Category Archives: Purchasing Property

Case Addresses Mineral Reservation Language Dispute

The Austin Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue of mineral reservation in a deed in Ross v. Flower, offering important reminders for Texas landowners and property purchasers. Background This case revolves around the interpretation of a paragraph in a deed for 20-acres of land in Fayette County. In 1999, the Rosses owned the surface and mineral interests for the 20-acre tract at issue.  In April 1999, the Rosses executed a General Warranty Deed conveying the property to Richard & Patricia Church.  Specifically, the Deed stated that the… Read More →

Case Offers Reminder of Statute of Fraud Requirements for Property Description

A recent opinion in Dayston, LLC v. Brooke, offers a good reminder of the importance of clear, precise descriptions when drafting contracts and a good overview of the requirements of the Statute of Frauds.  [Read opinion here.] Background  In October 2017, Dayston, LLC (the seller) and Brooke (the buyer) entered into an agreement for the purchase of land.  The parties executed a Farm and Ranch contract (Contract) and Brooke paid the required earnest money. The Contract described the property as follows:  “The land situated in the County of Erath,… Read More →

2020 USDA Land Values Summary Report

In August, the USDA released its Land Values Summary Report for 2020. [View Report here.] The report indicates that nationwide, land values were stable, showing no change from the 2019 report.  For “farm real estate value,” which takes into account the value of all land and buildings on farms, the average value was $3,160.  For cropland, the average value was $4,100/acre.  For pastureland, the average value was $1,400/acre. The report also looks at various regional measurements. Farm real estate average value is the highest in the Corn Belt… Read More →

Undisclosed Surface Lease Offers Important Reminders to Property Purchasers

The Eastland Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in a case involving the purchase of land, a surface lease not disclosed by the seller but noted in the title commitment, and claims of fraud.  [Read opinion here.] Background Parmelly owned 700 acres of land in Taylor County, Texas.  The land was naturally divided by a steep bluff into an “upper” and “lower” part.  The lower part of the property was about 225 acres. In 1999, Parmelly signed a surface lease with Vulcan Construction Materials that covered most… Read More →

2019 Rural Land Value Trends Report

Each year, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends report.  This document provides helpful, interesting information for Texas landowners on both average property value and lease rates for agricultural land across the state.  They recently released their 2019 report.  [Click here to download.] The average price per acre in Texas increased by 6.4% from last year to $2,972/acre.  The publication divides the state into 7 regions, and then further divides each region into sub regions. … Read More →

Case Offers Important Considerations When Purchasing Property

A recent case from the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals, Chapa v. Arrellano, caught my attention and offers the chance to talk through some important reminders for anyone purchasing land. Background In August 2017, Chapa purchased a piece of land from the Arrellanos in Hidalgo County, Texas.  She intended to build a home on the property.  Prior to purchase, she conducted a visual inspection of the land and saw no visible impediment for the construction of a home on the property.  She did not hire a title company or… Read More →

2019 USDA Land Values Summary

The USDA recently released their 2019 Land Values Summary, which reports average agricultural land values across the United States.  To view the report, click here.   The report looks at the value of agricultural land across the country in several different categories.  Information comes from USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service survey responses. The broadest measure of land value in the report is the “farm real estate value.”  This measures the current market value of “all land and buildings used for agricultural production, including dwellings.”  For 2019, the average… Read More →

Ag Land Sale and Grazing Lease Gone Wrong

The facts underlying the Austin Court of Appeals decision in Marek v. Lehrer are an agricultural real estate deal gone terribly wrong.  This case is a great example of why it is so important to have every agreement  put into writing and timely signed by the parties. Factual Background R.L. Lehrer, a cattle rancher in San Saba County decided to sell 257 acres of his property and to lease the property back to continue grazing his cattle.  He planned to use the proceeds from the property sale and from… Read More →

2018 Texas Rural Land Value Trends Published

Each year, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends report.  This document provides helpful, interesting information for Texas landowners on both average property value and lease rates for agricultural land across the state. The state wide average price per acre increased, up to $2,779/acre.  This is up 5.1% from a year ago.  The publication divides the state into seven regions, within which are multiple sub regions.  Land is broken down into different categories applicable to the… Read More →