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Robert Bruss

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REAL ESTATE
June 2, 1996
On May 12 you published two angry letters responding to advice by "Real Estate Q&A" columnist Robert Bruss about settling lawsuits. I, too, find his advice questionable. Bruss has, for some time, promoted seller financing as a way for retirees who own their own homes to receive profitable income by becoming mortgage bankers. I am against such financing because (1) the seller is locked in without the ability to get emergency cash, if needed, from this arrangement and (2) an institution can afford to plan long term; an individual cannot.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2007 | From a Times Staff Writer
Robert J. Bruss, an author, investment expert and syndicated real estate columnist whose advice appeared in newspapers across the country for more than two decades, died Wednesday at his Burlingame, Calif., home, according to Inman News, the Emeryville, Calif., news service that distributes his column. He was 67. The cause of death was cancer, said Bradley J. Inman, his friend and publisher.
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REAL ESTATE
October 6, 1996
Robert Bruss routinely advises home buyers and sellers to ask a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis of a home's worth. Better advice would be to hire a local real estate appraiser for an unbiased, professional estimate of market value. I am a licensed real estate appraiser specializing in Burbank single-family residences and charge $250 for an appraisal report. True, this is more expensive than an agent's complimentary comparative market analysis but, considering possible counteroffer or tax valuation differences of thousands of dollars, I think it would behoove Bruss to recommend appraisals more often.
REAL ESTATE
January 2, 2000
Robert Bruss contributes an immense amount to the Real Estate section, and I am grateful for what his columns have taught me. In fact, Bruss has helped me to become so real estate savvy that even subtle examples of his use-an-agent bias scream out. For example, a man whose letter was printed in the Dec. 19 "Real Estate Q&A" got incomplete advice. The man and his wife were selling by owner (the ultimate Bruss no-no) and couldn't understand why one interested couple had come three times to inspect their home without making an offer.
REAL ESTATE
January 18, 1998
Robert Bruss' latest of many recommendations for low down payments and high mortgage balances ("Consumer Notebook," Jan 11) makes him sound like my local mortgage salesman. Bruss refuses to admit the fact that taking a high mortgage instead of paying all cash for a house is a really good deal for the loan company, not for the buyer. If you have all cash, taking a mortgage pays off only if you can invest the cash in a safe investment with enough profit to make the mortgage payments.
REAL ESTATE
June 24, 1990
I read the Real Estate Q&A every Sunday and I have gained some very valuable information. However, I would enjoy it more if Robert Bruss answered questions with fact, not personal opinion. His opinion regarding three previous references and part-time agents floors me. Everyone has to start somewhere. What if you are a new agent and you don't have one reference to give? The paranoia Bruss has instilled in his readers will never give new agents a first chance. A new agent will probably work harder than the seasoned, complacent agent.
REAL ESTATE
March 4, 1990
Regarding deduction of the cost of points on the refinance of a home residence on your income tax, both Robert Bruss, and now Benny L. Kass are giving out incorrect information. While it is true that points are not usually deductible in one year on a refinance, but must be amortized over the life of the loan, there are exceptions. Before our refinance this year, I carefully investigated with the IRS, and found out that if the points are paid out of separate funds rather than the funds advanced by lender through the refinancing, and if a portion of the refinance money is used to improve your home, the points may be deducted in full in the same year.
REAL ESTATE
March 22, 1998
In the Feb. 22 Real Estate Q&A column, a home buyer asked if his Realtor might have any liability when he estimated that the house needed $10,000 in repairs when it turned out to be more than $20,000 ("Confirm Realtor's Estimate of Repairs"). Robert Bruss said that there is a fine line between opinion and facts, and that it would be difficult proving damages. This might be true if the writer hadn't also noted that the Realtor was experienced in fixing up run-down houses. Bruss should have suggested that the writer contact the California Department of Real Estate.
REAL ESTATE
January 2, 2000
Robert Bruss contributes an immense amount to the Real Estate section, and I am grateful for what his columns have taught me. In fact, Bruss has helped me to become so real estate savvy that even subtle examples of his use-an-agent bias scream out. For example, a man whose letter was printed in the Dec. 19 "Real Estate Q&A" got incomplete advice. The man and his wife were selling by owner (the ultimate Bruss no-no) and couldn't understand why one interested couple had come three times to inspect their home without making an offer.
REAL ESTATE
June 10, 1990
Sam Hall Kaplan has long been a favorite of mine, but I did have to pay attention to those letters from education advocates challenging his opinions outside his area of expertise (Letters, May 27). Well, Robert Bruss did the same darned presumptuous thing! Before I challenge Bruss, allow me to mention that for some years I counseled students at both UCSB and Stanford counseling centers. Now, back to Bruss: A 19-year-old "wannabe" real estate agent wrote in hopes of support for his desire to leave college.
