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Real Estate

Owning Land Creates a Sense of Personal Liberty and Provides a Legacy

Owning real estate creates sense of personal liberty and provides a legacy. However, owning land carries with it certain rights and responsibilities. All interests in land must be conveyed in writing whether that conveyance is permanent, such as a land sale, or temporary, such as a landlord/tenant relationship.

 

In the case of the sale of land, a land sale contract is used to convey the interest in the real estate. A deed, created and filed with the county, is the record of the transfer of the interest in that land. And, in many real estate sales, the buyer is financing a portion of the purchase of the land interest. As such, a promissory note codifies the terms of the loan. And, a mortgage or a deed of trust is used to secure, or attach, the loan obligations to the land. If the loan is not repaid the lender of the money (which may be the seller) can foreclose on the property and recoup the money due on the loan. These documents should be created by an attorney due to their complexity and potential to result in litigation.

 

In the case of the issuance of a temporary interest in land, a lease is often used to create the landlord/tenant relationship. The parties are free to contract the terms of the lease. However, there are strict guidelines provided by law, in Texas, regarding the rights and obligations of the landlord and the tenant, especially governing evictions. As with land sale transactions, leases are complex and should be drafted by an attorney.

 

Often times, residential property is purchases in a subdivision, commonly governed by a homeowners' association ("HOA") or a property owners' association ("POA"). And, common to all HOAs and POAs there are deed restrictions that control the owner's use of their property. Courts will typically allow the homeowners' association or property owner's association to enforce the deed restrictions, so long as those restrictions do not offend public policy (e.g. discriminate as to who can own property). As with most real estate related relationships, both the HOA/POA and the property owner have rights and responsibilities. The creation of an homeowners' association or property owners association has all of the same complexities as starting a business. In addition, deed restrictions need to be carefully constructed to comply with the law and achieve the goals of the community. These are very complex documents and should be crafted by an attorney.

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