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REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

Arbitration an Option in Dispute with HOA

By Christopher Combs | July 15, 2018

Question: We bought a “fixer-upper” in Tempe six months ago. In doing the remodeling of the home, we thought we had an acceptable paint color for our home based on the criteria for paint color in the Rules and Regulations of our HOA. The HOA disagrees with us, however, and the HOA has been charging us small fines until we re-paint the home. The cost to repaint the home is less than $3,000, so getting a lawyer and going to court makes no sense. Is there a cheaper way to fight the HOA? Answer: The Arizona Department of Real Estate…

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golf ball

Developer Responsibility for Protection from Golf Balls

By Christopher Combs | July 8, 2018

Question: We purchased a home five years ago in a golf community in Mesa. We specifically purchased our home adjacent to a tee box because we did not want any damage from golf balls. The developer is now modifying the golf course and the tee box will be moved so that some balls hooked from the re-designed tee box will end up hitting our roof, windows, or even us! Does the developer have the right to move the tee box? If so can I require the developer to pay for the cost of screening or other protection for our home?…

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Can a Seller Cancel a Purchase Contract?

By Christopher Combs | June 18, 2018

Question: We made an offer on a home in Arcadia. In order to give the seller time to move to another home, there was a 90-day close of escrow. We deposited $5,000 earnest money in escrow. We are now ready to close escrow, but the seller has changed his mind and no longer wants to sell the home to us. The reason that the seller gave is that he has not found another home yet. Our real estate agent said that the real reason is that the seller wants more money for the home because a comparable home in this Arcadia…

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Can a Buyer Withdraw an Offer on a Home?

By Christopher Combs | June 14, 2018

Question: We made an offer in the evening on a home in Glendale. In our offer we said that the seller had 24 hours to accept our offer or our offer would be withdrawn. The next morning my husband found a much better home for the same price. Do we have to wait 24 hours to see if the seller of the first home will accept our offer? Answer: No. A buyer generally can withdraw an offer to purchase a home at any time prior to acceptance of the offer by the seller, even if the buyer had given the seller…

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How to Exercise a Lease Option to Purchase

How to Exercise a Lease Option to Purchase

By Christopher Combs | April 16, 2018

Question: I am renting a three-bedroom home in Northwest Phoenix. The lease has a one-paragraph option to purchase. The lease will expire shortly, and I have notified the owner of the home that I intend to exercise the option to purchase. What do I need to do to exercise our option to purchase? Answer: A lease containing a provision providing the tenant with an option to purchase the property should state the specific terms of purchase. The best option to purchase provisions use an executed purchase contract, or at least a rough draft of a purchase contract, as an exhibit to…

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Real Estate Blog

Is a Home Builder Liable for Reduced Living Area?

By Christopher Combs | April 9, 2018

Question: We contracted with a builder for the purchase of a new 5,000-square-foot home in North Scottsdale. After we moved into our new home, we discovered that an outside wall of the home was located almost a foot closer than indicated on the plans and specifications. As a result, there are 200 square feet less of living area in the home. The homes are worth over $300 per square foot in our community. Do we have a claim against the builder for $60,000 because of this loss of 200 square feet? Answer: Probably not. The builder of a home is only liable…

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Real Estate Blog

Buyer’s Options if Seller Refuses to Close

By Christopher Combs | March 26, 2018

Question: We have been renting a home in Peoria since we moved here from Buffalo. Last month we signed a contract to buy a home in our same neighborhood from an investor who is “flipping” the home after doing major improvements. The investor is now refusing to close on the sale of the home to us because the investor has a higher offer. Our real estate agent says that under our purchase contract we are required to mediate before filing a lawsuit, but the investor refuses to return any of our real estate agent’s phone calls to discuss mediation. How long…

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Abusive Husband

Abusive Husband Enables Wife to Cancel Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 18, 2018

Question: My husband and I have leased a home in Scottsdale through next September. Although my husband has physically abused me in the past, this time I had to get a court protective order. I am filing for divorce, and moving back to Colorado to stay with my parents.  Do I still have responsibility for lease payments until September even though I am terrified to be near my husband? Answer: Probably not. A.R.S. § 33–1318 authorizes a victim of domestic violence to terminate a lease within 30 days if certain requirements are met, e.g., delivery to the landlord of a…

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