|"I'm guessing the rule linked to later in this thread applies to lenders and maybe title companies, but not notaries." BINGO.|
"That is, if the notary does a signing at the principal's home, the notary is in trouble with the signing company, title, and lender, but not with the State of Texas. Have I got that right?"
BINGO AGAIN. Except that these packages have an affidavit that the borrower signs stating they closed in a TC, Atty office, etc. The borrower commits perjury in front of a complicit notary when the affidavit is falsely sworn to.
"I'm also wondering what the rules are for a Texas property transaction where the principal is out-of-state signing before a non-Texas notary (like I did when I inherited the house)?"
Only an A6 - Home Equity Loan requires the location. True also for some home improvement loans. Deeds and other such items can be signed anywhere.
If you were signing an A6 Loan while in VT, I believe the insuring title company would want you to go to a VT lawyer or title company.
This rule is there because of the predatory lenders that became such a problem in the late 1990s. The state wanted to keep them out of homes, period. Good Lenders were afraid to add HE loans to their products line so these rules developed.