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Texas Real Estate Law - Texas Real Estate Commission

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This real estate law course takes students on a tour of the various legal aspects of real estate practices, property sales transactions, and property leasing. The course begins with an exploration of real estate legal concepts, tax benefits, and insurance before diving into contract law and real estate forms. Next is an overview of land ownership, rights and characteristics, real property and personal property, and land descriptions.

Land use restrictions and controls, environmental risks, estates, encumbrances, and taxes are also discussed. The course then discusses land conveyance, deeds, liens, and foreclosures before examining public records and recording, title history and title insurance, and the transfer of title. The final lesson explores leasehold estates, leases, property management, and fair housing laws.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  •   Identify the various types of housing choices available to homebuyers.
  •   Discuss the primary considerations for determining housing affordability.
  •   Explain the tax benefits of home ownership.
  •   Describe the requirement for and the coverage provided by a flood insurance policy.
  •   Identify a consumer under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA).
  •   Identify goods and services that are covered by the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Describe transactions that are exempt from coverage of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Exhibit a general understanding of the laundry list contained in the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Explain the causation standards under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Describe the damages that may be awarded pursuant to the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Explain the settlement procedures outlined in the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Exhibit a general understanding of the defenses available under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Explain the statute of limitations for actions under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Describe when the defendant may be awarded attorney's fees under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  •   Distinguish among express and implied contracts; bilateral and unilateral contracts; executed and executory contracts; and valid, void, voidable, and unenforceable contracts,
  •   Identify the requirements for a valid contract and the statute of limitations for contract enforcement,
  •   Explain how contracts may be discharged and the remedies available to a nondefaulting party,
  •   Describe the differences between promulgated and approved forms and the requirements for their use,
  •   Discuss the provisions of the Texas-promulgated contract, a broker's avoiding the unauthorized practice of law, and the computation of time,
  •   Identify the purpose and procedures for a buyer's getting a property condition inspection, and
  •   Distinguish between the option contract and a contract for deed, including the characteristics of each.
  •   Distinguish the differences in the various contracts for the purchase of real estate in the State of Texas.
  •   Explain the statute of limitations.
  •   Explain what is meant by "promulgated."
  •   Describe the difference between land, real estate, and real property.
  •   Recognize the difference between real property and personal property.
  •   State the definition of a fixture.
  •   Explain the general character of surface, subsurface, and air rights, as well as littoral and riparian rights.
  •   Outline the basic features of the metes and bounds survey method.
  •   Locate a parcel of land using the rectangular survey method.
  •   Distinguish the vertical method of land description from other survey methods.
  •   Identify the various types of public and private land-use controls and subdivision regulations,
  •   Distinguish the function and characteristics of building codes and zoning ordinances,
  •   Describe the environmental issues an agent must understand to protect a client's interests: the basic hazards, the discovery methods, the disclosure responsibilities, and the liability issues
  •   Explain major real estate industry green initiatives and their goals for reducing the overall impact on human health and the environment.
  •   Explain the differences between a freehold estate and leasehold estate.
  •   Identify the classification of different types of liens: voluntary, involuntary, statutory, or general or specific.
  •   Explain the concerns with encumbrances and the effect they have on real estate ownership.
  •   List the general requirements of a legally enforceable contract.
  •   Describe the difference between title and deed.
  •   Explain the basic use and purpose of deeds.
  •   Identify the required elements of a deed.
  •   Recognize the different types of deeds and identify what type of deed should be used, depending on the quality of estate and condition of title to be transferred.
  •   Distinguish between the role of as a real estate professional and the role of a licensed attorney.
  •   Describe state laws pertaining to title conveyance.
  •   Define the terms lien and tax lien and understand their operation.
  •   Recognize the different types of liens and know how their priority is established.
  •   Identify and describe types of non-tax liens.
  •   Understand how ad valorem taxes and special assessments are levied.
  •   Know how homeowners and investors can save on federal income taxes and capital gains taxes through the use of tax shelters.
  •   Describe easements
  •   Discuss water and mineral rights
  •   Identify types of homeownership
  •   Discuss pro-rations, flood insurance, clue report, and seller disclosure
  •   Explain the priority of liens in the foreclosure process
  •   Explain the different types of foreclosure methods
  •   Explain the redemption periods and the accompanying rights
  •   Explain the different states that have anti-deficiency protection
  •   Explain how tax liens are enforced
  •   Provide tips to homeowners facing foreclosure
  •   Explain to consumers alternatives that they may have to foreclosure
  •   Explain how fraud can committed in foreclosure
  •   Summarize the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Truth in Lending Act
  •   Discuss short sales, anti-deficiency laws, and buying REO properties
  •   Outline the general steps involved in recording.
  •   Distinguish between different types of public records.
  •   Explain the common methods of property conveyance.
  •   Describe the difference between constructive and actual notice.
  •   Identify evidence of titles.
  •   Explain title insurance and coverage.
  •   Describe the different types of property ownership.
  •   Differentiate between the various types of deeds.
  •   Differentiate between the roles of a real estate professional from the role of a licensed attorney.
  •   Describe state-specific laws pertaining to title conveyance.
  •   Describe the differences in the types of leasehold estates.
  •   Explain the general provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act.
  •   Explain the differences in the types of leases.
  •   List the primary responsibilities of property management.
  •   Explain the considerations property managers use in their profession
  •   Explain the purpose of the federal fair housing laws and be able to identify the protected classes covered by the Fair Housing Act.
  •   Name the seven activities considered illegal as a result of the fair housing laws.
  •   Identify the five exemptions, from the federal fair housing laws, for property owners.
  •   Answer questions regarding mortgage lending and ADA.
  •   Explain the broad scope of effective property management and its role in maintaining and enhancing the value of a property
  •   Evaluate the marketability of a property by using comparable properties in the area
  •   Apply the principles of effective property management to day-to-day problems.

Topics Covered

Texas Real Estate Law contains the following topics:

1. Legal Concept of Real Estate
2. Basic Contract Law
3. Promulgated Contracts in Texas
4. Land & Legal Descriptions
5. Real Property Rights
6. Restrictions & Land Use Controls
7. Estates in Land
8. Conveyances - Voluntary & Involuntary
9. Easements, Encumbrances & Liens
10. Foreclosures
11. Recording Procedures
12. Evidence & Transfer of Title
13. Landlord & Tenant Relationship

Regulatory Information
Texas Real Estate Law - Texas Real Estate Commission

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