Edith Lank / Home & Consumer

House Calls: Heirs Receive New Cost Basis

Dear Ms. Lank: My father died in this year and left his children his home under a life estate. We sold the home in June and were told by our attorney that if we sold the house within 12 months, our basis would equal the selling price and as a ...

House Calls: To Pay or Not to Pay

Dear Edith: We plan to sell our home on our own and our question is: If a Realtor brings their client to see our home and they purchase it, will we be obligated to pay any commission to them? -- via askedith.com

Answer: Before he or she brings ...

House Calls: Look for Steak, Not for Sizzle

Dear Edith Lank: My husband and I have been together for three years, and are ready to buy our first house. It'll be a tight squeeze, but we both have good credit and good jobs. Do you have any advice about where to find bargains in houses for ...

House Calls: Selling to Niece

Dear Mrs. Lank: My husband and I own an acre of land with a small house on it. The house was built in 1934. My mother used it for rental, and at her death we decided to keep the little house for vacation use. My niece bought the adjoining 22 acres...

House Calls: Stay Off the Furniture

Dear Edith: In a recent column you advised against discussing selling the furniture or appliances when buyers are looking at your home. But it seems to me that would be a fine time to let them know what you're asking. Can you explain why it's not ...

House Calls: Lost on the Investment

Dear Ms. Lank: In 2010, two friends and I bought five housing units, signed a mortgage and created a sub chapter S corporation as the borrower. Because our corporation had no assets, the bank requested and we signed personal guarantees.

Our due ...