Tax-deferred exchange gone wrong

Judge denies claim that vacant home was used for investment

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss passed away on Sept. 26, 2007. This was one of the last real estate columns he wrote. Inman News is publishing Bob's last work as a final salute to the nation's most well-known real estate writer. In 1988 Barry and Deborah Moore purchased a second home on Clark Hill Lake. It included a doublewide mobile home to which the Moores added a deck and other improvements. The property was a three-hour drive from their principal residence. The Moores and their children visited the property two weekends each month between April and September each year. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. But in 1995 the Moores changed their primary-residence location, making the drive to the Clark Hill Lake property a five- to six-hour trip. As a result, they used the property only a few times each summer. The Clark Hill Lake property was never offered for rent to short- or long-term tenants. On their income-tax returns, the Moores deducted their mortgage interes...