Tax issue? Shore is.

DEAR HARRY: My husband inherited a condo from his aunt at the Jersey Shore in 1999. It has never been rented. We have tried to sell it in the past few years to no avail.

The downturn has diminished its value, and we thought of renting it until the market picks up again in our area. The place has great potential.

We also have thought of getting a mortgage to let us buy a place farther north. How will this rental affect our 2014 tax return? Our expenses are about $15,000, and we can easily get $16,000 in rentals. The property is worth about $250,000.

What about future capital gains when we sell? My husband is 70, and he will continue to work part time for the foreseeable future.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: You will unquestionably have a loss on your return because of the depreciation expense. It will be based on the lower of the value of the building when he inherited it and the value when you make the conversion to rental. This is usually at the date of your first ad.

The gain when you sell it will be the excess of the sales price over the basis. The basis for sale is the value when inherited minus the depreciation taken.

However, before you go rental, think of all the duties you'll have as the property's landlord. It's not a passive investment.

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