Man Makes $329,984 from a $16 investment. Thank You, Internet!

10 Aug

They say you can find anything on the internet.

Now, I know they say that because I hear it all the time.

Well, now I’ve seen everything. Kenneth Robinson, a diehard Texas Real Estate man, proved it to be true.

You see,  Robinson used an obscure Texas law he researched online called adverse possession to obtain property rights to an abandoned $330,000 McMansion in Flower Mound, Texas.

From Google Earth

The $16 bucks wasn’t for bandwidth, either. It was used to pay a court filing fee to allow him to get legal access to the property.

Read more about it HERE.


I thought this sounded really fishy, so I called a real estate lawyer and asked if it was really possible. He said;

“Like others have noted, there is a “hitch” to using the “adverse possession” loophole;  to take advantage of it, the new “owner” must immediately pay all outstanding and current property taxes owed on the real estate.

Now, we’re talking about a house that costs $300+ grand and that’s not chump change in the property tax department. You have to figure on about $5 grand a year, at least.  And there are probably going to be outstanding penalties too.”

So Robinson is looking at being out of pocket somewhere between $30 and $50 grand before it’s all over.

That considered, he’s still getting the home for less than 15% of it’s appraised value.

When I started checking this story out, it became clear that people were really agitated at Robinson for;

(a) figuring out how to do it, and then

(b) actually pulling it off.

The question of the day seems to be;

“Would you even want to live in a nearly free home if everyone else in the community were out to get you?”

Lemme see… I just got a nice home for 15% of it’s value, in a good neighborhood, because I used my wits. The neighbors don’t like it.

Hmmm… Too bad. They’re probably just jealous that they didn’t think of it.  😉