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The $16 Dollar House: Potential Home Owner on the Cheap Moves Out

Kenneth Robinson thought he had a steal. He bought a house, a “McMansion” on the market for $300,000 as a foreclosure home, for a mere $16 by filing some paperwork with Denton county.

Trying to use Texas` “adverse possession” law, Robinson also attempted to setup his own “$16 House” empire. Mr. Robinson started a website, wrote an eBook, and conducted interviews. But this attempt at celebrity may have been his undoing.

Bank of America, who actually holds the deed to the property, caught wind of the squatting and have demanded his eviction, pending a court hearing. Robinson skipped out of town and skipped out of the hearing as well, his Cinderella home ownership story finally striking midnight.

Adverse possession laws are generally meant for shared spaces like driveways, to settle disputes among homeowners. In addition, most states that have adverse possession laws would require a “squatter” to live in the home for ten years before they could truly claim ownership.

In the city of Detroit, this is becoming a real problem: as the city has many abandoned homes that have squatters living in them, and some are approaching this ten year limit (Michigan has similar adverse ownership laws). But these residents didn`t create websites nor conduct interviews. They kept quiet, and didn`t bother the neighbors.

Perhaps Mr. Robinson could have had his neighborhood had he kept quiet about his situation. But in any event, the community of Flower Mound must be relieved to have the spectacle over with.