News & Events - Allen & Associates, LLP

THE STRONG-ARM CLOSING PROCESS: NO MORE

When buyers of residential property sit down at a real estate closing, they are likely to engage in one of the most important and complicated financial transactions they’ve ever encountered. Well before reaching the closing table, prospective homebuyers should have received the Good Faith Estimate and Initial Disclosure (soon to be combined into one document, the Loan Estimate).  A few days prior to closing, the buyers should also receive the HUD- 1 Settlement Statement and TILA form (soon to be combined into the Closing Disclosure Form).  These documents are intended to give the buyers an estimate of what they can expect their home to cost, so they’re not met with any surprises at the closing table.

Unfortunately once sitting down at the closing table, buyers will be asked to sign and review numerous documents they haven’t yet seen, including a Deed, Deed of Trust, Note, and an Affidavit of Identity.   There is no law requiring prior disclosure of these instruments, often leaving homebuyers with just minutes to skim through complicated legal jargon.  With so many binding legal documents in front of them and added pressure from the seller, realtor, and mortgage lender, it is no surprise homebuyers frequently have complaints about the real estate closing process.

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WATER LAW

We have all heard the old adage, “It’s either feast or famine.” Rain in the Hill Country tends to be the same way. In the past year we went from some of the worst droughts since the 1950’s to dealing with very serious and deadly flooding around Memorial Day. Both scenarios can cause problems, with droughts hurting the production of crops, livestock growth and natural flora, and floods creating their own brand of chaos, from flooding water crossings (please don’t drive through them) to washing out roads, fences, and yards. Texas has long dealt with these two extremes, with drought being far more common. Since droughts make water such a precious commodity, many a disagreement has been started over who owns the water, and more recently who is responsible for the runoff.

Everyone in this area had to cope with floodwater runoff recently, whether it was destroying a fence or washing away grass. As soon as the ground was dry a lot of people went to work, trying to more effectively move the water off of their property, so as to prevent this damage the next time it floods. And it will flood again, always has, always will. Shovels, bobcats and backhoes all went to digging, shaping and moving dirt. This is fine out in the rural areas, but in towns and subdivisions this raises questions. What can I do with runoff? Can I divert it elsewhere? Can my neighbor dump their runoff on to my property?

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.