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Robert J Bruss

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REAL ESTATE
February 20, 1994
"Real Estate Q & A" columnist Robert J. Bruss will answer your questions on home buying, selling and financing at the fifth annual Times' Home Buyers and Sellers Fair. The fair will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 19, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Orange County.
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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
May 20, 1990
Robert J. Bruss, who writes the popular Real Estate Q & A column in The Times, will talk about home buying and answer questions from the audience during morning and afternoon panel discussions at the Los Angeles Times Home Buyers Fair Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center. Bruss, just one of many real estate experts who will speak at the Saturday fairs, also will be available to talk with fair-goers after the panel discussions.
REAL ESTATE
July 14, 2002
Regarding "Lender Refuses to Accept Appraisal" (Real Estate Q&A, by Robert J. Bruss, June 30): The buyers stated that they "would pay $5,000 more than any legitimate, competitive bid" and that they were in a "competitive bidding situation." Based on the information provided, concluding that the low appraisal was bad and the high appraisal was good is absurd. Was the appraiser hired by the buyers approved by the lender? Did they expect the lender to just accept an appraisal from an appraiser without first verifying the quality of his or her work?
REAL ESTATE
March 26, 2000
While the advice given in March 19's "Real Estate Q&A" column by Robert J. Bruss was accurate, it could create some confusion. Federal law trumps California law and it does allow persons called to active duty and relocated, either reservists mobilized or new recruits, to break a lease that was signed before the activation. TROY X. KELLEY Via e-mail The writer is a real estate attorney and Army reservist.
REAL ESTATE
October 22, 1989
It's about time someone spelled out the "Key Questions to Ask Before Buying a Condominium" (Robert J. Bruss, Sept. 17). Bruss is to be commended for an outstanding article on aspects of community association living that are rarely addressed. It's been said that the three most important factors in any real estate purchase are location, location and location. For condominiums and (planned developments), I'd like to suggest three hidden criteria: reserves, renters and rules. ROBERT M. NORDLUND Calabasas
REAL ESTATE
February 4, 1996
The first sentence of my letter, "Home Warranty May Survive Bankruptcy," Nov. 19, was deleted, conveying the mistaken impression that my advice in that paragraph was for the reader who questioned Robert J. Bruss about his rights against a bankrupt contractor. My advice--for purchasers of newly constructed homes--was that they obtain a copy of the builder's certificate of insurance for his general liability policy and a list of all subcontractors and design professionals before closing escrow.
REAL ESTATE
February 15, 1998
In a recent "Consumer Notebook" column, Robert J. Bruss said that the best down payment is often the smallest. He didn't address the issue of a smaller down payment causing monthly payments that could be considerably more than the buyer can afford. Also, if you make less than a 20% down payment, you must buy private mortgage insurance, which can add a rather hefty sum to the monthly payment. Over the course of years until the equity reaches 20% of the original purchase price, your added PMI plus added interest negate some of the leverage of making a small down payment.
REAL ESTATE
April 25, 1999
Robert J. Bruss gave an incorrect answer to the question from a woman who inherited a house and sold it at a loss two months later ("Real Estate Q&A," April 11). The loss would be a long-term loss; Bruss said it would not be. Since the property was acquired by inheritance, even if it were sold within one year after the decedent's death, it is considered to be held for more than one year. (Internal Revenue Code 1223 [11] [A] and [B]; Internal Revenue Code 1014 [b] [1].) Accordingly, the loss is long-term and may be used to offset long-term gain.
REAL ESTATE
April 14, 1991
Robert J. Bruss writes in "How to Get a Seller to Carry the Mortgage" (March 10) that the best candidates for carrying back a mortgage are the elderly who want retirement income. As an example, Bruss cites an offer to purchase a $100,000, free-and-clear property with $10,000 down secured by a first mortgage. Bruss is suggesting a thin equity deal, with a cash down payment that is less than that required by conventional lenders. This may not be the safe and secure transaction he suggests, and may not be suited for the elderly.
REAL ESTATE
March 26, 2000
While the advice given in March 19's "Real Estate Q&A" column by Robert J. Bruss was accurate, it could create some confusion. Federal law trumps California law and it does allow persons called to active duty and relocated, either reservists mobilized or new recruits, to break a lease that was signed before the activation. TROY X. KELLEY Via e-mail The writer is a real estate attorney and Army reservist.
