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Archive for Disclosure


Sedona City Streets how2arizona real estate

Sedona City Streets  how2arizona real estate

Sedona City Street Map

The City of Sedona publishes online maps for streets.  In black are those streets that are maintained by the City, while the blue lines indicate those privately owned and maintained.

If you are buying a property in Sedona, it may be wise to have a survey done if you find that you own the street.  It is possible that your property line goes into the middle of the road.

If you click on the “maps for streets” it will link you to the City of Sedona site.  The purpose of the article is disclosure.  While most people live in areas where all streets are maintained by the city, many of Sedona’s are private.  Any repairs, resurfacing, or liability may be that of the owner.  Ask questions when you purchase.  Check with your insurance company.

Blue lines indicate private streets.

Sedona Private Streets how2arizona real estate

Blue:  Private Streets

The black lines indicate City-Maintained streets, while the blue lines indicate Private ones.

Suggestion:  if you are considering the purchase of a property with private streets, be certain to have a survey.  In many cases where there is no HOA, your new property line may run to the middle of the street.  So runs your maintenance and your liability.  Discuss the issue with your insurance agent.

West Sedona Streets how2arizona real estate

West Sedona Streets

Full disclosure is paramount to a happy real estate transaction.

Call me if I can be of assistance!  Kathy Howe – 928-274-4088

I’ll give you the name of the gentleman at the City of Sedona who can help you determine if your streets are city or private.



The New Normal in Real Estate: MAP Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently issued its

Mortgage Acts and Practices

MAP Rule

The Rule imposes requirements on those that provide information about mortgage credit products to consumers by prohibiting misrepresentations during these communications and also imposing recordkeeping requirements. The Rule will impact real estate professionals that provide this information to consumers, such as giving a consumer a lenders rate sheet. The Rule takes effect on August 19, 2011.



The Rule is to protect the consumer from misinformation about loans and loan costs and the Rule will apply when a real estate professional provides information about a specific mortgage product to a consumer.


It covers both oral and written communications which must be saved by the salesperson/broker for 2 years and contain this disclosure:


“This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. [Name of brokerage] is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact[entity providing mortgage product(s) identified] directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.”


The new Rule lists 19 examples of prohibited deceptive claims, including misrepresentations about:

  • the existence, nature, or amount of fees or costs to the consumer associated with the mortgage;
  • the terms, amounts, payments, or other requirements relating to taxes or insurance associated with the mortgage;
  • the variability of interest, payments, or other terms of the mortgage;
  • the type of mortgage offered;
  • the source of an advertisement or other commercial communication; and
  • the consumer’s ability or likelihood of obtaining a refinancing or modification of a mortgage or any of its terms.



An interesting observation from FTC BEAT. The author writes a well  thought out synopsis of the new MAP Rule and its impact on the real estate community.


It’s going to be interesting to see how real estate licensees and brokers handle this.  In AZ the licensee/salesperson is not required to keep transaction documents, only the broker.  The broker will be responsible for the supervision of this Rule… the question will be “how”.


MAP Rule




Let’s wait to see how the new Rule affects us…


Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

  • how2arizona real estate LLC
  • how2educate LLC
  • 928-274-4088
  • Uptown Sedona resident and member of the Sedona Main Street Program Board of Directors


Let’s hope this Rule goes away…

Arizona Water Company 2010 Quality Report

Water Quality Report

water quality

Water Quality Report



If you live in Sedona, AZ, you will be served by a private water company.  See our related post.  Knowing and understanding the potential health affects of Sedona’s drinking and bathing water should be investigated prior to purchasing property in Arizona, particularly if you are purchasing a property that has a well or if you are planning to drill a well.  Water quality is important.

Here is a report concerning the new Arizona Water Company surcharge and its relevance to new arsenic standards.

Arsenic levels in the US.

EPA’s Arsenic Information:  Click here.

EPA’s drinking water quality standards:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for inorganic arsenic in drinking water at 0.05 mg/L (mg/L = parts per million or ppm). Drinking water that meets the current standard is associated with little or no risk and should be considered safe with respect to arsenic. However, this standard is currently under review and the MCL may be decreased in the future.”

