ARTICLES & NEWS

HOME CONSTRUCTION ARTICLES

Builders Of New Homes Require Mediation And Arbitration Of Disputes With Home Buyer

By Christopher Combs | August 15, 2021

Question: We signed the builder’s purchase contract to buy a new home in San Tan Valley. The builder’s sales agent made numerous false statements, especially in regard to the upgrades that were available in the home. The “bottom line” is that we canceled the purchase contract and demanded our $20,000 earnest money back. The builder refuses to give the $20,000 earnest money back to us. In addition, the builder demands reimbursement for the $28,000 cost of upgrades that the builder says are worthless to any new buyer of the home. Under the builder’s purchase contract, we are required to mediate…

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Can You Sell Home Not Built By Licensed Contractor?

By Christopher Combs | July 18, 2021

Question: My husband was a licensed contractor in Oregon. Eight years ago we bought a lot in Queen Creek to build our retirement home. My husband retired two years ago and we came to Arizona full-time to build and live in our Queen Creek home. Three months after we moved into our Queen Creek home, however, my husband unexpectedly passed away. I cannot afford to live in our Queen Creek home by myself, and I may move back to Oregon to live with my daughter. Will I be able to sell the Queen Creek home even though my husband was…

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Home Remodel

No Anti-Deficiency Protection for Home Improvement Loans

By Christopher Combs | January 31, 2021

Question: Last March we bought a home in the “Arcadia Lite” area of Phoenix. We borrowed a high-interest $250,000 second mortgage (“Second Loan”) to “fix and flip” the home. We tore down two of the smaller bedrooms to make a large covered patio surrounding the swimming pool. We completed this construction six months ago and listed the home for sale. We have not had any serious buyers, and last week we reduced the list price again. If we don’t sell the home in the next few months, however, we will be unable to continue making payments on the Second Loan.…

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small pool

Mediation and Arbitration, Not Litigation, Can Settle Many Disputes

By Christopher Combs | October 18, 2020

Question: At the time that we purchased our new Gilbert home six months ago, our landscaping plan provided for a swimming pool in the backyard. We now have the money to build the swimming pool. Due to an incorrect survey by our homebuilder, however, the boundary wall between our home and our neighbor’s home is in the wrong location. The boundary wall now has to be moved ten feet further into our backyard, and we can now only build a “large bathtub” in our backyard. Our homebuilder has refused to take any responsibility for the loss in value to our…

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homebuild and blueprint

Home Builders Require Mediation And Arbitration

By Christopher Combs | August 2, 2020

Question: We signed the builder’s purchase contract to buy a new home in the San Tan Valley. The builder’s sales agent made numerous false statements, especially in regard to the upgrades that were available in the home. The “bottom line” is that we canceled the purchase contract and demanded our $20,000 earnest money back. The builder refuses to give the $20,000 earnest money back to us. In addition, the builder demands reimbursement for the $28,000 cost of upgrades that the builder says are worthless to any new buyer of the home. Under the builder’s purchase contract we are required to…

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Garage

Confirm Not Only Permit Issued But Construction Completed

By Christopher Combs | June 21, 2020

Question: When we purchased our East Valley home, the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”), line 150, said that there was a permit from the City of Chandler for the construction of the 2,000-square-foot detached garage. The SPDS, line 155, said that the detached garage had been “completed.” We want to use this detached garage for our collector cars and for an art studio. We recently learned, however, that although a permit from the City of Chandler was granted to build the detached garage, there was never a certificate of completion for the detached garage from the City of Chandler. For…

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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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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,…

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