DEAR BOB: I have a good job and excellent FICO credit score of 745, but not much savings or other assets. In other words, I live paycheck to paycheck. I see ads for homes and condos for sale with little or nothing down. But I need to buy a place with space for my four dogs. I currently rent a house with a big yard but the landlord refuses to sell. Also, I have two roommates who occasionally drive me crazy. How can I find a home to buy in my unique situation? – Martin S.

DEAR MARTIN: Start looking in the areas that interest you. Of course, study the newspaper classified ads. When you find a real estate agent in the vicinity where you want to buy, ask about homes for sale with seller financing.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Many elderly sellers would be thrilled to sell to a responsible buyer like you and carry back the mortgage for retirement income. Personally, I’ve bought many houses from senior citizens who needed retirement income secured by a mortgage on the residence they sold to me. Many begged me later not to refinance.

But your big difficulty is finding a home with enough space for those four dogs. That’s as big a problem as locating a seller who will finance your purchase.

HOW CAN TIMESHARE OWNER GET OUT OF A SPECIAL ASSESSMENT?

DEAR BOB: I own a Florida beachfront timeshare, owned for more than 20 years. I want to sell it, but last year the complex was damaged in the hurricanes. My timeshare has a large special assessment and maintenance fees outstanding. What are my options to get out of this and not pay the outstanding charges? – Kenneth J.

DEAR KENNETH: Your situation is another example why I do not recommend timeshares. It appears you stopped paying the maintenance fees and the special assessment.

Because your timeshare probably has little or no market value, you might offer to quit claim deed your timeshare to the homeowner’s association just to get rid of it. However, most timeshare associations refuse to accept such deeds, especially if the complex has hurricane damage and unpaid fees.

Your biggest risk is the association might sue you for unpaid charges, obtain a judgment, and then try to ruin your credit if you don’t pay. For details, please consult a Florida attorney experienced in timeshare law.

NO EASY WAY TO GET RELUCTANT CO-OWNER OFF THE TITLE

DEAR BOB: Several years ago, my mother died. I co-inherited her house with my step-brother who is 14 years younger than me. We have nothing in common. He is a “biker” who somehow manages to survive without a job or a permanent place to live. I hear from him maybe once a year. At the time of our mother’s death, the house was rented to a family, which still lives there today. I collect the rent and pay the bills, as I live nearby. But I am tired of managing this rental which often needs repairs which I have paid out of my pocket. How can I get my reluctant co-owner step-brother off the title so I can sell the house to the tenants who want to buy? – Merv W.

DEAR MERV: Unless your stepbrother voluntarily agrees to either sign a quit claim deed to you, or to sell the house and split the net sales proceeds, your legal alternative is to sue him in a partition lawsuit. That means you ask the court to order a sale of the house, with the sale proceeds divided equally. Please consult a local real estate attorney for full details.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “The Whole Truth About Reverse Mortgages for Senior Citizen Homeowners,” is now available for $4 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet PDF delivery at www.bobbruss.com. Questions for this column are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

***

What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to opinion@inman.com.

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