I live in a 125-unit condominium. Recently, our board of directors signed a contract for almost $1 million to upgrade our elevators. I believe that the board did not get any bids and just went with one company. Is there any law requiring more than one bid on any one job, especially one as large as this? – Henry
I had $66,000 to speculate with. Last year, my neighbor introduced me to his son in another city who specializes in trading stocks. Now I have $47,000 left to speculate with. I know you seldom recommend trading stocks, but could you recommend about six speculative stocks that also have dividends? I'd like to buy a few hundred shares of each and also get income. I won't hold you to your recommendations. – KH, Wilmington, N.C.
I have a question about the tax exclusion for married couples when you sell your house. Is there a time frame from when a spouse dies that you would be able to receive the $500,000 tax exclusion when you sell your house?
Four years ago, I lost my job, and because I used your "100-Plus Ben Franklin Savings Ideas," we were able to keep our household spending in order. That was a lifesaver. Thanks to you, it was simple. Why can't the government discipline its spending as we did and get its house back in order?
Many homeowners are planning a major home improvement project for this spring. At least they want a significant facelift to enhance their home's value and properly reflect their lifestyle preferences.
When we sold our home in Wisconsin the septic system inspector noted the "septic drain field mottling" was too close to the top of the ground. In his report, he noted the septic system was operating properly but probably would not pass inspection. The buyer wanted us to replace the field with an engineered system.
I've recommended Bank of America's 7.25 percent convertible preferred stock a few times, when it traded between $675 and $775 several years ago, but I've never recommended the Bank of America (BAC-$12.45) common stock – though I did come dangerously close in late 2011, when the common traded at $5.
My husband took out a reverse mortgage in 2005. I was 58 and he was 62 at the time. I had to give him a quitclaim deed, and later I was put back on the deed. We have contacted our lender and asked if I could be put on the reverse mortgage or refinance it. They said no to both. We have tried to refinance with other companies, but were told we would have to come up with at least $30,000 to do this!
I'm a 74-year-old widow with an $87,000 certificate of deposit coming due next week. I visited two brokers. Each wants me to buy a variable annuity, and both sounded very good. I've enclosed my notes and the pamphlets and prospectuses in this envelope. What do you think? If you don't care for them, please recommend five or six stocks paying at least 5 percent that a gal like me could comfortably live with. I can afford moderate risks.
Refinancing a home mortgage is generating big-time benefits for many homeowners. That was determined in a study by Freddie Mac of refinance transactions in the last quarter of 2012.