Seven-Day Right of Rescission is Inapplicable

By Christopher Combs | May 4, 2016

  Seven-Day Right of Rescission Inapplicable to Vacant Lot     Question: We recently purchased from a homebuilder a lot in a beautiful Sonoran desert community in the Fountain Hills area. The construction of our home on this lot was to be completed within nine months. Although we love the lot, the next day after we purchased the lot we realized that the daily commute to our Camelback Road offices would be too difficult. We thought that under the subdivision laws we had a seven-day right to rescind the contract to purchase this vacant lot. Therefore, that next day we emailed…


Statute of Frauds doesn't Apply to Sale of Homebuilder Services

By Christopher Combs | March 23, 2016

 Statute of Frauds does not Apply to Sale of Homebuilder Services   Question: In a recent column you said that, if the owner of a lot verbally agrees with a homebuilder to have a home built on the lot, this verbal agreement is enforceable.  I am a licensed real estate agent.  In real estate school we were taught that all contracts for the sale of a home or any other real property had to be in writing.  Was I taught wrong?   Answer: No. If a home or any other real property is being sold, the contract generally must be signed…


Distinguishing a Contractor from an Employee

By Christopher Combs | February 1, 2016

 Distinguishing a Contractor from an Employee   Question: We recently hired a contractor to do some remodeling work on the bathroom of our Glendale home. We asked that he only work between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. while our daughter was in preschool. Before any work was started, we signed an agreement with the contractor that he would be paid every two weeks based on hours worked and materials purchased. Three days ago the contractor slipped in the bathroom and broke his ankle. He now wants us to pay for his medical bills because he said he was our employee, and…


Builder Without a Contractor’s License Can Only Build Self Home

By Christopher Combs | January 5, 2016

  Question: When we purchased our new home in Chandler last fall we knew that the builder of our new home was not a licensed contractor. The builder said that he had built the home as a retirement home for his parents, but his parents changed their minds and retired in South Carolina. We have had nothing but problems with our Chandler home, especially with the roof and plumbing. The builder has refused to talk to us. We filed a complaint with the Registrar of Contractors but they said that they could not help us because the builder was not…


A Verbal Contract to Build a Home Should be Enforceable

By Christopher Combs | November 29, 2015

 A Verbal Contract to Build a Home Should be Enforceable   Question:  We want to build a home on a lot we own in north Scottsdale.  After interviewing several homebuilders, we found a homebuilder that we liked.  The reason that we liked this homebuilder was that we had looked at a specific home a mile away that the homebuilder had built which was the same type of home that we want to have built.  The homebuilder showed us the plans and specifications for this home.  We had several more meetings with this homebuilder, and our handwritten notes show that we…


Homebuilder Misrepresented Square Footage of Home

By Christopher Combs | November 9, 2015

 Homebuilder Misrepresented Square Footage of Home   Question: We signed a purchase contract with a homebuilder for a new house to be built in north Scottsdale. After we closed escrow and moved into our new home, we discovered that an outside wall was in the wrong location per the plans and specifications for our new home. As a result, there is less square footage of living area. The homebuilder has refused to talk to us. Has the homebuilder breached the purchase contract?  What are our damages?   Answer: A homebuilder will be liable for breach of the purchase contract if the new home contains…


Corporate Office Often Must OK New Home Deal

By Christopher Combs | May 10, 2015

Corporate Officer Signature and New Home Deals   Question:  A new subdivision is being developed near our Gilbert home.  Last Saturday we went and looked at several of the model homes in the subdivision.  One of the model homes we loved, and we spent all day negotiating price, upgrades, and other contract terms.  At the end of the day all of the paperwork was signed by us and the sales agent, who told us “Congratulations on your new home!”  My wife and I then went out and celebrated that night!  The following week we received a telephone call from the…


Golf Property Doesn't Have to Remain a Course

By Christopher Combs | November 23, 2014

  Question:  Several years ago we purchased a home on a golf course in Ahwatukee.  Not only did we pay a premium for our home being on a golf course, but our purchase contract stated that “the golf course will remain a golf course.”  In addition, our community had deed restrictions that limited the use of the golf course for golf purposes only, unless a majority of the homeowners agreed to amend these deed restrictions.  The problem is that the golf course is no longer in operation, and the landscaping of the golf course is in terrible condition.  Being on…