FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Tim Jones

Notify title insurance company to remove lien

Q: I’m trying to sell a house I’ve owned for almost 20 years. My Realtor found a good buyer but when the preliminary title report came back it showed a lien against the property for a mortgage that the guy I bought the house from had, or at least his name is on the paperwork. […]

Homeowner’s insurance will protect you as landlords

Q: I’m a longtime reader, first-time writer. My brother and I recently inherited an older, small home and some cash from our father. We would like to rent the home and use the cash as a down payment on two or three more houses that we’d use for investment and rental income. My brother is […]

Ex-wife wants house sold 11 years after divorce

Q: The home I now live in was originally purchased by my wife and me almost 20 years ago. More than 11 years ago she and I divorced and she moved out of state. The break-up was friendly so we got a book and did the divorce ourselves, without attorneys. I have just received a letter […]

Transfer of real estate ownership requires a written contract

Q: My father died about eight years ago and shortly after my mother moved in with one of my sisters. With no income, she wasn’t able to pay the $600 per month mortgage on our family home. With the bank threatening to foreclose, she asked all five of us children if any of us wanted […]

January 09, 2016 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Path to selling your home yourself is filled with legal obstacles

Q: I’ve been served with a lawsuit from a guy who bought my house last August. Because I didn’t have much equity I decided to sell it myself with the help of a book I bought at the mall. Everything was great because I got an offer right away and the whole sale went about […]

December 26, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Rent a matter of negotiation between landlord, tenant

Q: I have a landlord/tenant issue that I have been dealing with for the past three years. Any information on how to deal with this issue will be greatly appreciated. I currently reside in a very small apartment complex in east Fairfield. Approximately three years ago a new property management company took over managing my […]

December 19, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Upside, downside to joining class-action lawsuit against homebuilder

Q: We bought a house in a newish subdivision last year. So far we have had absolutely no problem with the place. Yesterday (Saturday) a guy in a suit came to our door to tell us that there is defective construction in our house and many of our neighbors are joining together in a lawsuit […]

December 12, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Eminent domain for property repair is an option

Q: Mr. Jones: I have a problem. It’s a big, expensive problem and I have no idea how to handle it. I live in an older subdivision in Suisun City. Over the past many years my house has been slowly sinking on the south side. Now there’s a drop of almost 5 inches on the […]

December 05, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Written contract, witness to deal, always good

Q: The absentee owner of the property next to my house and driveway has a pine tree approximately 30 feet high. The tree constantly sheds pine needles, pine cones and pine sap balls on my house, car and walkway. The tree sits about 1 foot away from the shared fence and about 10 feet away […]

November 28, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Retaining walls conjur a variety of issues

Q: I live in a developed residential courtyard in Fairfield sharing fencing with five neighbors. My property is higher than one of my back neighbors. We share a fence with an existing wooden retaining wall that was installed by the original developers in 1980. The wall and fence need to be replaced soon. The neighbor wants to […]

November 21, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Fencing over difficult fence line needs compromise

Q: My husband and I are longtime readers of your informative column, but first-time writers. We hope you can find time to answer this in your column. We have owned our home in Fairfield for almost 11 years. We live in a subdivision that was built back in the mid-1960s. Our neighbors moved in about […]

November 14, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Paid house sitter refuses to leave: What’s next?

Q: I live alone in a home my husband and I bought almost 40 years ago. He died 11 years ago. Three months ago my daughter and her husband asked me to come visit them in Florida for a while. I have a dog and several cats which I didn’t want to leave at home. A friend […]

November 07, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Power of attorney may not be enough to allow sale of father’s home

Q: My father is 86 years old and a widower. My mom died about 12 years ago. Back then we went to an attorney who drafted a power of attorney so if anything ever happened to Dad, I could manage his affairs. The time has come for him to move in with my husband and […]

October 31, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Seller ‘disappears’ prior to close of escrow: What next?

