Real estate is such an interesting subject, and there are many laws and claims that people can make that are relatively unknown. Recently, a sensational news story about a man in Dallas, Texas was brought to the forefront of the news media showing how he had laid claim to a $340,000.00 home through the use of adverse possession. He claimed that through a $16.00 filing at the county courthouse, he could legally claim ownership of the property through this little known real estate law. For some time, he was actually able to live in the home, for free! While adverse possession is in fact an almost unknown way to gain ownership of real estate, his understanding of this law was flawed.
MSN Real Estate posted a great article explaining the entire situation, as well as excellent information on how adverse possession works. Can you get a home via squatter's rights? is the question this article poses, and aims to answer. In an age where foreclosures have left literally thousands of homes vacant, this man's attempt at gaining ownership of an empty home using adverse possession gained the interest of the national media! A little known, real estate law loophole, was a glimmer of hope for people to try and save their properties from foreclosure, or gain a new home without purchasing a home with a large mortgage. Unfortunately, this man had little understanding of the true facets of the law! In fact, occupying a vacant property does not offer the occupant any legal rights of ownership!
In order to protect your rights and interests when trying to gain ownership of real estate, you should contact trusted sources. As a Realtor, I always tell my Buyers and Sellers they can ask me any questions about real estate laws and transactions that aren't common knowledge. If you, or anyone you know, have any questions about real estate, feel free to contact me any time.
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