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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 In our offer we said that the seller had 24 hours to accept our offer or our offer would be withdrawn.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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Vacation Rental

CC&Rs Can Prohibit Vacation Rentals

By Christopher Combs | February 4, 2018

Question: We live in the Desert Mountain community in North Scottsdale. Our understanding is that the community amended the CC&Rs to prohibit vacation rentals. We only live in our Desert Mountain home a few months of the year. We have rented out this home for a week or two throughout the year to friends and neighbors from Chicago. Can our HOA enforce these Desert Mountain CC&Rs? Isn’t there a statute in Arizona against CC&Rs prohibiting vacation rentals? Answer: There is no statute in Arizona that prohibits private regulation by CC&Rs of vacation rentals. One Arizona statute, however, prohibits public regulation…


Seller Must Disclose Solar Panel Lease

By Christopher Combs | January 28, 2018

Question: Last year we purchased a home in Arcadia. The home had solar panels on the roof. The purchase contract and the title insurance policy said nothing about a solar panel lease. After moving into our home, we started receiving notices from a solar panel company saying that we owed them monthly lease payments for the solar panels. Apparently, four years ago our seller had signed a 15-year lease for the solar panels, but never told us. Do we have to make these lease payments? Answer: Probably not. The seller should have disclosed the solar panels lease to you. There…

Locked Out By Landlord

Lockout by Landlord for Breach of Commercial Lease

By Christopher Combs | January 7, 2018

Question: We own a small industrial building in Gilbert with one tenant. Under our lease there is a clause that prohibits the storage of poisonous and noxious chemicals in the building. We became aware that our tenant was storing large containers of sulfuric acid in the building. We then gave our tenant the 10-day written notice to correct the problem as required by the lease. On the 10th day the tenant said that the large containers of sulfuric acid had been removed. However, I inspected the premises last night and the large containers were still there. Can we lock out…