Just because a property is outside of city limits today does not mean it will stay there.

Subject to the exceptions found in Section 5.011C of the Texas Property Code, sellers are required to notify buyers that if the property is located outside the limits of a municipality, the property may now be or may one day become part of an extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) or annexed by the municipality.

The ETJ is the unincorporated area around a municipality’s corporate boundaries. It can extend 1 to 5 miles outside of town based on the municipality’s population.

Paragraph 6E(5) of the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale) (TXR 1601) can serve as notice to buyers. Title companies may reference that paragraph, or Section 5.011 of the Texas Property Code, on the title commitment and supply a form at closing. REALTORS® may also want to ask the title company if they have a dedicated form for this purpose.

Buyers should research all surrounding municipalities to learn if the property in question is now or may one day become part of an ETJ or annexed by a municipality. Many boundary maps are available online, which might be found by searching for “City of X boundary map” or “City of X ETJ,” although a buyer may need to call a particular city if the information can’t be found online.