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Dallas Real Estate Law Blog

What is the purpose of a quitclaim deed in Texas?

When one person transfers ownership of real estate to another, the document that consummates the transfer is a deed. There are a number of different types of deeds, each designed for particular transactions. Probably the two most common deeds in Texas are the warranty deed and the quitclaim deed.

A warranty deed transfers the land and also promises, or warrants, that the transferor has good title to the property. A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, contains no such promise. It merely transfers whatever right, title and interest the transferor has in the property -- which theoretically could be none at all.

Record for price of area office buildings could be set in sale

In Texas, commercial real estate can be big business, but those who are erecting a structure, selling units and purchasing them need to be fully immersed in the legal issues that will inevitably arise. When there is a large building for sale, with the attendant commercial matters, there will likely be a great number of suitors to purchase it and the profit can be enormous if the sale is handled correctly. With these matters, one of the key factors in having everything go according to plan is to have legal assistance from start to finish.

Recently, a 13-story office building in the Dallas area was targeted for purchase by a foreign investor, and its sale price could be a new high in its particular area. The property is being considered by an international purchaser and the amount that could be received for it is believed to have the potential for setting a record for office sales in the suburbs. The building was built in 2015 and is considered one of the best in the area. The foreign buyer might pay as much as $400 per square foot. That would be a new high; the previous highest amount paid was $375 per square foot.

Remedies for encroaching structures in Texas

Encroaching structures are a common source of real estate disputes between owners of neighboring properties in Texas. An encroachment occurs when one property owner puts up a structure -- such as a fence, driveway or a portion of a building -- that intrudes onto a neighbor's property.

Before going to court over an encroachment, a property owner should make sure they know where the property line really is. Paying for a survey is a small investment that could save the property owner a lot of money and headaches down the road, if it turns out the structure in question isn't really encroaching after all.

Dallas home prices reached an all-time high in June

The residential real estate market in Dallas has rebounded significantly since the depths of the mortgage foreclosure crisis that triggered the Great Recession almost a decade ago. According to a recent report from a real estate data firm, median house prices in the city reached over $240,000 in June of this year, the highest ever.

Nationwide, home prices hit a record high of $231,000 in the same month. That figure is higher than the peak price of $228,000 in 2005, before the housing crisis hit. June 2016 was the 52nd straight month of increasing prices nationally. Across the country, almost one-third of cities experienced record home prices in June. As home prices have risen, mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest point in three years.

Aggressive counsel for Dallas landlords

Owners of residential rental property in the Dallas-Fort Worth area understand that legal action is sometimes necessary when a tenant fails to pay their rent. Rent collection and eviction proceedings can be exasperating without the help of a knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer.

When rent payments are delinquent, landlords need to act promptly to protect their rights. At the Fell Law Firm, we represent Dallas landlords regularly in court. We represent property owners and managers in a broad spectrum of landlord-tenant litigation matters including eviction, collection of past due rent and disputes over repair, maintenance and security deposits.

When is a zoning change required in Dallas?

Cities around the country, including Dallas, use zoning rules and regulations to manage growth and development. Zoning laws help preserve the character of neighborhoods and the quality of life in the city by dividing the city into districts and requiring that property use within each zone be generally uniform. Most cities have zones for residential, commercial and industrial uses, with subcategories within each permitted use.

In Dallas, there are a number of types of zoning districts. These cover uses including agricultural, single family residential, duplex, multifamily residential, office, lodging, retail and personal service, light industrial, industrial research and industrial manufacturing, among others. Each zoning district has regulations governing land use as well as building height, setbacks, density, lot size, floor area ratio and coverage.

Benefits of being active on your Dallas-Fort Worth condo board

Disputes with a condominium or homeowners' association can be unpleasant and expensive. Too many association board members in Texas have let what power they have go to their heads. The result can be arbitrary, unfair and inconsistent enforcement of the rules and bylaws of the association. This can lead to assessment of unjust fines, wrongful denial of construction or remodeling requests and many more injustices.

One way to protect oneself as a homeowner from an out-of-control condo board is to get active in the condominium association and, ideally, join the board. Condominium boards are made up of people who live in the condominium development or building. Board members are elected by the residents.

Dallas commercial real estate market may be slowing down

For the past seven years, the economic recovery has fueled growth in Dallas' commercial real estate sector. But every recovery must come to an end sometime. According to a recent news article, there are warning signs that the Dallas commercial property market may be slowing down.

One local real estate advisor says new federal regulations on commercial mortgage-backed securities, coupled with stricter lending requirements, are causing a reduction in real estate lending. He also notes that insurance companies are reducing their real estate investments in the area. As developers find it harder to obtain capital for financing projects, Dallas and other cities may see a reduction in new commercial construction. The good news is that tighter capital markets may reduce the risk of overconstruction.

Why does a purchaser of land in Texas need title insurance?

Whether one is buying commercial or residential real estate in Texas, it is a good idea to take out a policy of title insurance when the transaction is finalized. If a lender is financing the purchase, it will almost always require the purchaser to obtain title insurance before it will approve a mortgage on the property. But what exactly is title insurance, and what does it insure against?

In real estate, "title" refers to the owner's rights in the property. Title issues can arise if another party has an interest in the property or makes a claim against the property. For example, if a previous owner failed to pay property taxes, the state may have placed a tax lien on the property. Or the heirs of a previous owner may come forward, claiming they were supposed to inherit the property through a will or trust. Mistakes or omissions in previous deeds can also create title issues for a purchaser.

Dallas commercial real estate market may be slowing down

For the past seven years, the economic recovery has fueled growth in Dallas' commercial real estate sector. But every recovery must come to an end sometime. According to a recent news article, there are warning signs that the Dallas commercial property market may be slowing down.

One local real estate advisor says new federal regulations on commercial mortgage-backed securities, coupled with stricter lending requirements, are causing a reduction in real estate lending. He also notes that insurance companies are reducing their real estate investments in the area. As developers find it harder to obtain capital for financing projects, Dallas and other cities may see a reduction in new commercial construction. The good news is that tighter capital markets may reduce the risk of overconstruction.

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