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TEXAS REAL ESTATE
The purchase of real estate is an exciting time in any person’s life, however, real estate can also be full of legal issues, regardless of the size of the tract of land. Even the smallest residential property can hold an easement which has long gone unrecognized.
Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States, and much of this land encompasses acres of ranch land throughout the state. In some instances, this land can be traced back to the initial settlers of the state, and therefore the passage of title has gone only within the family, without ever returning to the state itself. In other cases, the state has imposed their own easement of the property and holds title to the underlying mineral rights of the property.
Texas, as a state rich in oil and gas, has unique real estate situations where the “top” part of the land may be divided from the “lower” mineral aspect of the land. In these situations, property owners must acquiesce to existing leases on the property when acquiring a tract of land. An oil and gas lease may have been in place for decades prior to the sale, and the division of the “top” and “lower” portions of the land mean that the land owner has little say-so in what occurs below the property.
Property owners in Texas not only have to deal with the pivotal aspect of “clean” title to property, but also must keep in mind the following items:
- Conservation easements
- Mineral rights
- Pipeline rights
- Oil and gas wells
- Title insurance
- Closing costs
- Eminent domain
In much of the state, pipelines cross over tracts of land, and semi-trailers hauling crude oil or natural gas are a common sight. It is important that you consult with an experienced real estate expert prior to the purchase of your tract of land to ensure there are no “hidden dangers” on your property, such as conservation easements. As time goes on, these easements may prove to be a burden on your property and may impede your ability to enjoy the property or even sell it in the future.
The intricacies which absorb the real estate industry are often complicated in Texas, where the mineral rights of one tract of land may be divided 100 ways. It is important that you consider all the options during the sale of real estate and understand any issues which may arise in the future.