Q: My wife and I are in a contract to buy our first house in Vacaville. We were excited to get the house since there were apparently three offers on it at the same time. The seller accepted our offer about three weeks ago and we are, or were, getting ready to close in about […]

October 24, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Possible pot-grow in rental home poses problems

Q: My husband and I own a small rental house. About six months ago we rented it to a couple of fairly young guys. It’s not in the best part of town and the rent is fairly low, but the house is paid for (it used to be my parents’ home) and it’s been a […]

October 17, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Buyer commits unintentional fraud: What next?

Q: Last month I bought a home to use as a rental. My Realtor was also the person who did the VA loan. This weekend I was sorting through all the paperwork I got after the escrow closed and discovered a document which says it is a declaration that I intend to live in the […]

October 10, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Neighbor threatens suit after tree-swing incident

Q: I live in an older Fairfield home and have been here for almost 25 years. There’s a big tree in my backyard that grows right next to the fence. Some new neighbors moved in about a year ago and their kids tied a swing onto one of the big branches that hangs over the […]

October 03, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Be as specific as possible when drafting contracts

Q: Good job on the questions you answer. You cover a lot in a succinct manner. I am a tenant in Napa. This home was for sale when we rented it and now we have extended our first year’s lease with no substantial changes. When we rented our home, we knew the owner wanted to […]

September 26, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Buying foreclosures has its risks

Q: Are foreclosures a good way to buy your first house? I have several friends who have bought them over the past many years, but now that the market is recovering I’d like to know your thoughts. We aren’t very picky about what the house looks like or where it is located because we intend to […]

September 19, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Mature trees present chance to review state’s ‘tree law’

Q: I always enjoy your columns. In fact, it’s the first item I read in the DR on Saturdays. I may have an upcoming issue and want to head it off at the pass. My wife and I bought our house in Suisun City more than 30 years ago when they were new. We preceded […]

September 12, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Normal activities rile not-so-normal neighbors

Q: I had a few questions with regard to my neighbors. We recently moved into this rental house in a nice area. We’re paying big rent but are being harassed by our quiet-as-a-mouse neighbors. I want to know what our rights as tenants are and if what they are doing is right. They have called the […]

September 05, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Short-sale contract addendum causes angst

Q: I’m 75 years old and trying to purchase a short-sale house and have a question which neither my Realtor nor my mortgage company answer. I was just asked to sign a pre-foreclosure sale addendum and one of the conditions states: “There are no agreements, understandings or contracts between the Seller(s) and Buyer(s) that the […]

August 29, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Pool a concern as home becomes rental property

Q: Thank you for taking my question by email. We have a house in Solano County which I would like to rent. The problem is we have a swimming pool and my husband is afraid of the liability if a renter or anyone else gets hurt or drowns in the pool while it is a […]

August 22, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Teen trespasser bitten by pet dog. Now what?

Q: My husband and I are longtime readers. Now we’re hoping you can help us. We live in an older Suisun City subdivision and have a 5-year-old German shepard named Pal as our family pet. New neighbors moved in a few months ago and they have two teenage boys. While we were at church one […]

August 15, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Effects of bad credit history ripple into rental market

Q: I’m getting married in September and my fiancée and I have been looking for apartments in the Fairfield and Vacaville areas. We have found several apartments that we both like. We are both in our mid-20s and living with our parents. I was in the United States Navy for four years and recently got […]

August 08, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Consider option agreement to secure right to buy home later

Q: My girlfriend and I are getting married next spring. We’re both in college so we don’t have a lot of money to buy a house. My parents are willing to buy the house for us as long as we make the payments, which I’m sure we can handle with the help of student loans […]

August 01, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Couple on short end of homebuilder contract

Q: Mr. Jones; my husband and I have been trying to buy a brand new home in Fairfield. It would be our first home and we’ve been working for a very long time to get ourselves in the position where we could get to have a good downpayment and qualify for a loan. We saw […]

August 01, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Furnace repairs at heart of buyer-seller dispute

Q: We purchased a house last month. Three or four days before we closed escrow, our agent took us through the house to conduct a walk-through inspection. At that time we discovered what we thought was a problem with the furnace’s thermostat. Because we were going to close in a few days, our agent negotiated […]

August 08, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,
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