Arizona Supreme Court Holds That Property Owner Who Quarreled With Light Rail Construction Should Be Compensated For Lost Access

By Eric H. Spencer

Late last week, the Arizona Supreme Court handed down a decision that clarified the rights of property owners who lose access to an abutting road and, in the process, reinforced the principle that both elimination and substantial impairment of access is compensable under the Arizona Constitution.  But perhaps more significant, the Supreme Court in City of Phoenix v. Garretson held that a property owner should be compensated even if it retains relatively convenient access to that road through other means.

In so holding, the Supreme Court no doubt sent initial shockwaves through public works departments across Arizona who may be wondering whether they are hamstrung in making even basic traffic improvements. … Read More »

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Sellers Cannot Look to the Appraiser When Lenders Pull the Plug on a Prospective House Flip

By:  Eric Spencer

An outgrowth of Arizona’s housing downturn in recent years has been the proliferation of would-be real estate investors who purchase, renovate and flip residential properties.   On the other hand, in part to prevent the next downturn from occurring, lenders have tightened borrowing requirements and balked at financing any purchase of a “flipped” home that exceeds the appraised value.  Often caught in the middle of these competing interests are the appraisers themselves: when a lender-commissioned appraisal comes back substantially below the proposed purchase price, the prospective buyer often has no choice but to walk away.   And, when the real transaction falls apart accordingly, the real estate investor-turned-seller might seek to hold the appraiser liable for what it deems to be a negligently-conducted valuation of the property. … Read More »

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