Austin Construction And Real Estate Law Blog

Home disclosure statements can help you avoid trouble

From the day you decided you had found the house of your dreams, you began to receive and sign mountains of documents. While you were searching for a home that ticked off all the boxes on your wish list, you may not have had the time to research the real estate laws in Texas. You may not have understood that the law requires the sellers to provide you with a written statement disclosing certain defects in the house.

Texas disclosure laws are tougher than many states. Unless you are buying the house in a foreclosure sale or under certain other circumstances, you are entitled to know what the owners know about the condition of the house. Once you have moved into the home, you do not want to discover that the roof leaks or that the previous owners had been in a boundary dispute with their neighbor.

Essential elements of a solid construction contract

As a construction contractor, you know that every project is unique. For this reason, every contract you enter into with a developer or property owner will have its own unique elements.

Even so, every contract needs to contain certain elements that help ensure you protect your rights as the project progresses. After all, if a dispute arises with the other party, your contract will provide guidance for its resolution.

Where does your property begin and your neighbor's end?

As a Texas property owner, you have the right to protect your investment. This may mean several things, and one of them may include keeping the wrong people off your land or off your property. This can be particularly difficult when there is confusion and disagreement over where the property lines actually are. It is important to clearly establish where your land ends and your neighbor's begins. 

Boundary disputes can be much more than an inconvenience for you as the property owner. Not only could this mean that you may find people walking across your land, but it could also mean that your neighbor may try to erect a fence, build a structure or even put a pool in – over where you believe your property line is. This is frustrating and stressful, but thankfully, there are legal options available.

Specific signs that may indicate a foundation problem

When your Texas business is ready to move into a new commercial space, you understand the importance of ensuring there are no problems with the quality of the building. Issues with a building can cost you significant time and money, and you want to avoid these types of problems whenever possible. This is especially true when there are problems with the foundation of the home.

Foundation problems can be extremely expensive to fix. Thankfully, there are certain signs to look for when inspecting a building or looking at a space as a potential office or business space. Knowing what to look for before you move forward or sign on the dotted line will allow you to avoid problems that could be financially devastating for your Texas business down the road. 

Is your construction project experiencing water problems?

Building a new construction project in Texas can be a lengthy, arduous process. Your progress is subject to everything from the weather to the whims of the contractor. It can be frustrating and expensive, but it may seem like all of the hassle was worth it when it's over and you can finally occupy the space. 

Days, weeks or even months after you move in, you may notice certain problems. With new construction, it is rather common to see cosmetic issues that fixing, finishes that need changing or other problems that need addressing. One of the most serious is water intrusion. Water issues are particularly serious because they can often indicate serious underlying problems and eventually lead to mold, structural damage and more.

Protect yourself from new home construction problems

When you purchase an older home here in Austin, the current owner likely already knows about the house's problems and issues. More than likely, the person who owned it when it was first built, who may or may not be the current owner, already found and repaired any defects from the construction process. For this reason, you can probably have some confidence that it does not have any major defects not already disclosed by the current owner.

When you enter into a contract to build a new home, you don't have the time and experience of other owners to rely on. All you have is the word of your construction contractor that the home does not contain any construction defects. You may want to take steps to help ensure that you can trust that statement.

Did you account for weather delays in the construction contract?

One of the biggest unknowns in any construction project is the weather. When you bid for a job, negotiate the contract and start the job, you can't predict what the weather will do from day to day after construction begins.

For this reason, you need to include provisions in your contract regarding what happens when weather stops work. You need to identify what weather events allow excusable delays and what kind of extension of time you receive.

What does a preservation easement mean for your land?

When you buy property in Texas, you probably have plans for how you want to use that property now and in the future. It's good to have a plan, but it's smart to know if any legal issues could stand between you and your plans. One of these things includes an easement.

An easement on a piece of land gives a person who is not the property owner the right to access that land for a specific purpose -- to enter their own property, access public space and more. There are also different types of easements, and one specific type that could affect your goals for your property is a preservation easement. Before you move forward, it is beneficial to learn more about this issue and understand what it could mean for your specific plans.

Is your neighbor's shiny new garage on your land?

You've probably heard the old adage that says, "good fences make good neighbors." It comes from a poem by Robert Frost, and it's good advice if you ever want to sell your property. Unmarked boundary lines can result in your neighbor building either all or part of a new garage on your land.

You might not have a problem with this at first since it doesn't interfere with how you live on your property. However, if you put your property on the market, a potential buyer could take issue with the garage's position. For this reason, if you even slightly believe that you could sell, you may want to address the issue now rather than later. Of course, the best time to do so would be before the structure goes up, but you may not have fully considered future problems when it happened.

Should you sue for breach of a real estate contract?

When it comes to contracts related to real estate matters, you may think that there is nothing left to worry about once all parties sign the contract. It can be shocking to learn that your objectives remain out of reach because the other party backed out. Whether it's a purchase contract or any other type of legal agreement pertaining to residential real estate, breach of contract is serious.

If you have experienced the negative impact of a situation involving a breach of contract, you may be wondering what is next for you. It may be appropriate for you to move forward with a lawsuit to seek appropriate damages. Before you initiate the legal process or make any important decisions, it may help to first learn more about all of the legal options available to you.

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Austin, TX 78759

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