What you need to know about home ownership
Authored By: Legal Aid of Northwest Texas - Waxahachie
The governments, City, County, State and Federal, have certain rights to control all land within their geographical areas of authority. This control is exercised by tax assessments, zoning (how land can be used), laws known as eminent domain (taking land for public benefit) and housing standards just to name a few. If you do not pay the taxes assessed on your property, the government can FORECLOSE by filing a court action.
Ownership of land is basically acquired in one of two ways. You buy it or you inherit it. There are several different way to buy ownership in land. Each has its own unique complications and pitfalls. Some people have the ability to pay cash for land. Most people must borrow money from someone to buy the land. This is commonly known as a mortgage. Others who can not obtain a mortgage sometimes rely upon owner financing. This method of purchase is accomplished by a Contract for Deed or retention of a Vendor's Lien by the seller. Except for very rare complicated situations, LAND CAN NOT BE BOUGHT BY ORAL AGREEMENT.
Any agreement involving rights to own, use or occupy land should be in writing and filed in the deed records of the county where the land is located.
If you desire to acquire ownership of land, you need to have a clear understanding about how these laws and regulations can affect you. This article can not anticipate all the problems that everyone will encounter. If you desire to acquire ownership of land or if you inherit land, you should consult an attorney knowledgeable in real property law BEFORE you buy or as soon as you inherit.
BEFORE you agree to a home improvement loan, a home equity loan or any agreement involving your home, you should ALWAYS, contact a lawyer for advice.