Big drawbacks of buying home on leased land

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DEAR BOB: We are considering buying a retirement home in a very nice new golf course development near where we frequently vacation. However, we learned the houses are on 99-year land leases. Although we don't plan to be around when the lease expires, won't that hurt the value of the homes as they become older? Are there any advantages or disadvantages? --Connie S. DEAR CONNIE: That 99-year land lease is a great deal for the developer, but not so good for the home buyers. The reason is at the end of the 99 years, title to the houses reverts to the landowner. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. As you can see, the market value of the houses will decline as the 99th year approaches. However, if the 99-year land leases contain an option for the individual homeowners to buy the land beneath their houses, that makes them much more attractive for several reasons. The major reason is your land-lease payments then become tax deductible, just like interest. But another reason is most people wa...