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Tim Jones

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 ,

I know my neighbor will complain if I start a day care – what can I do?

Q: My husband and I live in Fairfield and we just had our first child. I’ve decided to stop working in order to be home with my son and would like to establish a day care in my home to help make ends meet. A neighbor has objected, fearing the increased noise and traffic will […]

April 25, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

Can I sue my neighbor over a verbal fence-building agreement gone wrong?

Q: I’m currently having problems with a neighbor about the fence. He asked to replace the fence since it was old. He proposed that if I could buy the fence material he could do the labor, since he is not working and his wife was on disability.  I told him OK since he had no […]

April 11, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

The law as it pertains to owning a home

Owning a home has been the proverbial brass ring for Americans since the end of World War II, which followed the longest, costliest depression in American history. From 1945 until shortly after 2005, Americans bought and owned their homes in unprecedented numbers. Then came the crash of 2008. Sitting here in 2015, we look back […]

April 05, 2014 | Posted in American Home Week 2015 | Tagged

How can brother sell my half of a cabin willed to me by our deceased parents?

Q: My brother and I inherited a cabin our parents owned when they both died unexpectedly about 10 years ago. It was in my parents’ and my brother’s name at the time. After they passed, my brother gave me a one-half interest as our parents would have wanted. My brother passed away in January. I […]

April 04, 2015 | Posted in Home Seller | Tagged ,

We want to evict our tenants, now they’ve sued us. What do we do?

Q:  My husband and I own one rental house in Suisun. It’s the house we lived in for 32 years and raised our family in. We moved to Vacaville a few years ago and decided to keep the Suisun house as a rental. Up until about six months ago everything was fine. We had a […]

March 14, 2015 | Posted in Business | Tagged ,

Homeowner changed his mind on an ‘option to buy.’ What can we do now?

Q: We recently moved into a home and were given the option to enter into a lease with an option to buy. We had the papers drawn up but the homeowner never signed them.  He said he wanted to think it over and that the papers were too confusing. Well, two months later the homeowner […]

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

What is a mold ‘exclusion endorsement’ received with home owners insurance

Q: I just got my homeowners insurance renewal and there was a sheet of paper stuck in the bottom of the envelope that says, “Fungus (Including Mold) Liability Exclusion Endorsement.”  It includes a lengthy definition of “fungus” and talks about bodily injury exclusions and a bunch of other stuff I can’t understand. What is this […]

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

Our parents left us some money, we’d like to invest in some real estate

Q: My parents passed away about eight months ago and left some money to my three brothers and me. The four of us want to use it to invest in some houses and we want to hurry before the market turns around. However, none of us have ever bought real estate before so we really […]

January 31, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Tenants trashed my rental home, and have disappeared – what can I do?

Q: Hi Tim. I read your column every week and you really do the public a great service. This is my first time writing and I’m hoping you can help. My wife and I are retired and we own one rental property in Suisun City, a small house we lived in years ago. I guess […]

January 24, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,

Neighboring dog chewed the fence causing mayhem in my tenant’s backyard

Q: I own a rental property that I’m having a big problem with. A neighbor has pit bull dogs that have been chewing through the fence and damaging my tenant’s toys and my air conditioner wiring. Last week they broke through and almost killed my tenant’s Labrador. He is chewed to bits with vet bills in […]

January 17, 2015 | Posted in Local Business | Tagged ,
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