Question: I recently sold a rental property for less than half of what I paid for it. Can I write off the loss? — Lillie Lewis, Memphis
Question: The windows I purchased for my home came with a 10-year warranty, but after 16 months, the seal broke, causing problems. The manufacturer is ignoring my calls and letters. What’s my recourse?
– Victor Palacios, Staten Island, N.Y.
Question: I will be accepting a full time position approximately 165 miles from my current home though my wife will continue to reside there. I plan to rent an apartment where I’ll be living permanently and I’ll have to move some of my belongings. I will probably make one trip back home each month at the most. I will also have to purchase a new computer and television set for work purposes. What portion, if any, of the monthly rental and/or moving costs in the new city would be deductible?
– Ross Steiner, Los Angeles, Calif.
Question: What are the tax implications for a home sale by a retired couple, both over 65? Is there a $500,000 capital gains tax exclusion if they buy another home of equal or greater value? Or are there new rules? What if they do not buy another home, but buy into a retirement community, apartment or condo?
– Tom, Marin County, Calif.
Question: I was awarded a lump sum of money in my divorce and will be getting it sometime in the beginning of 2012. It clearly states in the divorce decree that it is my share of equity in the house. Is it taxable? And if so, what is the tax percentage rate?
–Cheryl Warren, Conn.
Question: I am 64 and my wife is 62. We both plant to retire in a few years and are expecting small monthly pensions to compliment our retirement savings. Should I buy a home for cash or continue to rent when we retire?
– Richard, Fairmont, West Virginia
Question: My wife and I recently paid off our mortgage and are now debt-free. Will we get any proof that we are the owners of our home?
– Timothy Aussem, Ottawa, Ill.
Question: I have kept up with my mortgage payments for a year now following a modification. My payment has been cut by a few hundred dollars and the remaining monthly balance is added to the principal balance. Will I be able to refinance under HARP even though my mortgage is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
Question: I recently looked at mortgage refinancing and found that I can save several hundred dollars per month with a fairly straightforward refi. However, I currently have between 10-15% equity in the home and could potentially save another $100-200 per month by adding $15,000 in cash to cut the rate and trim the mortgage insurance. Is it worth giving up this liquidity for a lower payment?
Question: I do not carry any mortgages on two homes. I am in one of the higher tax brackets and have sufficient cash to protect my current lifestyle. With home mortgage interest rates as low as they are, should I take out a 15 year mortgage (at 3.3%) or 30 year mortgage (at 4.1%) — both with $350 closing costs and fees — and then invest those funds in very conservative investments to generate income to cover or exceed those rates?
– Mike Maier, Cincinnati, OH
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