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REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

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Bidding at a Trustee’s Sale

By Christopher Combs | August 4, 2019

Question: Two years ago we loaned my wife’s sister $70,000 to buy a small home in Glendale. The $70,000 loan was secured by a $70,000 promissory note and a deed of trust on the home. My wife’s sister never made one monthly mortgage payment to us, and she moved back to Iowa a few months ago. She has refused to sign a deed to us because she eventually wants to come back to Arizona. We started foreclosure proceedings with the title company that drafted the original paperwork, and a foreclosure sale is scheduled next month. What do we need to…

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My Boyfriend Is Moving Out of Our Townhome

By Christopher Combs | July 30, 2019

Question: My boyfriend and I own a townhome in Scottsdale. He has a new girlfriend and is moving out next month into a new apartment with his girlfriend. Although my boyfriend paid the $12,000 down payment, we have been splitting the mortgage payments, and the costs of repairs and maintenance of the townhome. I think my boyfriend feels guilty because he said that, if I can make the mortgage payments, I can keep our townhome without paying him anything. What do I need to do, and when should I do it? Answer: First, get an email, text, or something in…

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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…

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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…

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Documentation Releasing Seller Carryback

By Christopher Combs | June 18, 2019

Question: Ten years ago we purchased 40 acres of vacant land near Coolidge with seller carryback financing. In other words, we signed a promissory note to pay the seller monthly payments secured by a deed of trust on the 40 acres of vacant land. The final monthly payment to the seller is due next month. When I make this final monthly payment to the seller, what happens? Answer: Seller carryback financing is a mortgage from the seller, just like a mortgage from Bank of America or any other mortgage lender. After you make the final payment to the seller on…

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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…

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Title Insurance is a Must-Buy

By Christopher Combs | May 3, 2019

Question: After my husband was out of work for almost six months last year, our credit was “shot to heck.” We cannot get a conventional mortgage loan so we are trying to buy a home in North Phoenix with seller carryback financing (i.e., the seller gives us a deed to the home and we make monthly mortgage payments to the seller). The seller says that in the twenty-five years that he has owned the home there have never been any title problems, and we should be able to save the cost of title insurance. Do we need title insurance? Answer:…

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Golf Course Lot or Not?

By Christopher Combs | April 22, 2019

Question:  At the time that we purchased our lot in the Tucson foothills, both the developer’s marketing brochure and the developer’s sales agent represented that our lot was a “golf course lot.” We have started construction of a new home on our lot. Last week we saw construction starting on the vacant land between our lot and the golf course fairway. When we contacted the developer’s sales agent he said that a golf course maintenance building will be built on this vacant land. We have now stopped construction of our new home because we don’t want to have a view…

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