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Old 11-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
winterh
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Default Sharing a lakehouse

I have lived on Winni first as a vacationer and then as a full timer for the last 15 years. Recently work and life forced me to sell and move to southern New Hampshire. I am now going through withdrawal and missing the lake. Have been looking at buying something smaller than I had before as a vacation home. Was wondering if anyone had any experience in splitting a home and the use of it with someone they know. Advantages are obviously half the cost or a nicer home than I could buy on my own but I am sure there are many things to be careful of.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Sure, but

We own a house in Suissevale with my sister and brother and a house on the Cape with my SIL and FIL, so I am there!

It is easily doable, but you need to make sure that you are compatible schedule-wise and stress-wise. You will need to have a plan for being there together or you will need to split weeks. Stress-wise, you need to be on about the same level regarding upkeep and maintenance, cleaning, upgrades, etc or it will be rough.

We each direct deposit money in monthly. We also add extra to build up reserves.

We are very happy with both of our house situations. It does help that my sister and brother are in the restaurant business and are busy most weekends.

Best of luck!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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I have a place on Paugas Bay that is not being used because I have a house on Rattlesnake.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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My family has shared a duplex cottage with a shared enclosed front porch for 30+ years. Not on Winni, but a different NH lake. It is because we get along so well that the place was always a success to everyone.

Be open to sharing. Food, tools, repairs that need to be done, etc etc. If you live fluidly like that, it is a BIG plus. Dont give and expect back or keep track of "who did what for who".
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterh View Post
I have lived on Winni first as a vacationer and then as a full timer for the last 15 years. Recently work and life forced me to sell and move to southern New Hampshire. I am now going through withdrawal and missing the lake. Have been looking at buying something smaller than I had before as a vacation home. Was wondering if anyone had any experience in splitting a home and the use of it with someone they know. Advantages are obviously half the cost or a nicer home than I could buy on my own but I am sure there are many things to be careful of.
It definitely can work. However, spend a fair amount of time with your partner prior to buying laying out the ground rules to ensure maximum success.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:34 AM   #6
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It definitely can work. However, spend a fair amount of time with your partner prior to buying laying out the ground rules to ensure maximum success.
I agree but in the 50+ years that I have been around I have also seen a lot of relationships sour or fall apart over shared ventures.
Even with family members it is a roll of the dice when you bring other people into a venture such as the one you talk of.
I'm sure you will hear on this forum of instances where this type of venture worked out, but do your homework. The members of this forum represent a very very small fraction of the people from the lake area.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:15 AM   #7
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Default June 30 July 1

I know two brothers with a shared cottage. Every year on June 30 or July 1 they swap responsibility. So in year "A", you arrive July 1 and the water is already on, the dock is in, the fridge is stocked...you close it up in the fall; you take home the leftover ketchup and etc. You pay the December tax bill. You then open it up in the spring, do all the "opening" chores, etc. Then on June 30th of the following year ("B"), you walk away not having to do any of the closing rituals; just pack your clothes and vacate in time for the other owner to arrive. You don't have to take out the dock, or pour antifreeze in the pipes, or any of the shut down tasks; you don't pay the tax man in December. It means both families get a crack at the early months, both get a chance at the later months; each opens up after closing the previous fall.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:51 AM   #8
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From what I have seen it does not work out. Too many responsibilities not equally shared that leads to arguments and stressful situations. Also, I think you need someone who has the authority to make final decisions on matters relating to the property. Having a 50/50 split just does not work. I would almost think renting it a place out
is a better option.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:56 AM   #9
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Renting a place out is a good option. By the time you pay your taxes and upkeep, you have to wonder if owning is worth it. If you could find a place you could have year after year, it would feel like home.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #10
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Thoughts on Sharing...

You are in for really large amounts of stress!!!!!

As others have stated you have to have ground rules laid out before hand. And even then you find that the ground rules changes as time marches on.

My experiences have taught me two things,

Never own a place adjacent to a family member or close friend. We have two pieces of property on Winnipesaukee, in my family right next door to each other. Someone is always feeling like they are being taken advantage off....

Never count on arrangements with Family members to be permenant. Life changes and it changes how life functions. Sometimes it can take a place that is big enough for everyone one, year, and turn it into a place where alternate weekends are the only way a place can be enjoyed by everyone.

I wouldn't give my place up on the lake because of these complications.. I do refuse to talk to my neighbors at times, though, and occassion we have conflicts on the usage of the camp... but slowly we are figuring out how to resolve those conflicts with out a whole lot of termoil......
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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Default the other side of the coin...

We have good friends whose family owns lakeshore property in Alton Bay. Older cottage, with a dock, breakwater, beach, and two moorings.

Second generation of users now involved, and there is no problem. Uncle has for years used the property during August, with company joining him in the first two weeks. Beyond that time, other family members are welcome to come up...just give a call.

