Sixty years from now, homebuyers likely will marvel at all the paperwork associated with buying a home in 2018. Perhaps Texans living in 2078 will have true paperless transactions.
I say “perhaps" because it seems real estate transactions have become more complicated over the last six decades.
While cleaning out the garage recently, I came across some old paperwork from when my parents-in-law bought their first home.
The year was 1958.
Upon writing a check for $424 earnest money ($400 principal and $24 interest), D.B. and Pearl Kiser got the ball rolling on the purchase of a ten-year-old, 1,200-square-foot home on 35th St. in Lubbock.
The paperwork was interesting. The absence of other documents reveals how times have changed.
Sales back then were “as is" because there was no formal inspection required. Because there was no inspection, the idea of an option period didn't come up either. There was no need for a lead-based paint disclosure because it would only have revealed what everyone knew. Houses were covered in lead-based paint.
There probably was a survey on file, but it wasn't part of the sale. And, of course, the buyer had to take the seller's word for the condition of the property; there was no such thing as a seller's disclosure in 1958.
The last sixty years have seen the creation of numerous other forms and disclosures dealing with homeowner association rules, water levels of nearby impoundments, home warranties, third-party financing, and so on.
Today's transactions state which improvements are part of the real property. Buyers and sellers agree that the plumbing comes with the house. In 1958, buyers were just glad the plumbing was indoors.
Don't be misled. The Kisers new purchase did come with deed restrictions. Paragraph eight prohibited construction of a “tourist camp" on the property. Paragraph ten says, “No hogs shall be kept on any portion of the said addition, and not more than two head of cattle shall be kept at each residence."
And that's just the evolution of the Texas sales transaction. Just imagine how things have changed in the last 60 years in California.