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Tips to Homeowners

September 20, 1987|Armand L. Fontaine

Question: I'm thinking of selling my home. However, it has occurred to me that as a result of the new tax reform bill, I lost the benefit of capital gains at 20%, and if I sell my house this year, my taxes will be in the neighborhood of 38% on the gain. If I hold off until next year, the maximum tax would be 28%.

Answer: Many people in higher income brackets have been holding off selling their real estate because of this situation. However, you may find that after the first of the year there will be more houses on the market, and with the possible increase in interest rates, the gain may not be as great as you think.

While the new tax reform bill, as it is presently written, will reduce maximum taxes to 28% in 1988, I feel that there is a good chance that after the 1988 election, income taxes may again increase across the board.

Q: I have an older home that seems to be settling and causing unsightly cracks. Every time I repaint my walls, new cracks develop. I'm looking for a wall covering that might forgive these problems.

A: There is a product called Fibre Wall, manufactured by a Scandinavian firm, that should take care of your problem. Dale Baldwin, in an article printed last year, wrote extensively about Fibre Wall.

The product is 100% fiberglass and cannot burn. It is abrasion resistant, washable, reinforces existing plaster and hides unsightly cracks. It is also highly resistant to mildew and moisture. It will not absorb odors or bacteria and is very hygienic and non-toxic. The product comes in several different weaves and can be painted in any color you desire.

You may get further information by writing to Regal of Scandinavia Inc., 433 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles 90013.

Q: I am looking for a molding product that bends because it is difficult to find someone who can shape and handcraft moldings that fit curvatures on a home that I am building.

A: A firm called Architectural Specialties features "Flex Trim Flexible Moldings." This provides an economical and ideal solution for trimming round and arch windows, doors, curved stairwells, round rooms and other radius applications where other moldings cannot be bent.

The product can be cut with conventional power tools and fastened with or without pneumatic nailers. When painted or stained, Flex-Trim looks just like wood and is designed to be used adjacent to wood.

You can contact Allen A. Jones at Architectural Specialties at 7820 Boulder Avenue, Highland, Calif. 92346.

Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. and a director of the American Building Contractors Assn. He will answer questions concerning home improvements. Phone 213/653-4084 or write him at 6404 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 850, Los Angeles 90048-5510.

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