Cases in Real Estate
is a weekly update on real estate law, with legal principles illustrated and
explained by lawsuits from around the country. The topics are wide-ranging for
appeal to a broad spectrum of readers including lawyers, homeowners, investors
and the general public. Andrea Lee Negroni, a Washington DC
attorney and legal writer with 25 years of experience in financial services and
mortgage law, contributes the case summaries.
Real Cases in Real Estate will learn and be entertained by lawsuits
involving nuisance, trespass, zoning violations, deed restrictions, title
insurance, public utilities, mechanics liens, construction defects, adverse
possession, foreclosure and eviction, divorce and marital property rights,
tenants' rights, and more. Real Cases in Real Estate uncovers the
unpredictable, amusing, and sometimes outrageous disputes between next-door
neighbors, contractors and homeowners, condo boards and residents, real estate
brokers and homebuyers, and zoning administrators and developers.
cited case summary highlights the essential law of the case and explains the
principal legal theories and concepts relevant to the outcome. Plain language
treatment makes Real Cases in Real Estate accessible to lawyers and
follow real estate law professionally or as a hobby, you'll find something new
and useful every week in Real Cases in Real Estate.
for the Week of May 23rd, 2011
Flood Vendor, Appraiser and Surveyor Were All Mistaken About Whether a Texas
Home Was in a Special Flood Hazard Area, but the Buyers Still Lost their Home.
Zimmerhanzels bought a home near a creek from the Smiths in 2004. The
Stormwater Research Group, the property appraiser and a surveyor all indicated
the property was not in a 100-year flood plain, but the sellers advised the buyers
that the property had flooded once, taking on "an inch or two of water." The Smiths
had flood insurance, which they assigned to the Zimmerhanzels at closing.
2007, the property flooded and 13 inches of water entered the Zimmerhanzels' house.
Linda Zimmerhanzel then searched the flood maps, which are a public record, and
learned that the house was indeed in a flood zone. The local flood zone
administrator ordered the house demolished and decided that any new house built
by the Zimmerhanzels would have to be located outside the flood zone. The
Zimmerhanzels sued the flood zone vendor and the sellers, claiming they would not
have bought the home if they had known it was in a flood zone.
Zimmerhanzels lost because their lawsuit was barred by the two-year statute of
limitations. The Texas Court of Appeals noted that the owners could have learned
that their property was in a flood zone within two years after buying it if
they had bothered to investigate. The appeals
court said the homeowners should have investigated the flood zone issue despite
the opinions of three experts, because they knew their home was near a creek and
the sellers disclosed the property had flooded once before. Moreover, the court observed that the
purchase contract between the Smiths and Zimmerhanzels was not contingent on
the outcome of the flood zone determination, so that argument went nowhere.
subscribers can view the enhanced version of Zimmerhanzel v. Green, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 3117 (Tex. App. El
Paso Apr. 27, 2011)
can use lexisOne's Free Case Law search to view the free, un-enhanced version
Zimmerhanzel v. Green, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 3117 (Tex. App. El
Paso Apr. 27, 2011)
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