ARTICLES & NEWS

REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS ARTICLES

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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seller-carryback-financing

Will Seller Carryback Financing Be Jeopardized If Buyer Is A Drug Dealer?

By Christopher Combs | April 4, 2021

Question: We are selling our Carefree home. A young man has made us an offer to purchase our Carefree home for $600,000. There will be a down payment of $250,000 cash, and financing by a $350,000 seller carryback loan from us. This $250,000 cash is apparently from the young man’s successful real estate investments, but the young man cannot qualify for a $350,000 mortgage loan. We think that this young man could be a drug dealer. If we sell our Carefree home to this young man and the FBI seizes the home for drug dealing, will we lose our $350,000…

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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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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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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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cattle ranch

Purchasing a Home with a Ground Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 21, 2021

Question: We are buying a retirement home in an east Scottsdale community. After we received the title report, we were shocked to learn that the “owner” of our retirement home was actually a tenant under a 99-year ground lease for all of the homes in the community. Our real estate agent said that we are getting a reduced price for our retirement home because of the ground lease, and that there are only 60 years remaining on the ground lease. We know that a reduced price is an advantage of the ground lease. Is only 60 years remaining on the…

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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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propertly lease

Breach of Lease Requires Landlord to Mitigate Damages

By Christopher Combs | January 24, 2021

Question: We signed a one-year lease for a Scottsdale condominium for $2,800 a month. The lease was from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021. Last week we signed a purchase contract to buy a Chandler home. The close of escrow on the Chandler home will be January 31, 2021. We have notified our landlord that we will be moving out of our Scottsdale condominium on January 31, 2021. The landlord was not happy, however, and said that we are still liable for the $2,800 a month rent for the last two months of our lease. Our understanding is that,…

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