Man Pays $15 For $340,000 Flower Mound Home

FLOWER MOUND (AP) – It has the makings of a tall tale: A man finds a two-story, 3,250-square-foot house worth $340,000 in a Dallas suburb and pays only $15 for it.

Kenneth T. Robinson, 50, who sells vitamins and other dietary supplements for a marketing company, laid claim to the 1997-built house in Flower Mound under Texas’ obscure “adverse possession” law — commonly known as “squatter’s rights.”

Robinson determined that the owner of record moved out about a year ago and cannot be found, and the property wasn’t listed for sale. He filed an affidavit of adverse possession with Denton County for a $15 fee, turned on the utilities and moved in.

“Unless they wake up and assert their rights to ownership, this man may have found a real business opportunity,” Austin real estate lawyer Brian Rider told The Dallas Morning News for Sunday’s edition.

Robinson’s new neighbors are upset. One of them, Sandy Dawson, said she and others “believe in working for what you get.”

Some even called police. Robinson said he showed officers the affidavit and explained to them the laws of adverse possession. That led investigators to search for an owner or mortgage company who might have a complaint against Robinson.

“We couldn’t find anyone. No foreclosure, nothing,” police Capt. Wess Griffin said. “It appears to us to be largely a civil matter.”

But a neighborhood delegation showed up at the house anyway to deliver a message: Robinson was not welcome there.

Robinson recalled one man telling him, “We don’t think you need to be here. You’ll never be our neighbor.”

Fearing the confrontation could turn violent, Robinson called police who ordered the neighbors to disperse. However, Griffin said he understands the neighbors’ concern for the value of their homes after someone paid $15 to move into their area.

“The flip side is that the neighbors might be glad that the house is not sitting there vacant and someone who says he’s going to make improvements is living there,” Griffin said.

Among the improvements, Robinson promises to revive the idle backyard swimming pool and re-sod the unkempt front yard.

Robinson said the saga began when he was sharing another Flower Mound home with housemates and saw the apparently abandoned house while out driving.

He decided he might be able to buy the place at a bargain price, but he could not locate an owner or mortgage holder with whom to negotiate. Through an Internet search, he found the Texas law of adverse possession and decided that was his only option.

An old owner or mortgage holder has five, 10 or 25 years to reassert ownership, depending on whether Robinson lives continuously in the house and pays taxes and homeowners association fees over time. Robinson said he was committed for the long haul.

“It will be my home if all goes well, but this is not a fight. It’s a legal process,” he said. “This is too nice a house for someone not to come forward with a claim on it.”

However, “if they do, I’ll make an offer,” Robinson said. “If the offer doesn’t mesh with what they agree to accept, I might have to leave. If I have to go, it won’t be a big thing.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” he said. “I’ve just got to see how it plays out.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Wanda Oakes Chalfant says:

    Good for him. Seems he found a way to make the system work for him.

  2. jo says:

    his neighbors all came to his door to declare he’ll never be their neighbor and address their “concerns”. His neighbors sound like a lynch mob coming to threaten him

    1. preacher says:

      break into my house and thats exactly what youd get is lynched.dont forget all you supporting this thief and lets face it if hes in a building he has no business in the FIRST THING HE IS IS A THIEF! you people dont have any rights there in any way if you go there your as big a thief as he is. you dont have an opinion of what the rightful owner does with his or her property.period

      1. anti says:

        what part of “adverse possession” did you not understand? did you read the article at all?

      2. goatpup says:


      3. Shameonitall says:

        He did not break in the home he filed for the papers legally, it was legalized and then he went into the home so when he went into the home he was legally in possession of it.

  3. terry says:

    Maybe he killed the owner of record.

    1. Columbo says:

      Maybe you’re a ret@rd.

  4. oldman69 says:

    why is it that our society wants everyone to follow the “law” then when someone does out come the dregs and bottom feeders .complaining like there is no tomorrowcan’t makem all happy

  5. ZukRoo says:

    lol, sounds like his neighbors are a bit jelly lol.

  6. fredpat says:

    Hi Rick111. Sorry, I’m not THAT racist. Other news reports indicate race; there are other places in this world besides north Texas. Re-read the 1st 3 sentences of my comment to get my opinion of Mr Robinson.

    Terry, don’t watch so much “law and Order” episodes. There are smart people among us who we can admire even if they dont carry a badge and gun.

    Hi ZukRoo, yep as jealous as a jelly donut. lol
    Hi Wanda and Jo, Way to go!

