25th Anniversary of Arizona Association of REALTORS® (“AAR”) Residential Purchase Contractact

By Christopher Combs | August 21, 2018

The original AAR residential purchase contract from the 1970s was a one-page front and back document. The only addendum to this AAR residential purchase contract was a financing addendum. Not only were there no other addendums, but there was no Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement or any other standard real estate form used in most Arizona residential real estate transactions today. Therefore, in order to meet the demands of an expanding residential real estate market, in 1993 the AAR formed a committee to develop a new residential purchase contract.  Our law firm was appointed to be this committee’s legal counsel. This…


Sex Offender Registry – Level One Sex Offenders

By Christopher Combs | April 2, 2017

 Sex Offender Registry – Level One Sex Offenders   Question: In a recent article you said that the public registry of convicted sex offenders maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows the names and addresses of Level One, Level Two, and Level Three convicted sex offenders. I believe that Level One convicted sex offenders are not currently listed in the public registry.  Am I correct?   Answer:  You are correct.  Level One convicted sex offenders are currently not listed on the Arizona Department of Public Safety public registry.  My understanding, however, is that the crime of public urination will…


Lot Split in Wickenburg Sparks Confusion

By Christopher Combs | May 9, 2014

  Question: We live in an older subdivision in Wickenburg. Each of the lots in this subdivision is at least 5 acres. The CC&Rs that govern our subdivision prohibit lot splitting. At the time that our subdivision was developed, the developer dedicated easements to Maricopa County for roads.   We recently checked the county assessor’s map of our subdivision, and we learned that the county assessor two years ago “split” the lots to have separate tax-parcel numbers for the lots and for the roads. The county assessor’s explanation for this split was “as a courtesy to the taxpaying homeowners who…


Supreme Court Says That Builder Must Be Able To Perform

By Christopher Combs | June 25, 2013

   On June 14, 2013, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled in Thomas v. Montelucia Villas, CV-12-0156-PR that, payments by the buyer to the builder can be forfeited for breaching the contract only if the builder can show the ability to perform under the contract at the time of the closing date.  In other words, if the builder could not get a certificate of occupancy by the closing date, the buyer would be entitled to the return of payments made to the builder even though the buyer breached the contract.  See Facts below. Facts    The buyer and the builder…


Homestead exemption is automatic

By Christopher Combs | April 15, 2013

  Question: Four years ago, our son had an auto-repair business in Mesa that was struggling. To keep his business alive, we personally guaranteed a loan for our son. After our son’s business ultimately failed, the bank sued us and got a judgment against us. After they recorded the judgment with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, this judgment became a lien on our home. Even in this down market, we have at least $200,000 equity in our home. Do we have the protection of the homestead exemption? If so, what do we have to do to prevent the loss of our…