Disclosure of Fissures Required in Some Cases

By Christopher Combs | July 12, 2015

  Question: We recently bought a ten-acre ranchette in Mesa as a horse property.  Shortly after we closed, my wife was riding one of her horses in the rear portion of our corral, and her horse stumbled and fell.  After we investigated, we discovered that there was a large fissure under the soil that had only been partially filled in before being covered up with dirt.  We then hired an engineer who determined that there was not only this large fissure, but also two smaller fissures under the dirt in our corral.  We wished that we had been warned by…


If Sale is “as is,” Seller Must Reveal Known Problems

By Christopher Combs | May 3, 2015

  Question: We purchased a home “as is.” We failed to discover until after close of escrow that tree roots had partially obstructed our sewer line. The cost to repair the sewer line will be at least $2,500. The contractor that we are hiring to do the repairs said that the seller had to know of this problem. Did we waive any claim against the seller by purchasing the property “as is”?   Answer: If the seller knew of the problem and failed to disclose this, you would have a claim against the seller for the cost of repairs. Selling…


Purchase of Home Erases Easement

By Christopher Combs | March 29, 2015

  Question: Although our former neighbors in Glendale had an easement west to the main road, they also had an easement south over our property to the main road. Two years ago we bought our former neighbor’s home at a foreclosure sale. We now want to sell our former neighbor’s home, but we do not want the buyer to drive over our property to the main road. Will the buyers have the right to drive over our property?   Answer: No. When you purchased your former neighbor’s home, the easement over your property was extinguished under the doctrine of merger.…


Agent Under no Obligation to Report Bad Roof to Department

By Christopher Combs | March 1, 2015

Agent Under no Obligation to Report Bad Roof to Department   Question:  I purchased my home in Queen Creek from an investor last summer.  There was no disclosure of roof problems.  Two months later, I had several major roof leaks.  When I contacted a local roofer to make roof repairs, he said that the real estate agent that represented the investor had contacted him a year ago to make roof repairs.  After he gave the real estate agent an estimate of $2,800, the real estate agent said that was too much money and that the investor decided not to do…


It's Best to Alert Potential Buyers to Sinkholes

By Christopher Combs | January 25, 2015

  Question:  We have owned five acres of land in western Maricopa County for almost ten years. There are three sinkholes on the east boundary of our land.  When we sell our five acres of vacant land, will we have to disclose those sinkholes?   Answer:  By sinkholes, I believe that you are talking about fissures, which are caused primarily by soil settling because of the lowering of the groundwater table in that area.  Although you may not have any obligation to disclose the three fissures on your land, if they are open and obvious to an inspection by a…


Presence of Scorpions Wasn't Noted

By Christopher Combs | September 21, 2014

  Question:  Before we purchased our home in Casa Grande last year, we had a home inspection and a termite inspection.  Both showed no problems.  In addition, the seller disclosed nothing about scorpions in the disclosure form.  On the day that we moved in, however, we saw a scorpion crawling across the carpet in the living room.  Although we have a pest control company come every month, we are still finding two to three scorpions a week.  The pest control company says that if we replace our wood shingled roof with a new roof, this scorpion problem might be corrected. …


Disclosure Affidavit is Required by Law

By Christopher Combs | December 7, 2013

  Question: After a bank foreclosed on a 5-acre parcel of vacant land in northwest Maricopa County, we purchased this land from the bank.  In the purchase contract the sale by the bank to us was “as is,” and the bank was not required to furnish us with the standard Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS).  Our plan was to build a home on this 5-acre parcel when both of us retired.  Although we didn’t realize it at the time, we should have had a real-estate broker or attorney assist us.  In any event, we received a letter from a neighboring…


Seller of "As Is" Home is Liable for Defect

By Christopher Combs | August 9, 2013

Seller of “As Is” Home is Liable for Defect   Question: We purchased a home in Tempe from an investor who had purchased the home at foreclosure, and then fixed up the home. In the purchase contract, there was attached an “as is” addendum and also language stating that we waived the seller’s property disclosure statement. Almost immediately after we purchased the home, we discovered problems with the air-conditioning. When we were complaining to our next-door neighbors about the air-conditioning, the wife said that the investor told her that he did not have the money to properly fix the air-conditioning. If…