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Pros and Cons of Lease-Option if Home Doesn’t Sell

By Christopher Combs | November 24, 2019

Question: We own a condominium in south Scottsdale which we have been trying to sell. Our listing broker has said that we should consider a “lease-option,” e.g., we rent to a tenant who has the option to buy our condominium at the end of the lease. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a lease-option? Answer: The advantage of a lease-option is that, if you are having trouble selling your condominium, a lease-option can “stop the bleeding.” In other words, you will receive rental income from the tenant that can be applied to the mortgage and other expenses of your…

warranty deed beneficiary deed

Subsequent Deed Revokes Beneficiary Deed

By Christopher Combs | November 10, 2019

Question: My mother recently passed away. Her only significant asset is her home in Sun City West. Three years ago when her boyfriend was living with her she recorded a beneficiary deed granting the home to him. They broke up a year ago, and my sister moved into the home to help my mother. My mother then recorded a warranty deed of the home to my sister. Just before my mother died, however, she executed a will in the hospital giving the home 50/50 to me and my sister. What a mess! Who owns the home now? Answer: Your sister…

stack of cash

Difference Between Liquidated Damages, Breach of Contract Penalty

By Christopher Combs | August 18, 2019

Question: Our daughter attends ASU, and we personally guaranteed a one-year lease for her Tempe condominium. The lease expiration date is May 31. Our daughter, however, moved out of the Tempe condominium one month early at the end of April to live with us until she goes to Europe for three months. My daughter’s friend is going to ASU summer school, and she immediately signed a new lease for the same rent and moved into the Tempe condominium on May 1. My daughter’s lease provides for damages in the amount of a 60-day rent payment for early termination of the…

break lease

Early Move-Out Due to Abuse Won’t Breach Lease

By Christopher Combs | August 11, 2019

Question: Eight months ago my husband and I signed a one-year $1,200 month lease for a condominium in Peoria. We have lived there with our four-year-old and six-year-old sons. Although my husband has been verbally and physically abusive to me almost from the beginning of our marriage, I am used to it. My husband is unemployed, and is home with our two sons during the day while I am at work. Last week he got angry and severely beat our two sons while I was at work. I moved out immediately and filed a complaint with the Peoria police department.…

Transferring a Mortgage

Lease Option to Purchase Must Have Specific Terms

By Christopher Combs | July 11, 2019

Question: We are leasing a small building in a Chandler industrial park for five years. After five years we want to have the option to purchase this small building in “as is” condition. Our broker says that this option to purchase only needs to be in a lease addendum that states that there will be an appraisal for the amount of the purchase price, and that we will purchase the industrial building in “as is” condition. We don’t want to spend a lot of time and legal fees now because whether we exercise this option to purchase will depend on…


Permission Will Prevent Future Adverse Possession Claim

By Christopher Combs | June 30, 2019

Question: We have an excellent relationship with our next-door neighbors. All of us even went to Glendale High School together years ago. Last week the husband came over to our house and said that, because they are widening their driveway, they would like to purchase a three-foot strip of our land. If we did not want to sell this three-foot strip of land, they would even be willing to rent this three-foot strip of land. Although we do not want to sell this three-foot strip of land or even take any rent money, we have no objection to our neighbors…


Can the Home Builder Keep my Earnest Money?

By Christopher Combs | June 10, 2019

Question: We entered into a contract to purchase a new home in a subdivision in the San Tan area for $300,000. We deposited $30,000 earnest money in escrow. After 45 days while the home was still in the framing stage, my wife decided that she wanted to quit her job and return to school. With only one income we will not be able to afford this new home now, and we want the return of our $30,000 earnest money. Due to strong demand in our subdivision, the homebuilder has just raised the base price for our model home, and the…


HOA Changes CC&Rs to Prohibit Street Parking

By Christopher Combs | June 6, 2019

Question: When we signed the purchase contract for a new home in Sun City, we were given a copy of the CC&Rs which allowed street parking for up to 24 hours. The day before closing we were given additional documents by the title company, including what we thought was just another copy of the CC&Rs, so we didn’t bother to read these additional documents. In actuality, these additional documents were amended CC&Rs that prohibit any street parking. When our daughter visits us now she has to park at the main entrance to our community and walk to our home. Are…