REAL ESTATE
March 22, 1998
In the Feb. 22 Real Estate Q&A column, a home buyer asked if his Realtor might have any liability when he estimated that the house needed $10,000 in repairs when it turned out to be more than $20,000 ("Confirm Realtor's Estimate of Repairs"). Robert Bruss said that there is a fine line between opinion and facts, and that it would be difficult proving damages. This might be true if the writer hadn't also noted that the Realtor was experienced in fixing up run-down houses. Bruss should have suggested that the writer contact the California Department of Real Estate.
REAL ESTATE
January 18, 1998
Robert Bruss' latest of many recommendations for low down payments and high mortgage balances ("Consumer Notebook," Jan 11) makes him sound like my local mortgage salesman. Bruss refuses to admit the fact that taking a high mortgage instead of paying all cash for a house is a really good deal for the loan company, not for the buyer. If you have all cash, taking a mortgage pays off only if you can invest the cash in a safe investment with enough profit to make the mortgage payments.
REAL ESTATE
October 6, 1996
Robert Bruss routinely advises home buyers and sellers to ask a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis of a home's worth. Better advice would be to hire a local real estate appraiser for an unbiased, professional estimate of market value. I am a licensed real estate appraiser specializing in Burbank single-family residences and charge $250 for an appraisal report. True, this is more expensive than an agent's complimentary comparative market analysis but, considering possible counteroffer or tax valuation differences of thousands of dollars, I think it would behoove Bruss to recommend appraisals more often.
REAL ESTATE
June 2, 1996
On May 12 you published two angry letters responding to advice by "Real Estate Q&A" columnist Robert Bruss about settling lawsuits. I, too, find his advice questionable. Bruss has, for some time, promoted seller financing as a way for retirees who own their own homes to receive profitable income by becoming mortgage bankers. I am against such financing because (1) the seller is locked in without the ability to get emergency cash, if needed, from this arrangement and (2) an institution can afford to plan long term; an individual cannot.
REAL ESTATE
June 24, 1990
I read the Real Estate Q&A every Sunday and I have gained some very valuable information. However, I would enjoy it more if Robert Bruss answered questions with fact, not personal opinion. His opinion regarding three previous references and part-time agents floors me. Everyone has to start somewhere. What if you are a new agent and you don't have one reference to give? The paranoia Bruss has instilled in his readers will never give new agents a first chance. A new agent will probably work harder than the seasoned, complacent agent.
REAL ESTATE
June 10, 1990
Sam Hall Kaplan has long been a favorite of mine, but I did have to pay attention to those letters from education advocates challenging his opinions outside his area of expertise (Letters, May 27). Well, Robert Bruss did the same darned presumptuous thing! Before I challenge Bruss, allow me to mention that for some years I counseled students at both UCSB and Stanford counseling centers. Now, back to Bruss: A 19-year-old "wannabe" real estate agent wrote in hopes of support for his desire to leave college.
REAL ESTATE
March 18, 1990
In the March 4 Letters, Todd P. Silverstein and Dorothy E. Fiering wrote to disagree with my article and that of Benny L. Kass on Feb. 11 in which we said that loan fee points paid to obtain a refinanced mortgage must be amortized (deducted) over the life of the mortgage. Silverstein said loan fees paid to obtain refinancing are deductible if paid by separate check. His information disagrees with IRS Revenue Rulings 86-68, 87-15 and 87-22, which say that the IRS does not allow a current deduction for points on a refinanced mortgage, and such loan fees can only be deducted over the life of the loan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2007 | From a Times Staff Writer
Robert J. Bruss, an author, investment expert and syndicated real estate columnist whose advice appeared in newspapers across the country for more than two decades, died Wednesday at his Burlingame, Calif., home, according to Inman News, the Emeryville, Calif., news service that distributes his column. He was 67. The cause of death was cancer, said Bradley J. Inman, his friend and publisher.
REAL ESTATE
March 18, 1990
In the March 4 Letters, Todd P. Silverstein and Dorothy E. Fiering wrote to disagree with my article and that of Benny L. Kass on Feb. 11 in which we said that loan fee points paid to obtain a refinanced mortgage must be amortized (deducted) over the life of the mortgage. Silverstein said loan fees paid to obtain refinancing are deductible if paid by separate check. His information disagrees with IRS Revenue Rulings 86-68, 87-15 and 87-22, which say that the IRS does not allow a current deduction for points on a refinanced mortgage, and such loan fees can only be deducted over the life of the loan.
REAL ESTATE
March 4, 1990
Regarding deduction of the cost of points on the refinance of a home residence on your income tax, both Robert Bruss, and now Benny L. Kass are giving out incorrect information. While it is true that points are not usually deductible in one year on a refinance, but must be amortized over the life of the loan, there are exceptions. Before our refinance this year, I carefully investigated with the IRS, and found out that if the points are paid out of separate funds rather than the funds advanced by lender through the refinancing, and if a portion of the refinance money is used to improve your home, the points may be deducted in full in the same year.
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