ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

hillside view

Deed Restriction to Protect Hillside View

By Christopher Combs | May 10, 2020

Question: Our Estrella Mountain home was one of the first homes sold in our development. The lot behind us has still not sold. If a home is built on this lot, our beautiful hillside view will be spoiled.  Our thought is that we would contact the developer for an agreement to limit to one-story any home built on this lot. Can we pay the developer some amount of money to limit this lot to one-story homes? How long could the time period be? Answer: You could pay the developer for a recorded deed restriction to get a view easement over…

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Baby room

Son Entitled to Appreciation in Home’s New Value

By Christopher Combs | May 3, 2020

Question: My son and his girlfriend bought a home in North Phoenix three years ago as tenants in common. They each contributed $15,000 for the down payment, and my understanding is that they have been splitting the monthly mortgage payments and other home expenses. Last year they had a baby, and they needed another bedroom. We loaned our son $20,000 to add on a bedroom. Although my son and his girlfriend are happy now, what happens if they break up and have to sell the home? Will my son get back from the proceeds the $20,000 cost of the bedroom…

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Agent giving house key

Real Estate Brokers Have Obligation to Disclose

By Christopher Combs | April 26, 2020

Question: In a recent column you said that, under A.R.S. §32-2156 sellers and real estate brokers don’t have to disclose murders, burglaries, and other felonies that have occurred in the home. You also said that sellers and real estate brokers could have to disclose to buyers an abnormally high number of murders, burglaries, and other felonies that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood. My question as a real estate broker is, what is the obligation of real estate brokers to determine if there is an abnormally high number of felonies that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood? Do we as…

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clothing optional

Deed Restriction With “Clothing Optional” Neighbor Could Be Recorded

By Christopher Combs | April 19, 2020

Question: My lady friend and I live in one of the older Phoenix subdivisions. Custom homes, large yards, mature vegetation, very quiet and peaceful. My neighbors are generally elderly people. During the summer I rarely see them outside their homes, which adds to the privacy we enjoy. Bottom line, the pool parties we host are “clothing optional.” Nothing lewd, just a group of naked adults enjoying life, lounging in the pool, playing lawn volleyball or badminton covered “only by the sky.” Younger neighbors will eventually buy the nearby homes, however, and they may object if they or their children peek…

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neighborhood plans

Amendment of CC&Rs to Prohibit Short-Term Rentals

By Christopher Combs | April 12, 2020

Question: In last week’s column you said that 51% of the neighbors in a Phoenix neighborhood could not agree to prohibit short-term rentals in their neighborhood. This Phoenix neighborhood had no CC&Rs. Therefore, many readers of your column might think that their Phoenix neighborhood cannot prohibit short-term rentals. In fact, most Phoenix neighborhoods have CC&Rs which can be amended by the homeowners to prohibit short-term rentals. The voting requirement to amend the CC&Rs can be as low as 51% of the homeowners. Our Phoenix neighborhood has CC&Rs that allow amendments by 51% of the homeowners, and we recently amended our…

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trashed house

Simple Deed Restrictions Can Limit Short-Term Rentals

By Christopher Combs | April 5, 2020

Question: Our Gilbert community of 60 homes was built by the developer in 1969. We are having problems with a short-term rental in our community. In this short-term rental the tenants are moving in and out almost every day, parking in the wrong areas, and trashing our swimming pool. A group of our neighbors wanted to amend our CC&Rs to prohibit short-term rentals of less than 30 days. We learned, however, that there have never been any CC&Rs for our community. Our understanding now is that 51% of the 60 homes in our community would be able to sign new…

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handshake deal

Documentation Necessary if Building Home with Next-Door Neighbor

By Christopher Combs | March 29, 2020

Question: My next-door neighbor has a construction background. I can get construction financing. We want to buy an old home in downtown Glendale, and do a “scrape and build,” i.e., tear the old home down and build a new home. My next-door neighbor is fine with a “handshake” deal. In other words, everything would be in my name to get the construction financing and we would split the profits after we sell the new home. What are your thoughts? Answer: Not good thoughts! In every business relationship, and especially in a business relationship with a neighbor or a family member,…

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Community Center

Developer Has Sold the Community Center

By Christopher Combs | March 22, 2020

Question: We purchased our new home in a Chandler subdivision six years ago. At the time of our purchase we received a brochure from the homebuilder stating that one of the benefits of our purchase was the community center which could be used for recreational and social activities. After all of the homes in the subdivision were sold by the developer, the developer deeded the community center to the owner of an adjoining golf course for a golf maintenance building. I always thought that, if the homebuilder’s brochure stated that a certain item such as a brand name microwave would…

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