REAL ESTATE
March 12, 2000
Regarding the item headlined "Seller Reaping Nice Profit Shouldn't Bemoan Realtor's Cut" in the March 5 Real Estate Q&A by Robert J. Bruss: I have been in the field for 15 years and I feel that I earn every dime. First, very few sales actually earn an agent 6%. In about 90% of sales, two or more agents are involved and the 6% fee is split two (or more) ways. Then the agent's portion is further split with his or her office--usually 20% to 30% off the top. Then the agent may have to pay a fee for processing the paperwork--usually about $250 per sale.
REAL ESTATE
September 26, 1999
Robert J. Bruss advises a condo owner concerned about rising dues and lack of maintenance to attend board meetings and volunteer for committees (Real Estate Q&A, Sept. 19). Bruss wrongly assumes that buyers in common-interest developments, or CIDs, understand they are buying into a closely held nonprofit real estate holding corporation (the homeowners association), and that they understand their obligations as members of the association. Most CID home buyers have little or no expectation at the time of purchase that they must "get involved," as Bruss counsels.
REAL ESTATE
May 16, 1999
Robert J. Bruss gave incorrect answers to the questions raised by the buyers of a home later found to have a "hidden" lien (Real Estate Q&A, March 21). Contrary to Bruss' answer, judgment liens recorded against California real property may not be foreclosed by the creditor (California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 697); only deeds of trust given to lenders as security for loans may be foreclosed in California. Judgment liens, which do not have "power of sale" provisions as do deeds of trust, are required to be paid only when the property is sold or refinanced through an escrow.
REAL ESTATE
April 25, 1999
Robert J. Bruss gave an incorrect answer to the question from a woman who inherited a house and sold it at a loss two months later ("Real Estate Q&A," April 11). The loss would be a long-term loss; Bruss said it would not be. Since the property was acquired by inheritance, even if it were sold within one year after the decedent's death, it is considered to be held for more than one year. (Internal Revenue Code 1223 [11] [A] and [B]; Internal Revenue Code 1014 [b] [1].) Accordingly, the loss is long-term and may be used to offset long-term gain.
REAL ESTATE
March 7, 1999
Robert J. Bruss' answers in his Real Estate Q&A column show his lack of knowledge or research and serve to perpetuate myths about mortgage lenders and the mortgage industry. In the Feb. 14 column, Bruss stated that the quarter-point charge to a borrower for waiving impounds is ". . . another mortgage lender rip-off." The quarter-point charge for waiving impounds is, in fact, not charged by all lenders but is determined instead by the particular investor to whom that lender is selling the loan.
REAL ESTATE
January 24, 1993
In response to Robert J. Bruss' legal advice ("Survey Will Settle Dispute With Neighbor," Dec. 20), we would like to make the following response: Of course, the ultimate arbiter of boundary disputes is a court of law. However, from the average homeowner's position, it is wise to employ a land surveyor licensed by the State of California who operates a legitimate practice and is fully insured. In this area Bruss gave sound advice. However, we take issue with his gratuitous comment, "Mistakes are often made, etc."
REAL ESTATE
February 15, 1998
In a recent "Consumer Notebook" column, Robert J. Bruss said that the best down payment is often the smallest. He didn't address the issue of a smaller down payment causing monthly payments that could be considerably more than the buyer can afford. Also, if you make less than a 20% down payment, you must buy private mortgage insurance, which can add a rather hefty sum to the monthly payment. Over the course of years until the equity reaches 20% of the original purchase price, your added PMI plus added interest negate some of the leverage of making a small down payment.
REAL ESTATE
January 18, 1998
Regarding the question about the LIBOR index and its stability ("Real Estate Q&A," Jan. 4) ), the more I read Robert J. Bruss' negative response, the angrier I become. First, the LIBOR (London Interbank Offering Rate) Index has actually decreased over the last six-month period, whereas the 11th District Cost of Funds Index has increased. But more important, the blanket "no" answer to this question about the safety of the LIBOR index is irresponsible. Other factors need to be taken into consideration before deciding on any loan program.
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