks from upper floors? Thank you. -- no signature
Ms. Lank: Is there any way that I can refinance my existing mortgage without going through a Realtor? If not, then am I correct in assuming that I would not have to pay the usual commission that a buyer's and seller's Realtors would get on the sale of the house? Will I only have to pay half a commission to my Realtor? -- X. X.
Answer: You don't need a real estate agent at all. Except as it helps with sales or rentals, real estate brokers aren't usually involved in arranging financing.
You'll deal directly with a lender to refinance your mortgage loan. Start by contacting your present lender to see if it is interested.
Dear Ms. Lank: I read your column every week. It is very interesting and enlightening.
Please help me. I go to court in two weeks for a divorce hearing. My wife is attempting to get part of the appreciation on two rental properties that are my separate property.
Would you be so kind as to give me your learned opinion on what amount of appreciation (percentage or otherwise) has taken place in the average residential and condominium markets between six years ago, when we married, and last March, when we separated?
The house has three bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, a carport and a family room. The condominium has two bedrooms, 1.5 baths and a private patio.
If you could give me a general picture as to the national appreciation and, if possible, a more local (southwest U.S.) figure, I would have some idea for the court to include in deliberations.
Your urgent attention would be most appreciated.
If you could mention some of your credentials, it would have more weight. -- X. X. X.
Answer: I'm afraid my credentials -- things like authoring several real estate textbooks and writing this column since 1975 -- wouldn't help much. Sorry.
How about hiring a professional appraiser?
Dear Edith: In one of your old columns, you were asked how one arrives at the right monthly payment for a mortgage, and you said, "The formula is complex."
While it may seem complex to some, this is because some of the terms are raised to a power, which is somewhat more than simple arithmetic.
If A is the amount borrowed, R is the annual interest rate in decimal form and T is the length of the loan in months, the equation to find the monthly payment, P, is written this way for computers:
P = (A *R/12) * (((R/12+1) * (T))/((((R/12)+1) * (T))-1)
You did not print it then, but I hope perhaps you can print it now for others to use. -- X.
Answer: OK, here it is, with my apologies for thinking it was complex. ... Good luck to anyone trying to understand it.
And One Last One
Ms. Lank: A friend has a land contract with a person who had another contract on the same piece of property.
It's like this: original owner, land contract, land contract, me.
I am purchasing half of the friend's property from her. She wants to sell her half and move. However, she has to sell her half for the whole amount to get the deed.
I need to do improvements but can't get a loan on the property because there is nothing in my name.
I am very concerned about all these land contracts on the same property. Is there any way I can get my land out from under all this so I can get bank financing? Can the original land-contract person change the contract she has with my friend, thereby giving me the opportunity to get refinanced?
It is all very confusing. -- X.
Answer: I'll have to agree with you there. Try seeing a lawyer.
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