There is Mom and her brother (uncle), and three kids, all grown with grandchildren. All help with opening, closing, maintenance, upgrading costs, and most importantly, taxes. All are welcome to come up at any time, and when they do, they bring food (usually more than can be eaten in any given weekend).

I guess as I read this thread, it is like anything else. Those who get involved with the sharing have to be able to work with one another, be tolerant, willing to compromise, be accomodating to change if necessary, etc.

Winterh, know who you are getting into the sharing arrangement, talk it over at length to try to eliminate any concerns on either party's side, and hopefully you and they will ENJOY! (sorry...had to shout "enjoy")
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:39 PM   #12
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Be careful! My family recently had to sell a lakefront home owned 67 years when one sibling demanded to be bought out and the other (on retirement income) couldn't afford to buy the other half. The rest of us, with kids in college, couldn't pull the trigger, either. So now we're left Lake-less, brokenhearted and bitter. If you're looking long-term, make sure everything is spelled out up front.

Our problem stemmed from 1st generation leaving equal ownership to two 2nd generation siblings, and the one who later demanded liquidation refusing an earlier (like 15-20 years ago) buyout from the other. And now the other 2nd, and the 3rd and 4th generation family members, all of whom looked forward to many more memorable years on the Lake, are left out.

And this, I can assure you, sucks worse than anything.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #13
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Be careful! My family recently had to sell a lakefront home owned 67 years when one sibling demanded to be bought out and the other (on retirement income) couldn't afford to buy the other half. The rest of us, with kids in college, couldn't pull the trigger, either. So now we're left Lake-less, brokenhearted and bitter. If you're looking long-term, make sure everything is spelled out up front.

Our problem stemmed from 1st generation leaving equal ownership to two 2nd generation siblings, and the one who later demanded liquidation refusing an earlier (like 15-20 years ago) buyout from the other. And now the other 2nd, and the 3rd and 4th generation family members, all of whom looked forward to many more memorable years on the Lake, are left out.

And this, I can assure you, sucks worse than anything.
That is exactly why I would steer shy of any partnership. Family and friends often make the worst partners, they are also the ones to stay away from if you own a business and they want work done.
It just opens the door to hard feelings.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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Default An observation

Isn't the fear of a JV symptomatic of how our culture has changed? Have we become so cynical and self centered that we don't believe we can find compromise, even with people we already know well? Small wonder our government is so screwed up....
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:31 AM   #15
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Sharing ownership can be difficult when it comes to expenses, use, etc. but it does work for some... at least some of the time. The issue is that even if you agree upon terms you never know when people or circumstances might change so there is a bit of a gamble involved in that.

If you decide not to buy you may want to look into long-term rentals. We can't get up to our place very often so we are always looking for people to rent it for weeks, months, etc. Let me know if you are interested in renting because we have lots of availability, especially from Sept to May
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:27 AM   #16
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Default It Doesn't Have to be ˝...

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"...Advantages are obviously half the cost or a nicer home than I could buy on my own but I am sure there are many things to be careful of..."
I couldn't afford to buy our old lakefront place back so I took a relative as a partner.

My only responsibilities are the "opening-up" in April, attaching the mooring line, the occasional soldering of winter-damaged copper piping, cut the trees back, hook the water back up, provide the firewood, replacing of any needed boards on decks- dock- and porch, the painting/staining, the electrical wiring, the plumbing, the chasing-out of carpenter ants, discouraging mice from the crawlspace, interior cleaning and dusting, make the dump-runs, fixing the occasional roof leaks, replace failed waterheaters and pumps, removing wasp- and leftover bird-nests, the seasonal leveling of the dock and driveway, do the closing-up in November, prepare boats, paddles, PFDs, oars, and pay all three boat registrations, all surveyor- and attorney-fees, all mortgage payments, all the property taxes and all the insurance premiums.

It's working out very well.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:03 AM   #17
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Default partnership

Partnership is the only ship guaranteed to SINK
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:20 AM   #18
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Default Hahaha APS!

What exactly is your partner responsible for?
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:22 AM   #19
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Sounds like he's married to his "partner" LOL
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #20
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Default Hmmmmmmmmm

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Sounds like he's married to his "partner" LOL
Perhaps the "partner" is a significant other, being politically correct (I think), and is the one that owns the property!

The voice in this relationship is "Yes Dear!"
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:34 AM   #21
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Don't do it. Somewhere down the line problems will occur.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Be careful! My family recently had to sell a lakefront home owned 67 years when one sibling demanded to be bought out and the other (on retirement income) couldn't afford to buy the other half. The rest of us, with kids in college, couldn't pull the trigger, either. So now we're left Lake-less, brokenhearted and bitter. If you're looking long-term, make sure everything is spelled out up front.