  7. preacher says:

    what about the person who actually owns the house? its no ones business what that person does with his or her own property.and as a property owner yes i make it as impossible as i can for anyone to find out who owns my places as i dont care to sell them and i could care less who thinks what.squat on my propertys and youll be talkin to mr colt as your landing in the street. this story tells of trespassing , breaking and entering, ect,ect, he reported himself to the police and they give him the house . come on folks i cant find out who owns that cool car down the street and i get in it . im a car thief, how is a building any different

    1. C Bauer says:

      Stop and think for a minute, preacher. If there is a record the owner cannot be found, it means the record was marked as such because of a reason. I bet that reason is because property taxes weren’t paid, and perhaps other tabs weren’t paid as well. I worked in Munich for 2 years while I still had a house in Fort Worth, and I made sure everything was paid on time, whether I had renters living there or not. You can own a house and “go missing” for the rest of your life, and as long as everything is up-to-date as far as payments go, and everything is copacetic, then in that case Mr. Robinson would be trespassing. However, I seriously doubt everything regarding the property was in order. One more thing: He took advantage of a law. Don’t like the law? Petition your representatives to change it.

      1. Hemroidious says:

        I think that it is an old law that was intended for land only not with improvements such as houses. He can live on the land but has no right break into the house.

      2. Legal Eagle says:

        If he hasn’t been arrested, then in the eyes of the law he is not breaking and entering! Jesus, use some common sense here! If he was breaking the law, he’d be arrested already. He has every right to “break in to the house”, according to the idiotic law that is currently in place.

  8. Hemroidious says:

    It sounds like an Obamanomics plan.

  9. carol says:

    Its sad how some people think they dont have to work for what they want in life.He is a thief..Our country is going to hell because of these type of people..You work hard.You buy a house….He is a free loader..

    1. goatpup says:

      I am sure he work hard at getting this home the way he did. and has more hard work ahead of him.

  10. Hemroidious says:

    This man may have found a solution to the homeless problem.

    1. Shameonitall says:

      He was not homeless he was living elsewhere when you found the property, he is also prepared to make an offer on the house if anyone comes forward, do your research before you comment. He tried to find who owned it so that he could PURCHASE the house meaning he is a hard working man that has the means to pay for what he has, He was simply BLESSED by God to find another way. SMH

  11. sadiedog says:

    i think these small minded that are against him are just sorry they didn’t think of it first !!!!!!!!!!!!! if the man keeps his property up , whats the problem ?? way to go man !!!

  12. Hemroidious says:

    Capt. Wess Griffin is wrong. The law does not give the man the right to break into the home. Breaking and Entering is not a Civil matter it it is a Criminal Act. Call Capt. Wess Griffin and tell him to get his police back out there and make and arrest.

    1. Joe Citizen says:

      You’re an idiot. Did you not read the story? He took advantage of a stupid law that shouldn’t be on the books, but it is the law nonetheless. There is no criminal trespass, breaking and entering, or any other crime being committed here. If you don’t like the law, get off your fat ass, put down the Moon Pies, WWF magazine, and Busch pints, and get involved! Moron.

      1. Hemroidious says:

        NO, i DON’T WANT TO! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! I like moon pies.

  13. grizzley says:

    he’s a black man lol

    1. D. Chappelle says:

      …and you’re uneducated white trash who hasn’t been a real estate investor for 20 years. Who’s the better man? Yep, the “ni–er” is. Have a great day, Cletus! Say hello to your cousin/wife!

  14. Rick McDaniel says:

    That’s just legalized theft. That’s all you can call it.

  15. It-Is-What-It-Is says:

    TRUTH BE TOLD; Mr. Robinson is a Man who was first and formost,looking for a home. He had his eye on this one. Their was No One to contact to try and purchase it (ltrying to do as most would). Trying to find a way to get the home he stumbled upon the LAW of Adverse Possession. It is not his Fault their was a person who gave up their home-for whatever reason, then also not his fault that the Mortgage Co. went under water ( if that is the case-because so many stories about them). This is an intelligant hard working man who used his head to get this home,at this time. It’s really No Ones business because he Did Not Break the Law, but in fact,Used The Law,wich happened to be in his Favor. This Law has been around for a long time, many have used it over and over,again. It was brought to attention because of neighbors not knowing the Law and jealous of the fact he stumbled upon a home of his dreams in such a stuation. They did not know anything of this Man, what type of person he is, what he does for a living, etc… And further more; It’s not fair to judge and call a Person names, when You do not know anything about them and what they have done to have a situatuation as this. If you think it’s easy do deal with all of this attention,negative or otherwise just because you persude a dream home, your sadly mistaken. Put yourself in his shoes.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE