Real estate tax break not likely for two-state resident

Principal home must be occupied for a set period of time

Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, March 26, 2006. DEAR BOB: I own two houses in trust. One is in West Virginia. When my husband moved out of that house, he signed the papers to transfer title to me. I now live there for several months each year, but it is not my permanent residence. I cannot claim a homestead exemption there because I claim a Florida homestead. Can I use the tax-free $250,000 exemption on the West Virginia house if I lived there 24 months during the past five years? --Elinor T. DEAR ELINOR: I presume by holding title "in trust," you mean in a revocable living trust. If title to the residences is held in any other type of trust, such as an irrevocable trust, you are not eligible for the principal residence sale tax benefits of Internal Revenue Code 121. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. For the sale of the West Virginia house to qualify for the Internal Revenue...