ARTICLES & NEWS

FAMILY REAL ESTATE ARTICLES

Wife Has Lien On Home Husband Purchased Before Marriage

By Christopher Combs | May 9, 2021

Question: I purchased a home in Casa Grande. My wife and I were married a year later. All of the monthly mortgage payments and repair costs since our marriage have been made from our joint checking account. My wife says that she is unhappy, and that she talked to an attorney who said she has a lien on our home now even though she was never added to the title. Does my wife have a lien on our home now? Answer: Probably. Although the title to the home is in your name only, the monthly mortgage payments and repair costs…

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Recourse For Spouse’s Misuse Of Community Funds

By Christopher Combs | April 25, 2021

Question: After seventeen years my husband and I have been having serious marital problems. When I was back in Minnesota visiting my parents recently, my husband signed a contract to purchase a condominium in Mesa in his name only. The $10,000 earnest money was “hard” or nonrefundable after the 10-day inspection period. My husband couldn’t get a mortgage loan in his name only, however, so the purchase contract was canceled. The seller now refuses to refund the $10,000 “hard” earnest money. We are still trying to save our marriage, and my husband has apologized to me. Have we lost the…

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Title Insurance

Divorce By Publication May Be Necessary for Title Insurance

By Christopher Combs | March 21, 2021

Question: My three children and I have been living in an apartment in central Phoenix since my husband left us three years ago. My mother died last year and I recently received a cash inheritance of $225,000.00. I have now signed a $225,000 purchase contract for a Chandler home. The escrow company says that my husband has to sign the paperwork to disclaim any interest in this Chandler home. What can I do when I have no idea where my husband has been living the past three years? Answer: If only one spouse is buying a home, the title company…

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Listing Agreement

Brokerage Firm “Owns” the Listing – Not the Agent

By Christopher Combs | March 7, 2021

Question: One of our best friends is a real estate agent who lives in our Queen Creek neighborhood. We signed a six-month listing agreement with this real estate agent. After only two months our real estate agent left her brokerage firm and went to a new brokerage firm. The designated broker of her old brokerage firm has refused to transfer our listing agreement to our real estate agent’s new brokerage firm. In fact, two real estate agents of the old brokerage firm even called us to discuss a marketing strategy for the sale of our Queen Creek home. Our real…

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Beneficiary Deed

Beneficiary Deed Not Revoked by a Will

By Christopher Combs | February 7, 2021

Question: My wife’s father passed away ten years ago. My wife’s mother then executed a beneficiary deed to their Chandler family home to her daughter, and they both continued to live in this home. Two years ago when I married her daughter, my wife’s mother executed a will that gave the Chandler home to both my wife and myself as community property. My wife’s mother recently passed away. Unfortunately, my wife and I may soon be filing for divorce. If we do file for divorce, will I lose my community property interest in the Chandler family home? Answer: Probably. Under…

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Morgage transfer

Will My Children Owe Mortgage Balance In Full When I Die?

By Christopher Combs | May 31, 2020

Question: I own three rental properties in Surprise. Each one has a bank mortgage with a “due on sale” clause, i.e., the mortgage must be paid in full upon any transfer of the rental property. My revocable living trust states that my three children become the owners of these three rental properties upon my death. Will the “due on sale” clause in each of these mortgages require my children to pay the entire mortgage balances on these rental homes when I die? Answer: No. Under a 1982 federal law there are exceptions to the enforcement by mortgage lenders of standard…

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foreclosure

HOA Can Foreclose on Home for Unpaid Dues

By Christopher Combs | May 24, 2020

Question: Our mother has been struggling with dementia that has worsened over the last year. We recently moved her from her Mesa home to an assisted living facility in Gilbert. The Mesa home is both a physical disaster (with numerous repairs necessary) and an HOA paperwork disaster. The HOA dues total more than $3,000, and have not been paid by my mother for over a year. In addition, there are numerous unpaid HOA fines of more than $2,000 for overnight parking in the street and for not making repairs to the exterior of the home. The HOA’s management company has…

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Baby room

Son Entitled to Appreciation in Home’s New Value

By Christopher Combs | May 3, 2020

Question: My son and his girlfriend bought a home in North Phoenix three years ago as tenants in common. They each contributed $15,000 for the down payment, and my understanding is that they have been splitting the monthly mortgage payments and other home expenses. Last year they had a baby, and they needed another bedroom. We loaned our son $20,000 to add on a bedroom. Although my son and his girlfriend are happy now, what happens if they break up and have to sell the home? Will my son get back from the proceeds the $20,000 cost of the bedroom…

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