Real Estate Topics

Not Feeling the Neighborly Love?

Have you ever had a nasty neighbor who polluted the air that you breathe or whose dog barked incessantly at all hours of the day and night? Did you call the police but they would not do anything about the annoying neighbor? Maybe the police issued a citation for a city ordinance violation but the problem persisted. If all else fails, there are civil causes of action available to potentially remedy the issue.

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Easement Rights

Recently, a client spent considerable time and money to improve the road on a property acquired through a tax lien foreclosure in Arizona. A neighbor then blocked his access to the property through an existing road, claiming that there was no access easement across his land. An easement is a right that is created to permit one person to use the land of another for a specific purpose not inconsistent with a general property in the owner. Fortunately, our client investigated the chain of title prior to making the road improvements and knew that they had an express easement across the land.

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Beware of Unlicensed Contractors

When a person uses an unlicensed contractor as opposed to a licensed contractor, their options to resolve construction defects or the contractor’s breach are severely limited. However, multiple avenues of remedies are available to resolve the construction dispute with a licensed contractor and potentially to make the homeowner whole.

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Can the Government or an HOA Restrict My Home as a Short-Term Rental?

Many people buy investment homes in Arizona wanting to utilize them as a long-term and even short-term vacation rental and offer them for rent through AIRBNB, Tripping.com, FlipkKey, HomeToGo and many other websites. However, before one buys a home to be utilized as a short-term vacation rental, one should investigate to see what restrictions may exist that could prevent them from utilizing the home as a vacation short-term rental.

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Ways to Protect My Property From Going to Probate

Frequently, realtors contact me because they have a property under contract and are set to close escrow but one of the owners or the owner passed away. The realtor may be in panic mode as they do not want to lose the deal and they ask me what can be done.

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Will You Still Be My Valentine – In Litigation?

Valentine’s Day is approaching and it’s easy to get caught up in the romance of a relationship. However, one of the most dangerous things an unmarried couple can do is buy a home together without any type of written agreement for its disposition if the relationship sours.

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Increased Protection for Homesteads?

Your home is a valuable asset. You most likely invested a great deal of money into your home. For most people, their homes are in fact their biggest investments. But did you know that if you became in trouble financially and judgment creditors record a judgment that it operates as a lien on your home? Arizona does offer some protection in your home through what is called a homestead exemption.

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I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Not sure if you’ve heard but there is a new Ghostbusters movie coming out this summer. In the film, ghosts haunt a rural house. “Why don’t they just sell the house and move,” you may ask? Well, believe it or not, in Arizona they could and would not have to disclose the issue. Arizona has the stigmatized home protection law, A.R.S. Section 32-2156

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Avoiding Issues With Contractors

I recently read a news article about a woman who paid a $400 cash deposit to a handyman for some work to be done on her house. The handyman took the money but never did any work. She had no written contract with him and no way to make him pay, except to try to get a news station to pick up the story to shame the handyman into paying. He still didn’t pay her.

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The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement

The residential real estate market in Phoenix and nationwide is typically the busiest in the spring and early summer. If you are in the market to either buy or sell your home, be prepared to review and sign a large number of important documents during the process. One important document that the seller typically completes as part of a residential sale is the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement or SPDS.

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College Student Leases: What You Need To Know

Some colleges require first year students to reside on campus or in a complex associated with the University. Be careful when signing those leases as they have many harsh provisions unlike the typical residential lease.

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Investing in Real Property Tax Liens

In Arizona, counties can place a lien on real property for unpaid property taxes and subsequently auction off the lien to investors in the form of a tax lien certificate. A separate tax lien certificate is issued and auctioned off for each year of unpaid taxes, which means there could be multiple investors on the same property. The tax lien is prior and superior even to a mortgage or deed of trust securing a loan on the property.

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Rental Property Registration

Rental properties can be a great investment but sometimes they can give you a headache. One way to eliminate potential headaches is to know the laws governing rental properties in Arizona. Many landlords are not aware of an Arizona statute which requires landlords to register their rental property with the assessor in the county where the property is located.

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Maricopa County Property Taxes – 2017 Notice of Value

Attention Maricopa County property owners! Be on the lookout for the Maricopa County Assessor’s 2017 Notice of Value. Most were mailed on February 19, 2016. You have 60 days to file a direct appeal to the Assessor from the date the Notice of Value was mailed. In Maricopa County, April 19 is the deadline to appeal the Maricopa County Assessor’s assignment of property value to your home for 2017 directly to the Assessor.

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Some Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

Over the last few years a reverse mortgage has come back into focus, for seniors and those who plan with them. In general, a reverse mortgage converts home equity into cash in several different ways, ranging from monthly payments to an equity line to one-time payouts — or a combination.

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Property Tax Information

County assessors throughout Arizona are mailing annual notices of tax valuation to all property owners over the next two months. You should examine yours carefully to make sure the assessment is accurate. If you are not happy with the value, you have a limited time to appeal. You must file the appeal within 60 days after the card was mailed. Having your property value reexamined could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

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Rental Properties Alert

Arizona law effective on 01/01/12 that is addressed at property owners who are renting out residential property but not properly classifying the residence as a rental with the appropriate County Assessor. With the next mailing of valuation notices to property owners [usually in February], there will be an affidavit attached requiring property owners to (i) attest that they or a family member are occupying the property as their primary residence and (ii) return the affidavit to the county. If the affidavit is not filed within 60 days, the property will be classified as a rental property and the property taxes could increase. This procedure will be repeated every other even-numbered year.

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Show me the note!

You may have heard stories on the news where a homeowner stopped a foreclosure by demanding that the bank produce the original promissory note after the loan was sold to a second bank. Some have referred to this as a “show me the note” tactic. Due to a recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals, this tactic may no longer viable in Arizona, for now.

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Don’t be an April’s Fool

Although the internet has provided us with a convenient way to communicate and an instantaneous portal to information, it has also exposed us to scammers who use its power to try to separate us from our hard-earned money or phishers looking for our personal information. Recent breaches of security of companies with large storehouses of information have made us even more exposed. Even lawyers are not immune.

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Hidden Treasure in Liens

Many Arizonians have been searching for a way to rebuild their portfolios. Believe it or not, there is a potentially a very profitable investment tool that exists throughout Arizona that may help and even create a new fortune. This hidden secret is buying property tax lien certificates.

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Appealing Property Value Could Save Big Bucks

County assessors throughout Arizona are mailing annual notices of property tax valuation to all property owners, and you should look at yours carefully to make sure the assessment is accurate. In my experience, having your property value reexamined could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.

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Mortgage debt forgiveness: Are you liable for phantom income?

Losing one’s home in a lender’s foreclosure is a traumatic event for any family. Unfortunately, the IRS can add to a family’s financial hardship by assessing a “phantom income” against a taxpayer for the amount of the foreclosure debt forgiven. However, knowledge and proper application of the law can help you reduce your tax burden.

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Mortgage Mess

Many Arizonans have taken a beating in loan defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. For those people there is a value in closing an unpleasant chapter and opening a fresh page on which to write a better story. We have been gratified in providing clarity and planning for a better day. After all, first and foremost, Our Business Is Your Peace of Mind®.

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