Agent

Homeowner remodels bathrooms, loses tax advantage

Why does Uncle Sam value cost of materials but not labor?

DEAR BOB: We are in the process of selling our home. About five years ago, my son and I remodeled the two bathrooms. I have the receipts for tubs, toilets, etc. But how do I place a value on our personal labor? We spent eight straight weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, working together. Would $25 per hour be fair? --Curtis R. DEAR CURTIS: I'm sure you and your son did excellent work on those two bathrooms. But Uncle Sam values your personal labor at zero. You can add the cost of materials purchased for those bathrooms as capital improvements to your home. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, you cannot add anything for the value of your personal labor. For full details, please consult your tax adviser. MUST A "BATTERED WOMEN'S SHELTER" BE DISCLOSED? DEAR BOB: Last September my wife and I bought a house. A few months after moving in, we discovered our next-door neighbor is actually a "battered women's shelter." Our real estate agent did not disclose this to us. We feel she should ...