Q: I read your column in the Tampa Tribune every Saturday, and have come to the conclusion that you may have missed something. I hate to say that, because your column is important and very well done, as usual, but here’s the thing.
In a recent column, a man wrote to you about the two condominiums he owns in the same building in Florida. He lives in one and bought the other because it was priced at $50,000 below its true value. Now, he’s moving to Seattle and wants to sell the condominium he bought for investment and keep his primary residence and turn that one into a rental. But he doesn’t want to pay taxes.
He was also confused about whether he should buy now in Seattle or just wait until all the other sales go through.
What I don’t think you pointed out to him is why not cut taxes to nothing? I think he should sell the one he lives in now and, assuming he’s been there 2 years, there will be NO tax. Buy in Seattle (now’s the time–it won’t be cheaper later).
Keep the investment condo for a year, and either continue to rent it out if that works, or bail out with minimum tax. Florida real estate IS appreciating nicely, but so is west coast real estate, and it is a lot simpler to manage an investment there than 3,000 miles away.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.
A: You’ve certainly got the obvious answer, but this letter writer specifically stated that he wanted to keep the condo he was in for investment purposes. I probably should have mentioned your answer (just for everyone else reading the column) but I do try to follow along where the letter writer is going.
If you could see my mail — and email — you’d be surprised how very focused (not to mention tenacious) some of my correspondents can be.