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I am new to this forum and seeking advice or help with some of the questions I have about eminent domain. thanks for your help and opinion in advance. I never had a clue what eminent domain was until we got a letter in the mail stating that my house might be in the middle of a project called the Rome-Cartersville corridor connector. the state dot has two proposed routes. if they go with the route that my house sits on they will be putting in a access road to the interstate for all the big business like Budweiser brewery and Georgia's biggest steel plant along with many other big business to have quicker access to the interstate and I will be brought out and give fair market value of around $85,000 which when I recently had my house refinanced the bank appraiser appraised the house around$115,000 . by the way I live in Georgia. my biggest question is I have a four bedroom two bath house with a de attached garage. my house has around 1300 square feet and my house sits on 1.3 acres. I have began to look around my area and I cannot find another place for under $150,000.  that has around the same square footage and lot size and amenities like a fenced in backyard and a garage. does anyone know if the state of Georgia has to find you the same kind of place as for as square footage and amenities for the same amount of money that they buy you out for if its through eminent domain. and if the government buys my house at there fairmarket value I will break even and will not have a down payment for my place. does the government assist you in down payment.

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None of your elected officials want to go all the way to an eminent domain hearing. It really is an absolute last resort... (more)

supersnoop00 (Aug. 24, 2017 @ 12:38p) |

The public meeting should have informed you how the appeal process works.  Encourage your neighbors to appeal as well  I ... (more)

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Won't he still be liable as the HELOC is in his name, and then if he walks away upon eminent domain grab that digs credi... (more)

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jmcguir1 said:   I am new to this forum and seeking advice or help with some of the questions I have about intimate domain. thanks for your help and opinion in advance. I never had a clue what intimate domain was until we got a letter in the mail stating that my house might be in the middle of a project called the Rome-Cartersville corridor connector. the state dot has two proposed routes. if they go with the route that my house sits on they will be putting in a access road to the interstate for all the big business like Budweiser brewery and Georgia's biggest steel plant along with many other big business to have quicker access to the interstate and I will be brought out and give fair market value of around $85,000 which when I recently had my house refinanced the bank appraiser appraised the house around$115,000 . by the way I live in Georgia. my biggest question is I have a four bedroom two bath house with a de attached garage. my house has around 1300 square feet and my house sits on 1.3 acres. I have began to look around my area and I cannot find another place for under $150,000.  that has around the same square footage and lot size and amenities like a fenced in backyard and a garage. does anyone know if the state of Georgia has to find you the same kind of place as for as square footage and amenities for the same amount of money that they buy you out for if its through intimate domain.
 

This should be fun.  I really like the thread title.

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Eminent

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i thought GA banned intimate domain

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rufflesinc said:   i thought GA banned intimate domain
  No that was Texass.

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At least it isn't passive aggressive domain. Then you'd have a real struggle.

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Cleaned up
jmcguir1 said:   I have been informed that my house may be in the middle of a new road project and subject to eminent domain. The state DOT has provided an offer of $85,000 for my property, however during a recent refinancing the house was appraised at $115,000 and I have been unable to find a similar property for <$150,000. Location is Georgia.

What are my options?

  
The $85k is an initial offer from them, the letter likely points to how you can dispute the value. You'll have to go through that trouble. One thing that wasn't clear is if they will be planning to seize your entire property, or just some of the land?

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Should have taken a HEL or cashout at 95+% LTV at $115k valuation then tell GA DOT to suck it

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You're entitled to "just compensation." You might want to start reading up on that. Of course the government will try to give you a low-ball offer to start. I'd suggest talking to a lawyer with experience handling EMINENT domain actions before deciding how to respond.

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there planning on taking my whole property

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Time to meet your neighbors, start attending public hearings, get to know your councilman or other elected representatives, do your research.  You should learn as much as possible about the project and start preparing yourself for negotiating a more favorable valuation for your property.  You may find that others in your situation are hiring professionals to assist with this process.  This may or may not be worthwhile in your case, but be wary of the con men that are sometimes attracted by circumstances like this.  

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jmcguir1 said:   there planning on taking my whole property
  not if it's got 5% equity brah

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most of the neighbors and the rest of the people that might be affected do not want to move. they have been there for more than ten years. theres a open house meeting about this project that im going to tomorrow afternoon. when you say con men who do you mean by that. like lawyers that don't have much experience on this. I have been at my home for around 12 years

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jmcguir1 said:    which when I recently had my house refinanced the bank appraiser appraised the house around$115,000 .

I have began to look around my area and I cannot find another place for under $150,000.
 

If the only comparables really are $150k, your house would've appraised for closer to $150k.  More likely, you are looking at better homes for $150k, which is irrelevant - even if those are the only homes on the market.  You only get paid for what you have, not what you can get; you're on your own as far as finding a new place to live.

Frankly, I wouldnt worry about it until they've actually decided where to build the road.  And then if you really do end up affected, give them your "recent' appraisal in response to their initial offer.  You'll get more than $85k, but probably less than $115k. 

A lawyer is going to take some of what you end up getting, but it seems like you would be well served by retaining one to negotiate for you.  But again, wait until they've decided what proposed route to use.

