Recent Posts: Home Ownership

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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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Is Your Home “Feng Shui”?

Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy that has the goal of achieving an auspicious and harmonious environment. It is important to Chinese-Americans, with 86% of those surveyed saying that feng shui will play a role in a future home-buying decision, and 79% saying they would be willing to pay more for a home that has […]

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Residential Architectural Styles, Part 1.

Here are some of the styles of older homes you will encounter in the South-West: Craftsman. Smallish single story with full or partial-width porches framed by tapered columns, overhanging eaves, and exposed roof rafters. Similar to, but usually slightly bigger than, the earlier California Bungalow style. Prairie. Originated by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie-style house […]

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Do You Have an Easement? Part 4.

No Right to Change. Some of the more important considerations when granting an easement include that there is no legal right to terminate or alter its location without the consent of the benefitted property owner. So if years after an easement is granted, the burdened property may only be redeveloped if the benefitted property owner […]

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Don’t be Held Hostage by a Probate.

Probate avoidance is a primary consideration for estate planners and their clients. A revocable trust is usually the vehicle of choice for making non-probate transfers. But real estate must be re-titled in the name of the trust to make a transfer to the trust effective. An alternative, whether a trust is used or not, is […]

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Do You Have an Easement? Part 3.

Exclusivity and Costs. Easements typically grant exclusive use of the easement area to the recipient unless they provide that the easement is nonexclusive. Of course, shared driveways should always be granted on a nonexclusive basis, and so should utility and drainage easements (with suitable restrictions) to the extent the easement area needs to be used […]

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When can you legally use a Handyman?

In Arizona, repairs under $1,000 can be performed by a person without a contractor’s license. But the “handyman exemption” isn’t that simple. An important limitation is that the aggregate contract price, including labor, materials and all other items, is less than $1,000. So if a $900 component is being installed, the labor couldn’t be more […]

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Do You Have an Easement?

Part 2 – Their Impact. The effect of an easement can be generally regarded as positive or negative. A “beneficial easement” benefits the owner of the land subject to the easement, such as one which enables utilities to be supplied to the property. A “burdensome easement” on the other hand encumbers one property to benefit a […]

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WARNING: Some Improvements Can Raise Tax Bills.

Owners tackling a remodeling project may want to consider how it could impact property taxes. Renovations could result in an increase in assessed value by the county assessor. Ordinarily in the Phoenix metro area any upward adjustment in assessed value would only occur after a sale. But due to a change in the law, the […]

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Are you Getting Less Home Insurance for More?

In the last few years home owners’ insurance has covered less while costing more. Large losses due to hurricanes and floods nationally have led insurers to impose limits on what losses will be paid. For example, restricting coverage on plumbing leaks or damage to foundations. In addition, insurers are eliminating some of the lowest deductible […]

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Is Your Home Grandfathered?

About 69,000 APS solar customers are grandfathered in a favorable net metering rate plan (as more money is paid for the electricity that is sold back to the utility) that lasts 20 years from installation. This status is transferrable to new owners during that time. However customers who signed a solar panel installation contract after […]

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Don’t Under-Budget your Custom Home.

Its said that over 50% of custom builds never get off the ground. The number one reason is that many people do not prepare a realistic, comprehensive budget. To avoid disappointments, early consultation with an experienced builder is essential. A competent builder is a valuable partner in avoiding pitfalls and offering plan alternatives that will […]

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