Internet purchase

Internet Purchase Forms Should Not Be Used

By Christopher Combs | September 27, 2020

Question: We live near Lake Pleasant. Our next-door neighbor is retiring, and he and his wife are moving back to California. They want to sell us their home without paying a commission to a real estate broker. Our plan is to buy their home as an investment property for short-term rentals because we are near several spring training baseball fields. Our next-door neighbor has filled out a purchase contract that he located on the internet. Is it ok to use this purchase contract? Answer: No. You should hire a local Realtor for a minimal commission who will use the Arizona…


Seller Can Reject Buyer’s Demand For Only Licensed Contractors

By Christopher Combs | September 20, 2020

Question: We are purchasing a home in North Phoenix using the Arizona Association of Realtors® Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract (“AAR Purchase Contract”). Our home inspector gave us a list of repairs that need to be done to the home. We then submitted a Buyer’s Inspection Notice and Seller’s Response (“BINSR”) with a list of repairs to the seller as provided in the AAR Purchase Contract, and requested that all these repairs be done by a licensed contractor. The seller’s listing agent said that under the AAR Purchase Contract the repairs only have to be done in a “workmanlike”…

Foreclosure auction

Foreclosure Proceeds After HOA Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | September 6, 2020

Question: Thank you for your recent column on the right of an HOA to foreclose on a home for nonpayment of $3,000 in delinquent HOA dues. In your example the house was owned free and clear, and was valued at $185,000. My question is, after the foreclosure sale, would the HOA get the entire $185,000 foreclosure sale proceeds, or would the HOA only get the $3,000 delinquent HOA dues, and the homeowner would get the remaining $182,000? Answer: There are sophisticated investors who daily look at foreclosure notices that schedule foreclosures of homes. These investors then compare the value of…


Seller and Buyer Should Mediate Before They Litigate

By Christopher Combs | August 30, 2020

Question: We signed a purchase contract to buy an expensive home in Carefree. We deposited $25,000 earnest money. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, however, our financial situation significantly changed, and we no longer want to buy the home. We agreed with the seller to cancel the purchase contract, and we are willing to forfeit the $25,000 earnest money. The seller has refused, however, to accept the $25,000 earnest money. Instead, the seller claims that, since the purchase contract was signed and escrow was opened, the value of the home has diminished at least $100,000 due to the COVID-19 crisis. The…

Real Estate License

Short-Term Rentals Don’t Require Real Estate License

By Christopher Combs | August 9, 2020

Question: We live in a neighborhood of high-end homes in south Chandler. One of our neighbors has done short-term rentals of her own home for the past two years. She has recently started doing short-term rentals for two other high-end homes in our neighborhood. She is collecting money, paying for repairs, and advertising the homes as short-term rentals. We own a property management company that manages more than 100 rental homes with mostly one-year or two-year leases. Our property management company is required to have a real estate license. We know that our neighbor does not have a real estate…

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…

Mortgage repayment failure

Statute of Limitations for HELOCs

By Christopher Combs | July 26, 2020

Question: When we bought our Chandler home in 2006, we got a 30-year first mortgage with Bank of America, and a Wells Fargo $100,000 second mortgage home equity line of credit (“Wells Fargo HELOC”). We used this $100,000 for a swimming pool and for landscaping in our back yard. In 2011 we both lost our jobs and we had financial difficulties. Although we were able to keep our first Bank of America mortgage current, we stopped paying our Wells Fargo HELOC. Last week we received a letter from an attorney that our Wells Fargo HELOC balance is $160,000, and that…

Text Message

Texts Between Seller and Buyer can be a Purchase Contract

By Christopher Combs | July 5, 2020

Question: We wanted to buy a beautiful home in Sedona. The problem during the negotiations for the purchase of this home was that we live in Phoenix and the seller lives in Texas. Neither of us were represented by brokers. Most of our negotiations with the seller were by texts between the seller and us. The major terms of the purchase contract were in these texts: the purchase price, the closing date, the name of the escrow company, and that there would be no financing. Each of the seller’s texts had the seller’s name and address at the bottom of…