ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE PLANNING 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…

Read More >>
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…

Read More >>
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,…

Read More >>
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…

Read More >>
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…

Read More >>

Advantages to Beneficiary Deeds in Arizona

By Christopher Combs | July 22, 2019

Question: In a recent article you had the opportunity to notify readers of the availability and advantages of a beneficiary deed, but you blew it by only adding it as an afterthought. You were addressing property in California and Montana also, which may not have the beneficiary deed option. I urge you to submit a follow-up article on the advantages and costs of a beneficiary deed for owners of real property in Arizona. Answer: Thank you for your comments. First, the advantages of a beneficiary deed are that real property can be transferred after death without probate, and a beneficiary deed can…

Read More >>

Who Pays Reverse Mortgage When We Die?

By Christopher Combs | May 16, 2019

Question: My husband and I live in Leisure World in Mesa. We paid cash for our home. We have been talking to a neighbor about the benefits of a reverse mortgage so that we can get the money to do more traveling. If we get a reverse mortgage, who pays off the reverse mortgage when we die? I am concerned that our children will have to pay off the reverse mortgage. Answer: There is no requirement to “pay off” of the reverse mortgage when you die.  The reverse mortgage lender will sell your home, and after satisfying the amount owed…

Read More >>

Revocable Living Trust Preferred over Transfer Deeds, Will

By Christopher Combs | March 19, 2019

Question:  At the time my husband died five years ago we jointly owned our home in Arizona, plus a rental home in California and 160 acres of land in Montana.  I then became the sole owner of these three properties. I am not in good health now, and I have drafted deeds to these properties to be delivered to my two sons.  My sister says that I should not sign and give these deeds to my two sons, but that I should transfer the three properties to my two sons in a will.  Do you have any suggestions? Answer:  If you deed…

Read More >>