Topics to Research Before Purchasing Real Estate
Topics to Research Before Purchasing Real Estate
Required disclosure that property is in the territory in the vicinity of either a military airport or public airport.
Arizona Sex Offender Information
The Department of Public Safety's Sex Offender InfoCenter website enables you to search for registered Arizona sex offenders by name or ZIP Code. You may wish to check this site before purchasing a home.
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.
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 - Click here
- Asbestos - Click here
- Lead - Click here
- Hazardous Waste - Click here
- Ground Water Contamination - Click here
- Formaldehyde - Click here
Expansive Soil Survey
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 the purposes of ARS 32-2117, a consumer may find earth fissure maps from the Arizona Geological Survey indicating where expansive and collapsing soil throughout the state, please click here.
Is the home or vacant land within a Special Flood Hazard Area? Is flood insurance needed? It is important to have answers to these questions when purchasing a home in a subdivision, and when constructing a custom home, or purchasing undeveloped (raw) land.
A regular home owner's policy does not cover flood losses. Flood insurance is a separate policy available to every resident in most Arizona communities. Property owners and renters should speak with an insurance professional for more information.
When 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. More information can be found 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.
The Arizona Department of Transportation Intermodal Transport Division website provides schedules, maps and other information of new freeway construction in the state.
The 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 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 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. Click here to read the report, Arizona Geological Survey.
Homeowners Association (HOA) Information
You may wish to seek legal counsel regarding HOA issues. Visit https://azbar.org to find an attorney in Arizona.In 2016, the Arizona Legislature passed legislation moving the Homeowners Association (HOA) Dispute Process to the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE). Link to legislation The Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will accept all cases as referred by the ADRE, and schedule a Hearing date before an Administrate Law Judge (ALJ). Click here to view information on the HOA Dispute Process.
Lead-Based Paint Safety
See the following links for information about lead-based paint, home maintenance and renovation work:
- Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil (EPA)
- Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (HUD)
- Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting rule - for Real Estate Professionals (NAR)
Mold In The Home
See the following links for information about mold, the problems it may cause, and how it may be removed.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Environmental Health
See the following links for information on mortgages.
Sellers Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) and Seller Advisory
Sellers are obligated by Arizona common law to disclose all known material facts about a property to the buyer. The SPDS is designed to provide this disclosure. For a sample of the SPDS, visit the Arizona Association of REALTORS® website.
K. Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer for the Arizona Association of Realtors®, has written two important articles about seller disclosure, "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.
Septic Systems - On-site Wastewater Treatment Facilities
Required by statue, Arizona has a statewide inspection program for on-site wastewater (septic) treatment facilities (septic systems). The inspections are triggered by the resale of a home by an owner or with the assistance of a real estate professional. The inspection requirement applies to any property served by a conventional septic tank system or an alternative on-site system. Learn more at Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's website, Notice of Transfer and Inspection - On-site Wastewater.
The website for the Pest Management Division of the Arizona Department of Agriculture contains information about what you should know about pest management.
Anyone can go on the Pest Management webpage 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 and Financial Institutions website.
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.
Information and maps of Active Management Areas can be found on the Arizona Department of Water Resources website.
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