Owner-Built Home Faces Sale Issues

By Christopher Combs | June 1, 2013

   Question: We bought a lot in Flagstaff several years ago to build our retirement home. Although my husband was not a licensed contractor, he and our son built the home mostly on weekends. After we retired, we moved to Flagstaff. The problem is that, due to the high altitude and cold, after only four months my husband’s health was deteriorating and we decided to move back to Phoenix. When we contacted the listing broker to sell our home, she said that we could not sell our home for at least one year because our home was not built by a…


Claim depends on seller’s knowledge

By Christopher Combs | May 4, 2013

  Question: Three months ago, we purchased a beautiful home in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. The seller sold the home “as is.” In the seller’s property disclosure statement, there was no mention of any roof problems.   Last week, we had the first significant rainfall since we purchased our home. We had several leaks throughout our home, especially around the chandelier in the dining room. We contacted a roofing contractor to repair the roof, and he said that we needed a brand new roof at a cost of $14,000. He also said that the roof had been repaired several…


Neighbors’ Murder May be Relevant to Sale

By Christopher Combs | April 6, 2013

  Question:In our quiet Paradise Valley neighborhood an elderly couple was murdered in their home several months ago. Our home is very close to their home. We want to sell our home now and our real estate agent has given us a seller’s property disclosure form. Do we have to disclose this tragedy in the seller’s property disclosure form?   Answer: Probably. The general rule is that any material and adverse fact relating to the value of the home must be disclosed. In other words “if it is material, it must be disclosed; if it is not material, why not…


Sellers not required to disclose adjacent sex offenders

By Christopher Combs | March 9, 2013

Question: I read a recent court decision that said Arizona law did not require a seller of a north Scottsdale home to disclose that a registered sex offender lived next door. The buyer of the home had small children, and obviously became upset and sued the seller. I know that Megan’s Law requires that public authorities disclose registered sex offenders who live in a neighborhood, including distributing fliers in the neighborhood. Why shouldn’t a seller of a home have to disclose to the buyer that a registered sex offender lives next door? Answer: Arizona law not only protects sellers but also real-estate agents from…


Seller Not Liable for Unknown Roof Leaks

By Christopher Combs | February 2, 2013

Question: Three months ago, we sold a small office building in midtown Phoenix. During the escrow period, the buyer hired a building inspector. We gave permission to the inspector to inspect the building, including the flooding of the roof to determine if there were any roof leaks. There was no problem with the roof. We have now received a letter from the buyer’s attorney saying that the roof is leaking and that the cost to repair the roof will be $8,000. We never had any problems with the roof. Does the buyer have a claim against us for the roof…


Seller Must Disclose Noise From Airport

By Christopher Combs | January 19, 2013

Question: We moved to Phoenix from Boston last fall. Immediately after we moved into our home, we realized that we were in the flight path of jet planes from Luke Air Force Base. We are very angry with the seller for not disclosing this fact to us, but our letters to the seller have been unanswered. Believe it or not, we are getting used to the noise from the jet planes, but we are concerned that as honest people we will have to disclose this noise problem with the jet planes to potential buyers when we sell our home next…


Sex Offenders Don’t Need to Be Disclosed by The Seller, but Seller Cannot Lie

By Christopher Combs | December 5, 2012

   On November 27, 2012, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that under A.R.S. §32-2156 the seller had no obligation to disclose to the buyer that a level-one registered sex offender lived next door. The seller, however, did have an obligation to respond truthfully to any questions from the buyer, including the question from the buyer as to the reason that the seller was moving.  The seller stated that the reason for moving was to be closer to friends.    Therefore, if the buyer could prove at trial that this statement was untrue, and that the actual reason for the…


Who is Liable For Faulty Roof Repairs?

By Christopher Combs | November 5, 2012

Question:  We owned our home in Queen Creek for eight years. A year ago, we had a significant roof leak. We got three estimates for roof repairs, and we paid a roofing contractor almost $5,000 to make the roof repairs. Almost six months ago, we sold our home. After the recent monsoon, we received an e-mail from the buyer saying that the roof repairs that we had made were bad, and that the roof now needs to be repaired properly for $8,000 to $10,000. The buyer wants the name of the roofing contractor that made the repairs. Do we have…