Texas Agricultural Exemption: Tips to Win on Your Own

Apr 4, 14 • Real Estate

The goal of the 1-d-1 agricultural “exemption” appraisal method is to only tax that portion of your property being used for the specific type of agricultural method based on the income potential of that use. Article VIII, Section 1-d-1, Texas Constitution, and Chapter 23, Subchapter D, Texas Property Tax Code, provides for appraisal of open-space land.

This method is most important if you own or maintain any sort of agricultural land, be it cattle pastures or ranch, farm, grazing, or hay production land. The 1-d-1 appraisal is even allowed for raising horses in certain circumstances.

Land qualifies for special appraisal (1-d-1 appraisal) if it has been (1) used for agriculture for five of the preceding seven years and is currently devoted principally to agricultural use as defined by statute, (2) used to protect federally listed endangered species under a federal permit, or (3) used for conservation or restitution projects under certain federal and state statutes. The land must also be used for agriculture to the degree of intensity generally accepted in the area. The value of the land is based on the annual net income from a typical lease arrangement that would have been earned from the land during the five-year period preceding the year before the date of appraisal by an owner using ordinary prudence in the management of the land and the farm crops and livestock produced or supported on the land, including income received from hunting or recreational leases. (more…)

Dividing Real Estate in a Divorce in Texas

Feb 27, 14 • Real Estate

It’s a fact: breaking up is hard to do. But whether you and your spouse are going through an amicable or contentious divorce, it is extremely important to be careful when it comes to dividing your assets, particularly any and all real estate you own. (more…)

Five Expert Tips for Preparing Real Estate Documents

Feb 18, 14 • News, Real Estate

If you’re facing a real estate transaction, the prospect of gathering, reviewing, filling out, and filing all of the attendant documents may seem overwhelming. Indeed, the volume of paperwork and seemingly complicated real estate jargon can be confounding. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to help you navigate the not-so-tricky world of real estate documents. (more…)

Take Advantage of Tarrant County’s Property Fraud Alert Service

Jan 16, 14 • Real Estate

According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States. By definition, mortgage fraud schemes employ some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission relating to a real estate transaction which is relied on by one or more parties to the transaction. Such schemes can include:

  • Foreclosure rescue schemes
  • Loan modification schemes
  • Illegal property flipping
  • Builder bailout/condo conversion
  • Equity skimming (a type of foreclosure rescue scheme that often targets low-income homeowners)
  • Silent second (a secondary loan on a property that is not disclosed to the lender of the original loan)
  • Home equity conversion mortgage
  • Commercial real estate loans
  • Air loans (a scheme involving a fictitious property and borrower)

The FBI reports that in 2007 there were 46,717 mortgage fraud suspicious activity reports (SARs). By 2011, that number had risen to 93, 508, and it’s still continuing to rise. (more…)

Tarrant County Accepts Homestead Exemption Applications Beginning January 1

Dec 26, 13 • News, Real Estate, Taxes

They say that the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes…

The Farah Law Firm Tax Help

…but thanks to homestead exemptions, that isn’t necessarily true.

In Texas, homestead exemptions help homeowners protect the value of their homes from exorbitant property taxes, aggressive creditors, and issues related to the death of the homeowner’s spouse. Applying for a homestead exemption can lower the taxable value of your house (thereby reducing your tax liability) and provide a firmer basis for homestead protection.

In order to claim your residence homestead exemption for 2013, you must submit your application between January 1 and April 30, 2014. (more…)

Five Real Estate Scams to Beware of on Craigslist

Dec 19, 13 • News, Real Estate

You may have heard the story. Just a few weeks ago, on December 4, a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran named James Vester was shot to death after responding to a Craigslist ad for an iPad, which he intended to purchase as a Christmas gift for a parent. He drove to a parking lot on the west side of Indianapolis to meet the “seller,” only to be robbed and murdered shortly after his arrival. Two young men, ages 18 and 19, have been charged in the case.


Sadly, stories like this one are all too common. Scams on websites such as Craigslist target unsuspecting individuals who find themselves caught up in the lure of a supposedly great deal, only to be swindled, robbed, beaten—or worse.

When it comes to renting or buying a home, you should be aware that landlords and sellers who list properties on sites like Craigslist can be especially ruthless, so it’s important to know what to watch for and what to do if you find yourself the victim of a fraudulent listing. Following are a few of the most important red flags to watch for. (more…)

Welcome to our New Site!

Dec 10, 13 • News, Real Estate

Welcome to FarahLegal.com, the online home of The Farah Law Firm. This blog will serve as a place where you can find helpful legal advice and keep tabs on the latest news in real estate law. Our experienced team of attorneys will be adding new posts on a weekly basis, so be sure to check back frequently.

At The Farah Law Firm, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best possible legal counsel at a reasonable cost, and we work diligently and efficiently to help our clients avoid drawn-out legal proceedings. We’ve created this blog in hopes of providing you with a trustworthy and easy-to-access online resource that you can turn to as you navigate any and all legal issues you may encounter.

Have an interesting legal question or an idea for a topic you’d like to see us cover? Feel free to contact us at any time with your comments and suggestions.

We look forward to sharing our expertise and discussing important legal news with you both here on our website and in person at our office in Arlington, Texas.

— Your friends at The Farah Law Firm