Our problem stemmed from 1st generation leaving equal ownership to two 2nd generation siblings, and the one who later demanded liquidation refusing an earlier (like 15-20 years ago) buyout from the other. And now the other 2nd, and the 3rd and 4th generation family members, all of whom looked forward to many more memorable years on the Lake, are left out.

And this, I can assure you, sucks worse than anything.
I am fearing that my family is going to have to deal with this in the (hopefully not soon) future. Some of the family has no interest in keeping the house that we have had in the family since circa 1960.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:09 PM   #23
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Most of the insurmountable problems come from money. One partner needs to get out because they can't afford it. The other partner wants to stay in but can't go it alone. This never seems to end well.

You need to cover this in advance, because no one thinks clearly when they're broke. And since this usually occurs when someone loses a job, the only real solution is to sell. So your vacation place is always at risk of your job and your co-owners job. So a lot depends on how stable your co-owner is.

If I had to do this, I'd think about buying something I could just barely afford on my own and make a cost sharing arrangement with the other people that renewed annually. Every spring the other people would have to commit for the season. If they don't have the money, you either tough it out, get someone else or sell.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #24
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Most of the insurmountable problems come from money. One partner needs to get out because they can't afford it. The other partner wants to stay in but can't go it alone. This never seems to end well.

You need to cover this in advance, because no one thinks clearly when they're broke. And since this usually occurs when someone loses a job, the only real solution is to sell. So your vacation place is always at risk of your job and your co-owners job. So a lot depends on how stable your co-owner is.

If I had to do this, I'd think about buying something I could just barely afford on my own and make a cost sharing arrangement with the other people that renewed annually. Every spring the other people would have to commit for the season. If they don't have the money, you either tough it out, get someone else or sell.
I've never had to deal with this sort of thing, but what jrc stated makes a lot of sense. If you can't buy/afford something on your own and have to rely on someone else then it's most likely not going to work.

Edit: just to clarify my position....My significant other and I decided to buy a house recently. However, if something were to ever happen and one were to loose a job the other could make it work.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #25
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Default Sharing works for us...

It is really unfortunate that so many people have had bad experiences with sharing family camps. For me, sharing is one of the things I love most about our camp, I have always spent my summers at the lake surrounded by me extended family.

My mom and her siblings are joint owners of the property which they inherited from their parents. The joint ownership is unique in that it is setup that if someone wants out, they do not have the option of selling or being bought out, they simply have to sign off or after 2 years of being delinquent on taxes/maintenance fees they can be removed. Over the last 15 years, one brother has signed off due to lack of use. The siblings each get 2 weeks that they can reserve for their own families, but truthfully most of the time everyone is under the “more the merrier” policy. The camp is rarely reserved for more than 2 weeks all summer. Holiday weekends CANNOT be reserved, they are for all to enjoy.

Interestingly, my grandfather inherited the camp from his Aunt after he was the only one of his siblings to not sell the adjacent pieces of land that she had subdivided and given each of them; it was important to his aunt to keep the camp in the family and she didn’t trust that his siblings felt the same way.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mink Islander View Post
Isn't the fear of a JV symptomatic of how our culture has changed? Have we become so cynical and self centered that we don't believe we can find compromise, even with people we already know well? Small wonder our government is so screwed up....
I do not believe your are correct at all or that your point applies here.
First of all I do not think any of the comments made so far have anything to do with being self centered. In a lot of cases family and friends automatically expect more for less and have much higher expectations of what they should get for what they pay.
I have seen this happen all to often and have been part of it when working for friends. But not family.
Unless you have been in a business that provides a service and you have involved family and friends you would not have any idea of what could and in many cases does happen.
And how can you compare a situation like this to government.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:20 PM   #27
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Default A wise man once said...

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Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Was wondering if anyone had any experience in splitting a home and the use of it with someone they know.
If you are asking Forum members advice on whether this will work or not, you are probably not yet prepared for the answer.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:05 AM   #28
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If one of the owners kids goes up with friends and have a dumb-ass party and something happens who pays for it? Does that come out of the general maintenance fund or that family directly? Haven't been in the situation just can see some hostility there also. Oh personally I'd stay away from that set up...Just me.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:45 AM   #29
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If that rider got in an accident that morning would insurance pay out?
Quote:
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If one of the owners kids goes up with friends and have a dumb-ass party and something happens who pays for it? Does that come out of the general maintenance fund or that family directly? Haven't been in the situation just can see some hostility there also.
What's up with you and all these insurance questions? Do you have some ideas running through your head?
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Be careful! My family recently had to sell a lakefront home owned 67 years when one sibling demanded to be bought out and the other (on retirement income) couldn't afford to buy the other half. The rest of us, with kids in college, couldn't pull the trigger, either. So now we're left Lake-less, brokenhearted and bitter. If you're looking long-term, make sure everything is spelled out up front.