Arsenic Arizona Water Quality

Removal of arsenic:  ”The most reliable water treatment processes for arsenic removal are reverse osmosis and distillation. Of the two processes, reverse osmosis devices are less costly, take less time, and use less energy than distillation devices. Reverse osmosis devices can be installed at the point of entry (for the entire household water supply) or for drinking water only. Treating all of the household water will be considerably more expensive than treating drinking water only. Many water treatment companies sell or rent reverse osmosis devices and offer maintainence agreements.”

Click here for the Coconino Water Quality Report (including Sedona) which rates Sedona 6 out of 10.  Many options are available to improve your water quality and remove arsenic and we have listed but a few resources in this post.  A starting place.  Before you purchase, do your independent research.

FYI.  If you have a septic system or an alternative waste system, check with experts on what affect the filtration system might have on the waste facility.  Depending on who you talk to or which side of the issue you read, there will be many varied opinions.  One thing that does seem to be common: raising the salt water discharge into the waste system may upset the ph level necessary for the bacteria do do their job.  Ask an expert.

water quality

water quality


From the Arizona Department of Health Services comes this brochure on arsenic in Arizona. Click here.

From the University of Arizona comes this water quality warning (especially if you are going to own or drill a well):

  • Determine if you have an Arsenic problem
  • Research the technology….will it handle your Arsenic problem?
  • Contact a responsible, ethical vendor/provider and discuss your needs.
  • Get an estimate of costs……water chemistry testing by vendor,
  • installation, routine periodic maintenance and monitoring…… writing.
  • Periodically have your treated water “product” tested by an independent,
  • certified lab to be sure your technology does what it claims to do

And then:

  • Test your well water regularly….including Arsenic
  • Determine the level of Arsenic contamination and what is your exposure level to Arsenic.
  • If you are experiencing any health problems which could be caused by excessive exposure to Arsenic…. consult your family physician or Arizona Department of Health Services.
  • If your well water Arsenic tests exceed 10ppb, stop drinking it…move to a safer source of water for drinking and cooking while you come up with a plan

The full report: click here.

Contact numbers:

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 3033 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012 1–800–234–5677 ext 4536 1–602–207–4536

From the EPA, more Arizona phone numbers:  Click here.

Kathy Howe

Owner/Broker how2arizona real estate LLC

  • 928-274-4088


Arizona’s Dual Agency

Arizona allows disclosed Dual Agency

Arizona's Agency Structure

This is the real estate structure in Arizona.  Salespersons and Associate Brokers hang their real estate licenses with the Employing Broker and are supervised by the Designated Broker.  All listing employment agreements and all buyer broker agreements are taken by the salesperson or associate broker for the employing broker.  Each real estate salesperson or associate broker is usually and Independent Contractor who works with the employing broker through an Independent Contractor Agreement.

Many sellers and buyers never meet the Designated Broker of the Employing Broker, the real estate brokerage firm, and are only familiar with “their” agent.  So it’s easy to understand why there is confusion and misunderstandings when Dual Agency occurs.

When a salesperson with the same real estate brokerage firm who works under the same Designated Broker writes an offer on a property listed by that firm, Dual Agency has occurred.  It occurred when the property showing took place…even before the offer was written…

Dual Agency = Limited Agency

It starts when the showing occurs and the disclosure should be made by the salesperson, if only casually.  The Arizona Association of REALTORS(R) have a great agency disclosure form called the READE form which includes disclosure about Dual Agency.

Here’s how Dual Agency works:

Arizona Dual Agency

If you want more information on how Dual Agency works in Arizona, read this post on our sister site, how2educate LLC

  • Ask questions if you are writing an offer on a property listed by your agent
  • Ask questions if your agent is writing an offer on a property within their brokerage
  • Ask your agent how things will work if an offer comes in from an agent with your brokerage
  • Ask how you will be represented in a Dual Agency situation

Successful Dual Agency transactions work when salespeople work for the equal interests of the principals.

Disclosed Dual Agency can work.

Looking for Sedona area properties for sale? Click here.

