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Tim Jones

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 ,

Ditch real estate license if only working for self

Q: I know I’ve missed the lowest prices as the real estate market is recovering, but I’d like to begin buying houses as an investment – maybe rent some and flip others. I’ve taken a few courses in real estate and just got my real estate sales license. My plan is to purchase houses at below […]

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

Dad’s trust fell to me; how best to proceed?

Q: My father is a widower and his only real asset is his home. He put the house in his trust many years ago. In December 2013 we had to put Dad in a convalescent home because of the onset of advanced Alzheimer’s disease and other medical issues. I’m the oldest child and am named […]

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

Lot splits often complicated

Q: I recently inherited a large piece of land in Shasta County. The property is made up of 240 acres and there is one old house on the corner of the property. A neighboring property owner wants to buy about 50 acres that border his property. We’ve talked about a price that we have both […]

June 27, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Who’s responsible when neighbor’s pool project causes house to sink?

Q: Mr. Jones; I have been reading your column for going on 10 years now and find it very educational and sometimes very funny what with the pickles people get themselves into. But now I have a problem that I don’t recall you ever talking about. My family and I have lived in our home in […]

June 20, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

I would like a 4-year home lease: Is that possible in California?

Q: My husband and I just got transferred to Travis Air Force Base and we’re looking for a house to rent. I have some questions about renting in California and another Air Force family we know recommended I ask you. We came from a six-year stay in Florida. In those years my family was forced […]

June 13, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

We hired a contractor who is now a no-show, what are our options?

Q: I have signed a contract with a company to do landscaping in my backyard including cement work, installation of overhung plants, drip irrigation and low-watt-voltage lighting and a small putting green. We signed it in mid-February with the work to be started by March 9, and to be finished in three to four weeks. The work […]

May 30, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

New neighbors have parties, cars and cut down their trees – what can we do?

Q: I live in an older subdivision in Vacaville. My wife and I have lived here for almost 20 years. It’s always been a nice, quiet neighborhood. Most of the people who live here are in their late 50’s or older. You usually don’t find cars parked on the street and everybody takes nice care […]

May 23, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Home-based biz owner questions having to pay three taxes with no advantages

Q: I live in downtown Fairfield within the Downtown Improvement District (DID). I own and run a business from one room of the house. Fairfield requires that someone like me pay a business license fee, a DID fee and a home-based business fee. Since the DID fee is for the promotion of events downtown so […]

May 16, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Please help: My neighbor has now brought home a rooster for his chickens

Q: Mr. Jones, my family needs your help. We live in Fairfield and my longtime neighbor has decided he wants to be a farmer or something. Apparently he bought a chicken some time ago. Since we never noticed, I guess it wasn’t a big deal. But he has since acquired at least a dozen chickens. […]

May 09, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Wait! Don’t transfer your late parents house title to your name

Q: Mr. Jones, my mother and father both passed away last year. They were living mostly on Social Security and didn’t have much except their small house that was bought and paid for. My sister and I are their only children and heirs. My sister lives in Florida so we’ve agreed that I should take care […]

May 02, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,
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