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Beware when signing Form 4506 (access required)

I understand that when homebuyers sign closing documents, they are routinely required to sign a blanket form allowing the lender to access IRS records with no time limit. The form says not to sign it unless dates are specified on the form, but lenders routinely insist they be signed without any specification as to which years of IRS records are covered.

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Inspecting the inspector (access required)

We recently purchased a house that was built in the 1950s. Since moving in we found out that the house has had settling issues and had work done to shore up the foundation a few years back. There are numerous cracks in the interior plaster walls (ceiling, above doors and windows, closets), some of which have been filled in and painted over, others that are open.

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Mom’s health complicates home sale (access required)

I live in a home that my mother and I financed jointly. I have been on the note and deed for about 10 years and have always made the payments and lived there. Our verbal agreement was that after two or three years she would give me the house because she wanted to go into a facility with people her age. She often forgets that the house is in both of our names. The last two years she was living in the home we agreed to sell it a number of times, but she would refuse to sign the final documents. I also tried to buy her out with the same result.

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Trusts can have downsides (access required)

DEAR BENNY: What are your thoughts on placing residential rental properties into a charitable remainder trust to be able to collect the rents and have the income offset by the charitable donation write-offs over the years allowed and sell the properties at a later date to avoid capital gains? Would you know what the requirements are as to how much must be retained in this type trust for the charity? Are there pitfalls to be aware of placing property into a CRT? —Jame

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Resolving property line disputes
 (access required)

My husband and I have owned our home since 1973. At the time we purchased the home, there was an existing fence between our neighbor's house and ours that we had assumed was on the property line. Our current neighbors moved into their house in 2000. They recently had a "topographic survey" of their property performed for a proposed landscaping project. The survey shows that the fence is not on the property line, but that it extends in the range of approximately 2 to 4 feet at various points onto their side of the property line.

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Pay your dues; then you can sue (access required)

We live in a large condominium complex and our unit happens to be located close enough to the lobby that we hear the elevator constantly. The sound, what I call harmonizing, has been occurring for the last five to six years. I have spoken to the management many times and they have responded by repairing, but the fix is never long-lasting.

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