Kathy Howe  Owner/Broker, how2arizona real estate LLC,

and owner/administrator/educator of how2educate LLC

Arizona’s Dual Agency

“As Is” Means “Buyer Beware”

as is

Are you thinking of purchasing a home? It’s a great time to buy!

“As Is” = “Buyer Beware”

Know that if you are going to purchase a foreclosure or a “short sale”, you will be required to sign an “as is” addendum. That addendum may be a bank-attorney drafted “as is” paragraph in the purchase contract addendum, or it could be the Arizona Association of REALTORS(R) “as is” addendum.

Whichever, you need to give some thought to what the “as is” addendum means.

Is “as is” just a statement that the Seller is not going to pay for repairs?

No. Absolutely not.

  • It’s about you taking the property in its current condition.
  • It’s about you not getting any warranties.
  • It’s about the Seller having to disclose all material latent defects.
  • It’s about the Seller having to give you time for inspections.
  • It’s about you doing inspections.
  • It’s about you checking and rechecking information.
  • It’s about you having to pay for repairs that are normally costs of the Seller.

Your Buyer’s agent will give you direction about city, county, state officials to contact. The HOA, homeowner association, information will be made available to you and you should talk with them and the neighbors. Be sure to ask for the “pickiest” home inspector. Yes. Without any Seller disclosure on a foreclosure, you want an inspection that addresses everything. You want an inspector who tells you the “good, bad, and the ugly.”

Arizona’s Home Inspectors are certified, but there are still A, A+, and “B” inspectors. Ask your agent for names of 3 inspectors and spend the time to interview them. Don’t be blown away by a huge binder with lots of paper, but rather look at the background of the inspector, and ask for references.

“As Is”

More information can be obtained about the language of the purchase contract and the “as is” addendum in a post at how2educate’s website.  Click here.

The more you know about “as is”, the better your buying experience.

While you are looking for Sedona, Verde Valley, Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottononwood, Cornville, Village of Oak Creek, or Sedona Golf Resort properties for sale, you’ll give us a call.  We can assist you with “as is” property conditions.

Kathy Howe  Owner/Broker  928-274-4088

as is

Sedona “as is” properties for sale include foreclosures, short sales, and traditional sales.

Coconino County Septic System Worksheet

Coconino County Alternative Waste Disposal System worksheet when sewer hook-up is not available.

Use this worksheet when trying to decide what size waste system you will need when your build your dream home.

Coconino County

One note to be concerned with is the notation that in Coconino County, any room that is 70 square feet is considered a bedroom for the purpose of computing septic or alternative waste system size.

Whether you purchase one of the many Sedona homes, lots, or properties for sale in the Uptown, Palisades, Chapel Area, the Coconino County Rules will prevail.  See the map bifurcating Sedona into 2 separate counties:  Coconino County and Yavapai County.  The City of Sedona has its rules as well.

Coconino County


Consulting with your contractor about the need for a good engineer when you build your dream home, or consulting with the engineer before you decide to remodel the dream home you have purchased will go along way in saving you money if you do not have sewer hook-up.

Procedures for your Coconino County site evaluation.

Coconino County remodel or addition requirements.

If you are purchasing a Sedona home for sale, it is wise to ask the listing agent for a copy of the Coconino County alternative waste disposal system approval.  There’s a lot of information to gain and you may wish to know about the system before you purchase rather than finding yourself in the middle of a due diligence period without time to understand the system and what it will cost to maintain.

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

  • how2arizona real estate LLC
  • 450 Jordan Rd “C”, Sedona, AZ 86336
  • 928-274-4088

Proud resident of Uptown Sedona (Coconino County)

Find Criminals Living Near You

A website that shows you criminals, felons, living near you…

criminalsWhen buyers are looking for properties to purchase, they seldom look at the makeup of the neighbors or the neighborhood until the inspection period.  Many times the concern is only for child molesters.  Criminals and felons?  Not often do buyers know where to search and Police Departments do not usually make the information available.  Crime rates, yes.  The addresses of criminals, no.  Click here.  Find felons living near you, friends, family…

We don’t know the accuracy of the information derived from this site, but it does have more information than most websites givecriminals prospective buyers about criminals.

