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Arizona Real Estate Blog Archives: April 2008

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Sheriff Joe Enforces Immigration Law, Phoenix Mayor Upset

Normally, I don't post on such political topics.  But this Arizona Republic article was so one-sided, I had to blog about it just to mention the part of the story the AZ Republic blindly disregarded.  Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is asking the FBI to investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations.  The Mayor is complaining about Sheriff Joe's recent illegal immigrant raids because Mayor Gordon claims Sheriff Joe is using racial profiling.  In short, the Mayor is complaining that Sheriff Joe is enforcing the law.

I just wonder...is this the same Mayor Phil Gordon who recently gave press conferences about how he was going to end Phoenix's sanctuary city policy after a Phoenix police officer was needlessly shot and killed by an illegal alien?  I guess that was just for the news cameras.  When it comes to actually following through, perhaps a few more officers will have to be killed first.

And don't you love the way the Arizona Republic article mentions (more than once) that Mayor Gordon recently "called on Phoenix police to play a more active role in enforcing immigration laws".  But nowhere in the article does it mention that Mayor Gordon took that stance after a Phoenix police officer was needlessly shot in the face and killed by an illegal immigrant, in cold blood.  And this was an illegal immigrant who had previously been arrested for less serious charges and deported.  But apparently, anybody who wants to walk across our border and kill our citizens is free to do so (thank you for trying to keep it that way Mayor Gordon).

Mayor Gordon says Sheriff Joe should focus on real criminals.  Last I heard, being here illegally is illegal.  And when someone is killed needlessly by an illegal immigrant, doesn't it usually turn out that the killer was previously arrested for less serious crimes?  If authorities had only deported the person and meant it the first time, maybe we'd have one less dead Phoenix police officer.

I realize all illegal immigrants are not criminals, but as long as our borders are wide open, the bad guys are coming across too.  In my opinion, people like Mayor Gordon who scream 'racist' everytime someone tries to actually deal with the problem need to wipe the blood off their hands and face reality.  How many people have to be killed and how many children have to be molested before we finally decide to enforce our laws...and mean it.

We need to get past the politics and secure our borders... for real this time.  Until that happens, I say go Sheriff Joe!

Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
Realtor®-Investor

Great American Realty, Inc.

Cell: (480) 695-6672
Email me

Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on April 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Install Satellite on Your Roof This Way

This is bizarre but sad.  Don't try installing satellite TV like this guy did.  He used a gun to shoot a hole (from inside the house) through the exterior of the house instead of punching it another way.  His wife was apparently on the roof when it happened and she was shot.  Even dumber, he shot twice and it was the second shot that killed her.  This happened last month but they just recently decided that no charges are being filed against the husband.

Moral of the story:  Use the right tool for the job, and don't start shooting guns through the house when your wife is on the roof (or any other time, really).

Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
Realtor®-Investor

Great American Realty, Inc.

Cell: (480) 695-6672
Email me

Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Selling a Home in AZ and Not Sure What to Disclose to the Buyer?

I recently received an email with this question about disclosure of sex offenders when selling a home in Arizona:

"Recently in USA Today 3/20/2008 in an article written by Matt Reed, he stated  " Arizona has one of the nation's toughest laws, requiring sellers and agents to disclose neighboring sex offenders to potential buyers."

Yet Arizona real estate law attorney Richard Keyt stated on his website the following: " The presence of a sex offender in the vicinity of the property is not a fact that is required to be disclosed by law."  His web page was last revised 3/23/2008.

Additionally, a form from the Arizona Association of Realtors, Residential Seller Advisory version 02/2008 stated: "By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been: ( I'll skip to paragraph 3: located in the vicinity of a sex offender."

My question is has the governor or the legislation changed this provision of law recently? Who is correct?"

First, I have to say that I'm not an attorney so I can only address this question in the general sense and from a Realtor's perspective.  So do not consider my answer as legal advice, and ALWAYS consult an attorney for questions about your own specific situation.

Second, don't believe everything you read in the mainstream media!  Of course, you can't believe everything you read on the internet either.  But I do know bloggers who are much more thorough about checking facts than some of the major media outlets.

Arizona legislators are constantly updating our laws, and real estate disclosure is a hot topic.  However, I don't think a change to the law is the source of confusion in this case.  From my experience, I'd say all of the sources quoted are technically correct.  I think this is the USA Today article that was referenced in the question, here's the AZ real estate attorney who was mentioned, and here's the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) Residential Seller Advisory form.

The AAR Residential Seller Advisory does indeed state, "By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been... located in the vicinity of a sex offender."  But if you keep reading, it goes on to say, "However, the law does not protect a seller who makes an intentional misrepresentation."  And then the top of the next page says, "Sellers are required by law to disclose all known material (important) facts about the Property to the Buyer".

So what is considered to be "material" or "important"?  Generally, anything that may affect a buyer's decision to buy is definitely material and should be disclosed.  To be safe, I tell sellers that EVERYTHING is material to the buyer.  At least, a seller has to assume that everything is material because they don't know what's material to the buyer.  Every buyer is different... what seems minor and unimportant to the seller may very well be minor and unimportant to one buyer.  However, that same item may be extremely important, and thus material, to another buyer.  If it ends up in front of a judge, I would guess that anything and everything the buyers find out later, that the seller knew and didn't disclose, will be considered material!

The AAR Residential Seller Advisory reinforces this idea with it's heading, "When in doubt, disclose!".  If the sellers know there's a sex offender living down the street and the buyers ask, I would tell the seller to disclose it, in writing, to protect both the sellers and the buyers.  Even if the buyers don't ask, I would still tell the sellers to disclose it, in writing.  It doesn't matter if the buyers are older or don't have kids.  You cannot assume they don't care about a sex offender living nearby.  They may have grandchildren who visit and play outside, or friends that come over and bring their kids.  My point is, you shouldn't try to get inside the buyer's head and figure out what is, or is not material.  Only the buyer can decide that.  Just disclose it and let the buyers make that call... whether it's a maintenance problem, or something you know about the neighbors, homeowners association, schools, etc.  Disclose whatever you know.

I know many people are reading this thinking, "Disclose it, even if it they don't ask? That would probably kill the deal."  Well, it's better to kill the deal now than end up in court later.  And actually, being honest from the beginning by making full disclosure reduces the risk of a last minute deal-breaker, 29 days into the transaction.  As a seller, if the deal isn't going to close, don't you want to know right away instead of AFTER your house has been off the market for a month?

Full disclosure isn't just for sellers either.  It's a two-way street.  Buyers should also disclose anything that might be material to the sellers, like if they know something which may affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage.  The "golden rule" can (and should) be applied to real estate transactions, just like anything else in life.  Every transaction is smoother, less stressful and turns out better in the end if both parties are honest and upfront with each other from the beginning. 

But buyers, don't be naive!  You should NOT rely on the sellers to disclose all material facts about the property you're buying.  Even if the sellers are honest people, they may not know all the material facts.  So buyers must also do their "due diligence" by investigating everything that's important to them.  The AZ Department of Real Estate advises buyers to read and investigate the items on this checklist for Arizona home buyers.  While the law may require certain disclosures, "Buyer Beware" is a reality!

Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
Realtor®-Investor

Great American Realty, Inc.

Cell: (480) 695-6672
Email me

Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on April 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

       

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