There is no bargain shopping like paying only $16 for a $330,000 house in Flower Mound, Texas. These mad house-buying skills are possessed by none other than Kenneth Robinson, a military man and business entrepreneur. WFAA News reports that “Kenneth Robinson is living in the house after he filed paperwork at the courthouse for $16 that says he claims ownership of the abandoned house.”
Robinson’s story has gone international, and he is receiving letters from places like Asia inquiring as to how he achieved this unbelievable feat. The secret key is something called the adverse possession law. WFMY News reports:
“The house was in foreclosure, the owner abandoned it, and the mortgage company went under. That’s when Robinson swooped in after looking into a law called adverse possession. Now the owner would have to pay his mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a lawsuit to get Robinson out. After three years of staying in the house, Texas law says he can petition the court for the deed.”
Of course Robinson states, “I want to be owner of record. At this point, because I possess it, I am the owner.” According to Richard Shope — a Greensboro real estate attorney — Robinson only owns the property for now. Although this case is in Texas, Shope cites that under the North Carolina adverse possession law it could take anywhere from 7 to 20 years to own the house. Aside from that seemingly unrelated statement of his, Shope states, “If somebody has possessed property and used it as their own and nobody’s come around to file a suit to get them off, eventually something’s got to be done to settle who owns it and that’s one of the ways that it’s done.”
Based on Shopes seemingly irrelevant statements suggesting that it is not likely Robinson will ever own the home, it sounds like Shope feels the same way as some of Robinson’s irritated neighbors. Leigh Lowrie, a neighbor to the $16 house, states, “If he wants the house, buy the house like everyone else had to. Get the money, buy the house.” Despite all of the controversy, Robinson holds to the fact that the means by which he acquired the home are wholly legal — a law, not a loophole.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.