Click here for Arizona Sex Offender Locator

Phoenix Criminals Arrest Website

Determining the neighborhood that works for you is important; and, it is very important to you to know if criminals might be close by.  Some offenders may be of little consequences, but some, such as rapists or pedophiles may make a difference to your decision to purchase.

How does Sedona rank with criminals and their activity as compared to Arizona and the US?  Below both.



Investigate your neighborhood before you purchase.  Under the AAR residential purchase contract, there is a 10 day inspection period which includes the physical inspection of the property and the all-round due diligence connected with the property.  Time and comprehensive due diligence is important.  Be sure to check out your soon-to-be new neighborhood.

Sedona City Government:  Click here.  Criminals and burglary.

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

  • how2arizona real estate LLC
  • 450 Jordan Rd, “C”, Sedona, AZ

Criminals and websites are ever changing.  We deem the information contained through these links about criminals and locations to be correct as provided by the source.

Does “As Is” Mean No Seller Property Disclosure?

Seller Property Disclsoure

In Arizona we use Hill v. Jones as our foundation for seller property disclosure.

“A seller has an affirmative duty to disclose material facts which adversely affect the value of the property.” Arizona Court of Appeals, 151 Ariz. 81, 725 P.2d 1115 (1986).

Recently we have begun to see more sellers using the “as is” addendum in traditional sales (not just REOs and foreclosures).  What does this mean to buyers?

Another Arizona case describes “as is” and its impact on a transaction:  S Development Company v. Pima Capital Management Co.

“We hold that latent defects in a property sold “as is” that are known to the vendor must be disclosed to the purchaser.   We also hold that a vendor may be held liable for negligent nondisclosure of facts basic to the transaction when the purchaser is precluded by the vendor from discovering those facts.”  These words reaffirm Hill v. Jones.  Sellers cannot say they have made all disclosures and then not allow the buyer an inspection period.

Further in S Development Company v. Pima Capital Management Co., “…Consequently, absent fraud or misrepresentation, a contractual agreement to accept real property “as is” with the right to inspect defeats liability…”

What is the difference between a latent defect and a patent defect as it affects property disclsoure?

Patent comes from the word “apparent”; therefore, a patent defect is one that can be discovered visible or by an inspection.

Latent defects are described as:  “a hidden flaw, weakness or imperfection in an article which a seller knows about, but the buyer cannot discover by reasonable inspection.” – the Free Legal Dictionary

“As Is” in Arizona has always been upheld as “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware”, if 2 things happen:  1)  seller discloses latent material information; and 2)  buyer is allowed an inspection period.

Recently this story came out from Inman News (one of real estate’s top news organizations) about “as is” as it applies to Alabama real estate transactions.  Teer v. Johnston

As a buyer it is highly recommended that you and your agent discuss the ramifications of signing an “as is” addendum.  The onus of proof that the seller committed fraud or misrepresentation is on the shoulders of the buyer.  While the proof may be at hand, the courts may make a “caveat emptor” decision.

If asked to sign an “as is” addendum, try to write it out by stating something to the effect:  “…buyer is not asking the seller to pay for or to make any repairs but buyer conditions the sale on the warranties of sections…”

Most sellers think that “as is” means they don’t have to pay for repairs.  The same holds for some buyers and their agents.  It’s a lot more than about repairs…

It’s about property disclosure

property disclosure

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathyproperty disclosure

Proud resident of Uptown Sedona

Does Your Real Estate Agent Negotiate for You?



Does your agent merely fax over your offer to the seller’s agent?


Does your real estate agent ask to be present at the presentation of the offer for you?

As the seller, do you want to be able to ask questions about the buyer?  Might your questions of the buyer’s agent be able to clear up misunderstandings and give you a clear picture of the offer?  Might you and your agent be able to negotiate with the buyer’s agent?

In most areas of the country the NAR Multiple Listing Policies state something like the following:


The cooperating broker (subagent or buyer agent) or his representative has the right to participate in the presentation to the seller or lessor of any offer he/she secures to purchase or lease. He/she does not have the right to be present at any discussions or evaluations of that offer by the seller or lessor and the listing broker.

