ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

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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1031 exchange

Restrictions Apply on Tax-Free Deferred Exchange of Homes

By Christopher Combs | March 8, 2020

Question: Ten years ago after the “crash” we bought a rental home in North Phoenix. This rental home has appreciated in value by $200,000 in the last ten years. We now want to sell this North Phoenix home, and to use the $200,000 sale proceeds to build a home in Chandler as our personal residence. We do not want to pay any tax on the $200,000 capital gain on the sale of the North Phoenix home. Can we use a section 1031 tax-free deferred exchange to sell the North Phoenix home and use these $200,000 sale proceeds to build our…

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security deposit

Landlord Must Notify Tenant of Deposit Status Within 14 Business Days After Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 16, 2020

Question: We rented a small furnished home in Phoenix. A burning cigarette severely damaged a sofa which was worth no more than $1,000. When the lease ended, we told the landlord that he could take $1,000 for a new sofa, but that we wanted the rest of our $2,500 security deposit back because the home was otherwise in perfect condition. The landlord said ok. One month later, however, we still have not received any communication from the landlord, who has not responded to any of our texts or emails. How can we get the remaining $1,500 of our security deposit…

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Anthem, AZ

Conversion of Three Rental Homes to Short-Term Rentals

By Christopher Combs | February 9, 2020

Question: We went to a short-term rental seminar last fall at Scottsdale Community College. There were excellent speakers such as Paradise Valley broker Greg Hague, Scottsdale Realtors CEO Rebecca Grossman, Scottsdale Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, and the Paradise Valley police chief. The reason that we went to this seminar is that we have owned three rental homes in Anthem for more than 20 years, and we were wanting to convert these three rental homes to short-term rentals. Although this seminar was excellent, this seminar primarily discussed the effect of short-term rentals on a community. We are still confused, however, as to…

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golf course

Golf Course Must be Operated by New Owner of Golf Course

By Christopher Combs | January 26, 2020

Question: My husband and I are looking to buy a new home in the Southeast Valley. We looked at a Chandler development, and the CC&Rs said that an 18-hole championship golf course would be built on land not far from our new home. My husband loves to play golf but I have no interest in golf. I would rather buy a new home in a Gilbert community with access to the shops and restaurants in downtown Gilbert. Will the Chandler developer have to build the golf course because of the representations in the CC&Rs? If so, how long does the…

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burglary

Seller and Brokers Must Disclose Burglaries in Neighborhood Homes

By Christopher Combs | January 19, 2020

Question: After we purchased our Sun City home we learned from neighbors that our home had been burglarized at least three times in the preceding eight months, plus there had been several burglaries at other homes in our neighborhood. We are elderly people, and had we known of these burglaries we would not have purchased our home. The money we paid for our home went to the seller, the seller’s listing broker, and the broker that represented us. Shouldn’t someone have told us about these burglaries? If so, how do we calculate our damages? Answer: First, sellers and brokers in…

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