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Real Estate Law Made Simple: An Interview with Michael W. Eaton The Eaton Law Firm PLLC

Tell us a little bit about your experience, firm's history and the areas of law that you practice.

A fifth generation Texan, and a fourth generation Texas lawyer, I have thirty years of experience providing counsel and representation to parties involved in all aspects of real estate transactions. Whether you are a buyer, seller, developer, conventional lender or mezzanine lender, we can assist you in all types of commercial and residential transactions. With well over $1,500,000,000 in real estate transactions successfully completed, we have the experience necessary to advise clients in every type of real estate deal. We utilize our significant experience in business organizations and financing structures to provide our clients every available advantage in the current market environment.

What types of residential transactions does your firm typically handle?

We often represent buyers who are making residential purchases in document review and advice. We take a more heavily involved role in custom build and construction issues related to those transactions. We handle transactions as simple as a $100,000 home purchase for cash to multimillion dollar custom build transactions.

What are some reasons that people buying a home would want to consult with a lawyer?

As in any business transaction, it often benefits even experienced buyers to have an objective professional examine the purchase contract and other sale documents. Additionally, we often can answer questions that arise about property conditions or defects, title issues, and mineral rights, as well as HOA issues that are so common in residential transactions today.

Can you briefly explain the process of working with a lawyer to purchase residential property?

Usually, we have an initial consultation with the clients to discuss their needs and desires, and to determine if they need more than a simple document review. A review of the sale documents, as well as the financing documents is worth the cost of employing a lawyer.

Are there any state laws about transferring property ownership that most people aren't aware of but should know?

Well, in terms of traditional financing, most transfers are not especially noteworthy, but in the case of owner financings, one must be aware of any underlying loans that exist. If a seller has a third party loan secured by a deed of trust and transfers title in an effort to owner finance the property, it usually trigger the due on sale clause in a standard deed of trust, which means the entire note balance is due, or a default occurs.

When it comes to the actual buying process, what is one of the biggest mistakes that you've seen new homeowners make?

Often the biggest mistake people make is not raising issues or sufficiently addressing issues of property defects discovered in the inspection process, which may lead to post closing problems, and even litigation.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your firm?

We can be reached by telephone at 817-431-1111, or by e-mail at info@eatonlaw.com. We are located in Southlake, minutes from DFW International Airport, and conveniently accessible from the metroplex. You can also find out more info on our website www.eatonlaw.com.

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