Guy Scores Fancy House for $16, Now Has Neighbor Issues

To move into his brand-new home, all Kenneth Robinson had to do was fill out a form, write down that the home had been foreclosed upon and abandoned, take the form to his local courthouse, and hand over $16 to the nice clerk lady. So easy!

In claiming his castle—a spacious number worth about $330,000, located in Flower Mound, Texas—Robinson cited the law of adverse possession: a concept he describes as "not a normal process," though it's something you'll learn about if you ever attend law school (we have first-hand knowledge of this!). Adverse possession enables people to claim title over McMansions and other homes and properties if they meet certain requirements, such as possessing the property "openly and notoriously" (people know you're occupying the space) as well as exclusively (you don't invite the original owner to camp out with you). Texas recognizes adverse possession; Robinson researched the law and then pursued his palace.

And how is the home? Well, it has no water or electricity, and no furniture. It's probably like going camping, except out in a subdivision, where there are no bears to steal your picnic basket but proximity to a Macaroni Grill. If Robinson can hold on for just three years, he thinks he can claim title to the home, and make it his-all-his.

Unless he gets kicked out, of course! Some of Robinson's neighbors say he's illegally squatting, and have tried to get him arrested for "breaking in" to the house. Questions about Robinson's ownership of the home is a civil matter, however, so the cops can't really do anything, so now the neighbors are talking to the original mortgage company, and to attorneys, and probably to their hairdressers, about how this guy just moved into a house for less than the price of a Center-Cut Lamb Spiedini.

"If he wants the house, buy the house like everyone else had to," one of Robinson's neighbors complains. "Get the money, buy the house." Sounds like the neighbors are just jealous of Robinson's bargain-hunting skills? Maybe he can get them to chill out and shut up by becoming the generous neighborhood baker. A delicious pie can silence the angriest of foes. [KHOU]