ARTICLES & NEWS

NONDISCLOSURE ARTICLES

No Title Insurance Coverage Generally If Home Is In Floodplain

By Christopher Combs | April 18, 2021

Question: We purchased a home on a five-acre lot near Payson. Two months after we moved into the home there was an overflow of the nearby creek which flooded our entire backyard. Apparently 25% of our five-acre lot is in the Town of Payson’s flood plain. We immediately reviewed our title insurance policy to see if there was flood coverage, or if there was an exception to title insurance for flooding. There was no reference in our title insurance policy relating to coverage for flooding, one way or the other. The seller of the home was an elderly lady who…

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disclose

What To Disclose When Selling A Home

By Christopher Combs | April 11, 2021

Question: We own a home on the side of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley. If there are heavy rains, there will occasionally be minor rockslides into our swimming pool in the backyard. We are now selling our home. Do we have to disclose these occasional minor rock slides? Answer: Probably. In determining what a seller should disclose to a buyer, two rules should be followed: 1. If it is material it must be disclosed; if it is not material, why not disclose it? 2. If you were the buyer, would you want to know? If these two rules are followed,…

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HOA debt not disclosed

Who is responsible for undisclosed HOA debt?

By Christopher Combs | March 14, 2021

Question: After we bought our home in Chandler, we attended the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) annual meeting. At this HOA annual meeting we learned that our HOA was in debt for $62,000.00 for attorney’s fees incurred because of a prior lawsuit with our landscaping company. The result is that a portion of our monthly HOA dues goes to pay back this $62,000.00 debt which is of no benefit to us. There is nothing in the HOA Addendum or in our purchase contract regarding this $62,000.00 debt. The seller has denied knowing anything about this $62,000.00 debt. Why should we have to…

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Fraud

Statute of Limitations Regarding Liability of Sellers and Brokers

By Christopher Combs | November 29, 2020

Question: Your column recently discussed the liability of the seller for failure to disclose to the buyer that the City of Chandler had not approved the completion of the garage. In another column you discussed the liability of the seller and the real estate broker for failing to disclose to the buyer a leaky roof, or a high concentration of radon gas or land fissures in the neighborhood. If there is liability to the buyer in these scenarios, how long does a buyer have under the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the seller or the real estate…

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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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Agent giving house key

Real Estate Brokers Have Obligation to Disclose

By Christopher Combs | April 26, 2020

Question: In a recent column you said that, under A.R.S. §32-2156 sellers and real estate brokers don’t have to disclose murders, burglaries, and other felonies that have occurred in the home. You also said that sellers and real estate brokers could have to disclose to buyers an abnormally high number of murders, burglaries, and other felonies that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood. My question as a real estate broker is, what is the obligation of real estate brokers to determine if there is an abnormally high number of felonies that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood? Do we as…

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burglary

Seller and Brokers Must Disclose Burglaries in Neighborhood Homes

By Christopher Combs | January 19, 2020

Question: After we purchased our Sun City home we learned from neighbors that our home had been burglarized at least three times in the preceding eight months, plus there had been several burglaries at other homes in our neighborhood. We are elderly people, and had we known of these burglaries we would not have purchased our home. The money we paid for our home went to the seller, the seller’s listing broker, and the broker that represented us. Shouldn’t someone have told us about these burglaries? If so, how do we calculate our damages? Answer: First, sellers and brokers in…

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affidavit of disclosure

Disclosure Requirement for Parcels of Land

By Christopher Combs | December 8, 2019

Question: We recently signed a contract to sell our three-acre parcel of land in Coconino County near Flagstaff. The title company says that we will be required to furnish the buyer with an Affidavit of Disclosure relating to the condition of this three-acre parcel. What is this Affidavit of Disclosure? Answer: Under A.R.S. §33-422 a seller of five or less parcels of land in an unincorporated area of a county is required to furnish an Affidavit of Disclosure to the buyer. Similar to a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement in home sales, in the Affidavit of Disclosure a seller is required…

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