Texas Real Estate Lawyers
In Texas, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many various facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Texas real estate law can be very complicated, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Texas real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Texas
Financing: Most people in Texas probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Thus, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, normally a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other structure is for sale, the seller has to tell prospective buyers about all physical defects of which the seller is aware, and which the buyer couldn't be reasonably expected to discover. However, if you are selling a house, you should probably just disclose every defect you're aware of. This will save you a great deal of potential liability. Even if your disclosure of a particular defect wasn't required (because the buyer could have easily discovered it), the buyer might still sue, and the cost of defending this lawsuit, even if you win, will be very high.
Warranty of Habitability: All residential property which is being rented must be fit for human habitation. This is normally not a difficult standard for a reasonably well-maintained unit to meet (or one would think), but violations of this rule still occur. When renting an apartment, the landlord is implicitly promising that the unit will be habitable, whether or not such a promise is actually written in the lease, or even if the lease disclaims it. There are many requirements for a dwelling to be habitable, and most of them are fairly obvious- they include heating, running water, electricity, and basic protection from the elements. There are many other requirements, however.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws dictate what kinds of buildings can be placed on lots in certain parts of a town or city. Their purpose is to ensure, for example, that sewage treatment plants don't get built next to homes, or that noisy, polluting factory doesn't get built next to a daycare center. To this end, they "zone" sections of the locality for various uses, such as residential, industrial, commercial, etc. If you are buying a piece of vacant land, it's essential that whatever use you intend to make of it is compatible with Texas's zoning laws.
Do I Need a Texas Real Estate Lawyer?
The issues discussed above, as well as the many others that can affect real estate, can get very convoluted. For that reason, it's probably a good idea to consult with a Texas real estate lawyer before undertaking any major real estate transaction.
Texas has a population of over 25 million people and is the second largest state by population and geographic size. Large industries like agriculture drive the state's economy. The Texas region was previously under Spanish colonial rule; at one point its official name was "Nuevo Reino de Filipinas: La Provincia de Texas".
A popular saying is "Everything is bigger in Texas". This is true even of the state's judicial court system, which is one of the most complicated in the entire U.S. This is because at each level, courts may be subdivided into separate civil and criminal branches. For example, most states only have a Supreme Court at the highest level; however, Texas has two courts of last resort, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court for civil cases.
The state of Texas maintains a special branch of law enforcement called the Texas Ranger Division. The Texas Rangers are commonly cited in popular media and have played a major role in many famous Texas criminal cases. A famous Texas civil case is Van Orden v. Perry (2005), which involved a Constitutional challenge of "religious symbols" located in front of the capitol building in Austin.
At times it may be necessary to hire a lawyer in Texas in order to navigate the multi-layered judicial system. Texas lawyers are skilled at processing claims in the different types of state courts. Working with a lawyer can help ensure that your legal needs are properly met.