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REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARTICLES

Tenancy in Common

Sale of Tenancy in Common Home

By Christopher Combs | December 1, 2019

Question: My next-door neighbor and I wanted to build a “spec” home in Peoria. My next-door neighbor then bought the lot for $100,000, and we took title to the lot as tenants in common. My next-door neighbor did not have good credit, so I took out the construction loan of $300,000 to build the home. The home has been completed with an appraised value of $600,000. If the home sells for $600,000, how will these $600,000 sales proceeds be divided between me and my next-door neighbor? Answer: In order to calculate the division of the $600,000 sales proceeds, you should…

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girlfriend can rely on promise

Girlfriend Can Rely on Boyfriend’s Promise to Deed the Home

By Christopher Combs | October 20, 2019

Question: In a recent column you discussed what happens to a jointly-owned Scottsdale home after the boyfriend tells the girlfriend that he is moving out, and that he will deed the home to her. You told the girlfriend to immediately get something in writing, even an email from the boyfriend. Is an email from the boyfriend enforceable if he later changes his mind? Answer: The email itself would not be enforceable as an email doesn’t meet the requirements of a deed, e.g., notarization of grantor’s signature. Under the doctrine of promissory estoppel, if the girlfriend relied on the boyfriend’s promise…

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Owner liable for dog bite

Owner of dog in Arizona has strict liability for dog bites

By Christopher Combs | October 6, 2019

Question: We wanted to sell our Glendale home, so we contacted a local real estate agent who “farmed” our neighborhood. This real estate agent came to meet us at our home to sign the listing papers. Our son had left the back gate open, and our dog severely bit the real estate agent’s foot in our front yard. We then drove the real estate agent to the emergency room.  We understand that she had minor plastic surgery the next day. The agent was very upset with us for not warning her about our dog, and even returned the flowers we…

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auction

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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