Frequently Asked Questions
On April 11, 2001, the Governor of Arizona signed into law Arizona Revised Statutes Section 33-405, which created a new type of Arizona real property deed known as the Arizona Beneficiary Deed. By signing and recording an Arizona Beneficiary Deed, an owner of an interest in real property located in Arizona may cause the owner's interest in the real property to be conveyed to people or entities on the owner's death. The interest in real property conveyed by a Beneficiary Deed does not take effect until the death of the owner, at which time that interest transfers automatically by law to the designated grantee(s) named in the Beneficiary Deed.
Click here to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of a Beneficiary Deed.
I recommend to look at enough properties to gain a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace.
This will provide you with the required knowledge to work out if the property you are interested in represents value for money. This will also help you to determine which location appeals to you the most.
It is important to feel confident about your eventual purchase, so viewing properties online is a good way to research the market efficiently.
A cooling off period is usually where one party — usually the buyer — is given a short amount of time after signing and exchanging the contracts to decide if they definitely want to proceed.
The seller is generally bound to the contract and prohibited to sell the property to anyone else during the cooling off period.
The following websites provide general information about some of the environmental hazards that have the potential to affect the home environment. They provide introductory information to help home buyers understand the possible risk of exposure to potentially harmful environmental hazards in and around the home.
- Radon - www.azrra.gov/radon/radon_about
- Asbestos - > www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/asbestos
- Lead - > www.azdhs.gov/phs/oeh/children/lead/arizona
- Hazardous Waste - www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/hazwaste
- Ground Water Contamination - > www.azdeq.gov/environ/water
- Formaldehyde - http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air
Expansive soil deposits can cause damage to homes built on them. Subdivision developers are required to disclose the existence of expansive soils and any remedies taken in their Disclosure Report (Public Report) on file with the Department.
For a maps indicating where expansive soil deposits are in the Phoenix area, please click here.
Is the home or vacant land you are considering buying within a Special Flood Hazard Area? Do you need flood insurance? It is very important to have answers to these questions not only when purchasing a home in a subdivision, but when constructing a custom home or purchasing undeveloped (raw) land.
Your regular home owner's policy does not cover flood losses. Flood insurance is a separate policy. It is available to every resident in most if not all Arizona communities. Renters are eligible to purchase "contents only" flood insurance. Owners can purchase both building and contents coverage.
If you are purchasing a previously owned home, check with the owner and the appropriate city or county agency to determine whether the property has ever been flooded, or whether the property is within a 100-year floodplain. You will find more information through the following link:
- County Flood Control Districts & Other Arizona Floodplain Information - Click on this link to determine whether any Arizona property is within a floodplain.
Is a freeway planned in the area near the home you want to buy? The Arizona Department of Transportation Intermodal Transport Division website provides schedules, maps and other information of new freeway construction in the state.
This publication (DTE-13-A Home Buyer's Guide to Geologic Hazards in Arizona, by R.C. Harris and P.A. Pearthree, 2002, 36 p.) from the State of Arizona Geological Survey can assist those who are considering buying a house or raw land. The publication describes the most widespread and common geologic hazards such as floods, earthquakes, mass movement (landslides), subsidence and fissures, radon and other factors to consider before buying or building. The 36-page color publication contains photos, illustrations and maps depicting the hazards as well as information describing the hazards, how to minimize them and where more information may be obtained. The publication may be purchased from the Arizona Geological Survey website. You may also order the publication by calling the Arizona Geological Survey in Tucson at 520-770-3500.
HOAs are corporations in Arizona. Corporation documents, such as the Covenents, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) can generally be found on-line at the Maricopa County Recorder's website.
Other information about the corporation can be found at the Arizona Corporation Commission website.
However, if you have legal questions concerning your relationship with an HOA, then I suggest that you seek legal counsel with HOA issues. Visit www.azbar.org/LegalResources to find an attorney in Arizona.
See the following links for information about lead-based paint, home maintenance and renovation work:
You read and hear many stories about the presence of mold in homes and schools. These websites provide good information about mold, the problems it may cause, and how it may be removed.
You will likely hear me refer to a "spuds." I'm not talking about potatoes. That is what local Realtors call the SPDS. Sellers are obligated by Arizona common law to disclose all known material facts about a property to the buyer. This SPDS is designed to assist you in making this disclosure. For a sample of the SPDS, visit the Arizona Association of REALTORS® website: www.aaronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/seller-property-disclosure-statement.pdf.
K. Michelle Lind, General Counsel for the Arizona Association of Realtors®, has written two important articles about seller disclosure. They are: "Residential Seller's Property Disclosure Statement" and "Every buyer is entitled to a SPDS".
The fact that a property is in a homeowners association (HOA) must also be disclosed.
Since August 2009, ANYONE can go on the OPM website to retrieve a complete termite (or other wood destroying organisms) treatment history for the past ten years and\or TARF report(s) on any structure in the state of Arizona (residential\commercial).
For a list of title insurance resources, visit the Arizona Department of Insurance website at insurance.az.gov/consumers/help-hometitleflood-insurance
Prospective homebuyers should investigate water availability before purchasing real property. The Arizona Department of Water Resources is your first step to investigate water availability and to learn more about groundwater supplies.