Recent Posts: Home Ownership

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Rehab Lead Removal Requirements, Part 1.

If you buy and fix up older homes to sell or hold as a rental, you may be subject to lead disclosure and remediation requirements. Many people are familiar with the lead paint disclosures, which are required upon sale or rental where the property was built before 1978. But the lead renovation rules are different. […]

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Don’t Overpay for Title Insurance, Part 2.

Refinancing and Resale Rates. When refinancing your existing mortgage or selling your home, you may be entitled to a title insurance and escrow fee discount. The applicable discount when refinancing is called a “reissue rate.” A reissue is an extension of a current policy at a reduced premium. Obviously you must use the same title […]

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The “Ugly” Property Next Door.

Is an unsightly home ruining your property’s value and your neighbor won’t do anything about it? Neighbor disputes are one of the reasons people move, with 13% of Americans say they have moved just to get away from a neighbor according to North American Van Lines. If you want to try to do something about […]

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Colorado Legalizes Rain Barrels.

Until recently it was believed to be illegal to connect a down spout to a rain barrel in most urban areas in Colorado. Rain barrels are a great way to collect our periodic rainfall for garden use – I have three with 40 gallons capacity each. The problem in Colorado was an interpretation of the […]

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10 Musts when Hiring a Contractor, Part 2.

Numbers 6 -10: 6. Get a Written Contract. Obtain and keep a written copy of all contracts, change orders, and receipts. Contracts for jobs costing more than $1,000 are required by Arizona law to provide specific information about the project (e.g. a description of the work, a completion date, deposit amount, progress payment schedule, and […]

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Build Wealth Thorough Home Ownership.

The net worth of a homeowner is on average over 44 times greater than that of a renter. One way to look at it is that home ownership works as a form of forced savings. Every time home owners pay their mortgage, they are contributing to their net worth by increasing the equity in their […]

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10 Musts when Hiring a Contractor, Part 1.

1. Verify the Contractor is Licensed. Verify the contractor is licensed and has the correct license for your specific project by going to www.azroc.gov, and check to see if the contractor is in good standing and has any past complaints. 2. Three Bids. Ensure you don’t pay too much for the project by getting three […]

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Insurance Coverage for Remodels – Are you insured?

Protect yourself during your next major remodel: 1. Make sure the contractor has insurance for not only injuries and property damage, but also negligent workmanship and injuries sustained on the job. Check also for workers’ compensation and liability insurance, and get copies of all of the certificates of insurance. 2. Consider purchasing builder’s risk insurance. […]

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Can you Do a Short Term Rental in a HOA?

Arizona law states that a member of a HOA may use the member’s property as a rental property unless prohibited in the CC&Rs per A.R.S. §33-1806.01. Accordingly, unless the CC&Rs expressly restrict “vacation rentals,” “transient lodging” or “short-term rentals,” Airbnb and VRBO type rentals within a homeowner association community are probably lawful. If the current […]

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How to Hold Title.

Typically, married couples in Arizona hold title as community property with right of survivorship. Following the death of one of the spouses, title will automatically pass to the surviving spouse, avoiding the necessity of a probate. An alternative is to place the home in a trust as a part of an estate plan which manages […]

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Arizona’s Homestead Exemption.

Arizona’s homestead exemption allows a person to protect from certain creditors up to $150,000 of the equity in the home they live in (house, condominium, or mobile home). It applies only to non-consensual liens. A non-consensual lien is one which arises from a recorded money judgment. For example, a judgment that arises because the owner […]

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Bad Real Estate Advice.

Recently I read a letter from a Canadian that owns a home in Arizona about a construction defect. The letter was in a magazine catering to Snowbirds, and the writer was complaining because he had been told that due to Arizona’s real property tax classifications, Snowbirds are “excluded from protection from licensed trades going bankrupt […]

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Buy Don’t Rent!

The latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia shows that home ownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. This includes Phoenix, which is in the top 10 in size. These numbers show that the average range is 26.3% less expensive […]

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Residential Architectural Styles, Part 2.

Santa Fe/Pueblo. Flat roofs, parapet walls with round edges, straight-edge window frames, earth-colored stucco or adobe-brick walls, and projecting roof beams (vigas) typify the Pueblo style. Ranch. A development of the Prairie and Craftsman styles, Ranch homes are one story, and often are long and narrow, with gently pitched roofs, brick exterior walls, and picture […]

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Do You Have an Easement?

Part 5 – Liability Issues. If the benefitted land owner plans construction on the property subject to the easement, the easement should require the benefitted party to indemnify and hold the other owner harmless from any liability resulting from the work. The benefitted party should also be required to obtain personal injury and property damage […]

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