Our problem stemmed from 1st generation leaving equal ownership to two 2nd generation siblings, and the one who later demanded liquidation refusing an earlier (like 15-20 years ago) buyout from the other. And now the other 2nd, and the 3rd and 4th generation family members, all of whom looked forward to many more memorable years on the Lake, are left out.

And this, I can assure you, sucks worse than anything.
Wow Grant,

When you alluded to this in another thread I, and I'm sure many of us, were left to wonder and it's absolutely none of my business. I "feel" so bad for you and your family, I really do.
You truly can pick your friends but can't pick your relatives...

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Old 12-03-2012, 12:51 PM   #31
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What's up with you and all these insurance questions? Do you have some ideas running through your head?
No just curious that's all. Kind of like the discussions here in the past about cars through the lake. Thought I read (here) a car is not covered but a truck/SUV would be cause their the type vehicle "expected" to be used in that manner, or something like that. You don't "expect" to see a bike coming down the street in December,,,,
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #32
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I am fearing that my family is going to have to deal with this in the (hopefully not soon) future. Some of the family has no interest in keeping the house that we have had in the family since circa 1960.
Yeah, if you can see it coming, then it probably will. Ours was in the family and used constantly (May-Sept) since 1945...67 years. I saw the writing on the wall in 2011, but had a fear of this for a few years. The void the place has left still hasn't hit me in its finality. Savor it all while you can.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:54 AM   #33
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Wow Grant,

When you alluded to this in another thread I, and I'm sure many of us, were left to wonder and it's absolutely none of my business. I "feel" so bad for you and your family, I really do.
You truly can pick your friends but can't pick your relatives...

BT
A sad story, especially for guy who so clearly comes across as a person who loves the lake. That being said, while this house sharing arrangement ended with two sides of the family wanting different things, it is amazing that Grant's family was able to share the house for four generations. Most families would have gone their separate directions years ago.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:51 AM   #34
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Default “Private property and freedom are inseparable.”—GW

Quote:
Originally Posted by This'nThat View Post
If you are asking Forum members advice on whether this will work or not, you are probably not yet prepared for the answer.
I just stumbled on this:
Quote:
Jointly Owned Assets

The IRS can legally seize property owned jointly by a tax debtor and a person who doesn’t owe anything. But the nondebtor must be compensated by the IRS, meaning that the co-owner must be paid out of the proceeds of any sale.

If, however, you owe taxes and add a co-owner to a piece of property—without that person paying you fair consideration for the property—the IRS can ignore the interest of the other person. In law, this is called a fraudulent transfer or conveyance.

Example:

Rudolph owns a vacant lot worth $25,000. He sells a one-half interest in it to his sister, Wilma, for $10. The IRS could seize the lot and sell it to pay off Rudoph’s taxes, ignoring Wilma’s ownership because she did not pay a fair price. Wilma might get her $10 back, though.
http://taxattorneydaily.com/topics/c...y-owned-assets
(Also, that attornies aren't likely to take cases involving such seizures by The Government).
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:06 AM   #35
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Default It can be a mess

I think that, as pointed out, it depends on the people involved. But given that, there are still bound to be differences. For example, you agree to split maintenance. OK, the house needs painting/staining. Do you all come together for a 3 day staining weekend? Or hire a bunch of college kids to slap it on? Or hire a good local painter? The "cost" can vary significantly and so can the opinions about the way to go about it. If you are dealing with a family member it becomes not only a battle about the issue but strains the family as well.

What happens if one or the other runs into financial trouble. Find another partner (usually one not as easy to get along with but who has the money) or sell. Your partners troubles become your troubles. What happens if they don't tell you until the day before the taxes are due that they don't have the cash? Big panic! Your life is mixed in with theirs.

I'm sure there are some such arrangements that work well, where the family is mellow and respectful of each other (not most families by my experience) but more likely to see problems than not. Better not become too attached to the arrangement and ready to dump for a loss if need be.

My sister got into renting apartments for a while and some tenants were good and others were a nightmare. She got out of it. I think partnerships are the same and you can't tell the good from the bad up front.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:11 AM   #36
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Wife currently has brothers and sisters not speaking to each other over a home in Vermont.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #37
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Default Escrow.....

At the least research and come up with a figure that represents at least 1 years worth of expenses (taxes, upkeep, fuel, registrations, mortgage, utilities - become inventive). Inflate that number by 1-200% so you have some emergency buffer to cover emergencies.

Create a trust (pay the lawyer) and place that money into a trust that is to be only used for the property.

Make sure the other party understands this is an ongoing expense, and that they contribute their 50% up front - if they are not willing to put this minimal amount down in the beginning you know they will never do it on a month to month basis, no matter how well intentioned. If they see what they need to pay initially (and what they will be on the hook for) things may change.....

Been there, done that, never ever again.
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