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Edith Lank / Home & Consumer

House Calls: Don't Gang Up On Mother

Dear Ms. Lank: 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...

House Calls: Family Disagreement

Dear Edith: We own a Cape Cod-style home built in 1990. Throughout the first floor there is dark stained woodwork and chair rail molding. The upstairs trim and molding is all painted off-white.

I would like to paint all the downstairs doors and ...

House Calls: Help With Buying First Home

Dear Ms. Lank: My husband and I are hoping to buy our first home next year. By that time, we should have a savings of $25,000 to $30,000 to put down. Neither of us has had great credit in the past, although we have both been careful for the past ...

House Calls: Who Pays for the Sewer

Dear Edith: 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 ...

House Calls: Two Years' Ownership and Occupancy

Dear Ms. Lank: 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 August 9, 2014 that I closed on my home.

So would it be reasonable to advertise and possibly sell the house in July...

House Calls: What's Fair to the Family

Dear Edith: 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 ...