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Questions Answered by Cheryl Rivera Smith
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: I put an offer on a house and backed out in 7 days, seller says he cant find my option check and is suing for gfe $1500
Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

Any time you are sued, you need to contact an attorney NOW. Time is not on your side and you could lose by default.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: If I signed an Texas Designation of Homestead Affidavit do I have any rights to the home, even if purchased before marriage?

I also signed the refinance docs as well, but I do not know if we got any cash back. I have never had any access to our accounts so I can't look at past transactions until the discovery comes back. I am being kicked out of the house by my soon-to-be ex because our divorce, and I want to know... Read more »

Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

Texas is an inception of title state. The house should be your separate property if it was bought before the marriage, however, you spouse might have a right of reimbursement as to payments, taxes, insurance, and maintenance made with community funds during the marriage. Nothing is black and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Adverse posesion
Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

It takes 10 years or more of continued occupancy to prove up ownership under the doctrine of Adverse Possession. I know there has been some talk of this vehicle, but don't bother. It is likely that you'll end up defending a lawsuit.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: The contract states 10 acres more or less. I wonder how much more or how much less? Maybe 1/8 acre?
Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

Not necessarily. It could be as little as a few square feet or it could be exact. The best way to assure quantity of land is to obtain a survey. It is possible the seller has an old survey that you can rely on as long as there hasn't been any street widening or other action taken around the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Have a 2nd home in Texas that is way underwater. I have it on market for 2 years with no takers. CAD valued at $37K

And owe $55K. What are my options?

Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

Your best bet is to list it at market value and offer it as a short sale. Keep in mind that the transaction will require lender approval, but a broker who is familiar with short sales can walk you through the process.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: Rear lot fence that I had built five years is partially on lot behind my home by about four inches.

Lot was empty when fence was built 5 yrs ago. Lot sold one year after fence was built, then home was built and sold last year. House is now for sale -- buyer wants me to move fence onto my property at my expense. I claim that if the fence is on him property, he has rights to the fence and that... Read more »

Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

Yes. You are trespassing onto his property. If the fence was over 10 years old, then the answer would be probably not. You just don't have enough time.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: A house has been empty for almost 2 years. Can I move in and pay back taxes to keep it

It was owned by a man who is deceased now. No court documents have been presented to the county to change it to anyone.

Cheryl Rivera Smith
Cheryl Rivera Smith answered on Oct 1, 2012

No. It takes 10 years of continuous occupancy to prove up ownership under the doctrine of adverse possession.

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