However, if the seller or lessor gives written instructions to the listing broker that the cooperating broker not be present when an offer the cooperating broker secured is presented, the cooperating broker has the right to a copy of the seller’s or lessor’s written instructions. None of the foregoing diminishes the listing broker’s right to control the establishment of appointments for such presentations.

The seller’s agent is also allowed to be present at the presentation of the counter offer unless the buyer gives written instructions to his/her agent not to allow the other agent at the presentation…and the seller’s agent has the right to see the written refusal of presence.


As a buyer or seller, your agent should welcome the presence of the other agent.  Having the other agent at the presentation insures that all parties have been represented.  Both agents have been hired to negotiate for their clients.

You hire an agent to negotiate for you.

If you are the buyer, ask that your agent be at the presentation of the offer. To be certain your offer is presented in its total and to negotiate if the situation presents itself.

Before selecting an agent, ask the question:  “Do you encourage the buyer’s agent to be at the presentation of his/her offer?”  and “How do you intend to negotiate for me?”

If you get the response:  ”we don’t do things that way here”…  ask for the agent to explain how they intend to negotiate for you.

Expect the best!  Hire an agent who will negotiate for you.  After all, most advertise that they “will negotiate for you”.

GREAT negotiators:
ASK more and better questions…
LISTEN intently to the answers…

~ Jim Hennings

negotiateKathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

how2arizona real estate
1120 W SR89A, B-5, Sedona, AZ 86336
Proud resident of Uptown Sedona!


Kathy Howe owns and operates how2educate LLC (real estate education) and is an Arizona Department of Real Estate educator who teaches real estate, including how to negotiate for your clients.

Buyers: Beware of HOAs! Check the Books!

HOA BEWARE OF HOAs!  Check the Books!

Of course you think you want to live in a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) because there will be an entity who will keep the community looking nice.  They will help keep up the property values and pay for maintenance and upkeep.

But, at what expense to you?  What are the monthly or annual dues of the HOA?

What are the reserves of the HOA?

In today’s short sale and foreclosure market, many HOAs find themselves not being able to meet the annual budget causing cuts to services and limited reserves.

In Arizona Condominimum and Planned Community HOAs are governed by statute.

Before you purchase in an HOA, be certain to go over the HOA’s financial books and ask how many owners are NOT up to date with their dues.  Ask what action(s) the HOA uses to collect delinquint dues.  Ask if the HOA ever forecloses on an owner.

Why is investigating the HOA important to you?

Should the Association fall behind in collections, they have no recourse but to assess other owners or go without.  It can take years to collect when owners allow their properties to go to foreclsoure…and sometimes the HOA will never collect.  Going to court to get a judgement against an owner is not without its problems.  There are bad feelings, court costs, expense of collecting on the judgement or keeping the judgement alive (has to be renewed every 5 years in AZ if not fulfilled).

Be careful before buying in an HOA.

Ask the HOA questions.

Ask other residents about the HOA.

Many buyers receipt the HOA documents but do not thoroughly read them prior to purchasing the property.  Issues like pets, open garage doors… all make the new neighborhood seem like a penitentiary rather than a neighborhood after moving in when the fines begin or the notices arrive.  Learn all you can before moving to an HOA.

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy

Kathy is also a trained mediator in AZ (and HI) who does Justice Court mediations in Maricopa County, including small claims court HOA cases.

Arizona Water Contamination

arizona waterIf you are looking at property in the Phoenix or Tucson areas be certain that disclosures have been made to you about groundwater issues in certain areas.   Prescott, Sedona, the Verde Valley… check with the entity who will supply your water.

Tucson International Airport Superfund Site

arizona water

Phoenix ADEQ WQARF Site

arizona water

Disclosure is the key to purchasing a property anytime.  No surprises.  Risk assessment.

As a buyer, take the time to do your investigations.  If you are purchasing in Tucson, Prescott, Sedona and areas where the water source comes in contact with rocks, you may want to talk to the entity who will supply your water.  The University of Arizona supplies this information.

ADEQ gives this fact sheet about arsenic.

If you own a well in Arizona, this is a fact sheet from the UofA Cooperative Extension.

Arsenic Levels in Arizona 1993-2007 summary.arizona water

Kathy Howe aka SedonaKathy