Homeowner fears move to care facility forfeits home-sale tax break

Occupancy rules get clarification

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

DEAR BOB: Until about two years ago, I lived in my house (with my late husband) for 24 years. Reluctantly, with my son's urging, I moved temporarily to an "assisted-living center." I expected to hate the place. But I learned to like it, especially not having to cook meals. Now I have no desire to return to my house, as I originally planned. For the last two years, my son arranged a rental of my house, which helps pay for my assisted-living bills. Now he urges me to sell my house while the local home-sale market is very good. But I thought I had to live in my home at the time of sale to claim that $250,000 tax exemption you often discuss. Do I have to move back to my house? – Ellena R. DEAR ELLENA: No. Your son appears to be giving you great advice, first to move to an assisted-living center, and now to sell your house before you lose your $250,000 principal-residence-sale tax exemption. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. To qualify for the Internal Revenue Code 121 principal-r...