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You know you want to start cultivating some endangered plant and animal species in your back yard.

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rufflesinc said:   Should have taken a HEL or cashout at 95+% LTV at $115k valuation then tell GA DOT to suck it
  
Can't he still do that? Refi again

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It won't be worth 115 with a road going thru the middle of your house

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They know it costs to fight so they tend to offer True Value - cost to fight.

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jmcguir1 said:   most of the neighbors and the rest of the people that might be affected do not want to move. they have been there for more than ten years. theres a open house meeting about this project that im going to tomorrow afternoon. when you say con men who do you mean by that. like lawyers that don't have much experience on this. I have been at my home for around 12 years
Yes - lawyers, appraisers, real estate agents, etc. - basically anyone who approaches you at any of these public meetings or knocks on your door or sends you a letter promising to get you more for your property.  View all of them with skepticism.  They can't do anything for you that you can't do yourself, depending on how much time and energy you want to put into it.  Regardless, there's no point in doing too much other than staying informed until the final decision has been made about the route.  If the alternate route is chosen, there's even a possibility that your property value could INCREASE.  Of course, there is also the possibility that the proximity of the new road could reduce your property value.

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LorenPechtel said:   They know it costs to fight so they tend to offer True Value - cost to fight.
  That's practically the dictionary definition of theft by extortion.  The government is worse than the mafia.

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jerosen said:   Relevant thread also in GA:

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1446723

  jmcguir1: Make sure you read this ENTIRE thread that jerosen posted along with the original thread here: https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1384427 It is very important you see what this person did and don't just give in and take what they're offering you. 

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jmcguir1 said:   most of the neighbors and the rest of the people that might be affected do not want to move. they have been there for more than ten years. theres a open house meeting about this project that im going to tomorrow afternoon. when you say con men who do you mean by that. like lawyers that don't have much experience on this. I have been at my home for around 12 years
  I can guarantee you'll be contacted soon by law firms and other negotiators.  They will likely claim they may be able to either outright save your property from being taken, or get you a much larger payout.  Of course, they will require a large up-front fee to cover expenses.  In the end, they may not be able to do anything - other than taking your money.  That's not to say there aren't legitimate lawyers specializing in eminent domain who may be able to help you out.  Just beware and be very clear on what they are going to do for you, how much it will cost, what kind of direct experience they have, and what there success rate is before you sign anything or fork over any money.  Chances are that anyone who comes cold-calling probably isn't the person you want to be dealing with.  

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Luniz97 said:   It won't be worth 115 with a road going thru the middle of your house
  there's no road going through the middle of the house.
The proposal is one option for the corridor.
There might not ever be a road going through the middle of the house.

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it will not be going through the middle of my house it will be going through my whole property. theres a map/blue print of exactly who is going to be affected and what part of your property is going to be affected and my whole property is being affected.

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what makes my house different is I have a bigger lot size. I have ahuge de attached shop,garage . all the houses in my neighborhood has a lot smaller lot and doesn't even have a garage.

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rufflesinc said:   Should have taken a HEL or cashout at 95+% LTV at $115k valuation then tell GA DOT to suck it
How does that work? The owner can walk and make the state negotiate with the bank?

At lease in some states, doesn't the owner now have to tell the bank about the possibility? Or if the bank doesn't ask, can the owner be shielded despite knowing? 
    

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bobley said:   
rufflesinc said:   Should have taken a HEL or cashout at 95+% LTV at $115k valuation then tell GA DOT to suck it
How does that work? The owner can walk and make the state negotiate with the bank?

At lease in some states, doesn't the owner now have to tell the bank about the possibility? Or if the bank doesn't ask, can the owner be shielded despite knowing? 
    

  Basically how it "works" is you can use the amount owed as a negotiating tool.  It's one thing to argue comps and ambiguous "fair value", another to argue what is actually owed on the house.  

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I know everyone is anti-goverment, and I get that, but I have a friend that is on the government side of this in Florida (not the head honcho, per-se, but the dude that does a lot of the valuations). THEIR department offers FMV + x% based on comps in the area if they can agree to terms prior to a lawyer. Why? Because all Eminent Domain cases require the GOVERNMENT to pay for the lawyer costs which the seller incurs, but it also really drags the process out and the seller normally ends up with FMV in the end anyhow.

Sure, if your house appraises at 200K and they offer 150K, lawyer up. If they offer 200K + token amount (5-15k) - take the money and run. If YOU think your house is worth 250K, and FMV is appraised at 200K - stop smoking crack.

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Crack is, purportedly, whack.

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Crack (35.48kB)
Disclaimer
Kandykornhead said:   Crack is, purportedly, whack.
  

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Eminem domain? That's Detroit.

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What are comps in the area?

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What does token amount mean or consist of?

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How long have your comps been on the market? Comps are supposed to be sales, not listings. The difference can be substantial, especially when you're talking about properties with significant amounts of land, which narrows the pool of comps and for which owners tend to have a great affinity that may tend to make them a little delusional.

One property in particular around here was once listed for almost $600k. It got down to $385k and still never sold.

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jerosen said:   Relevant thread also in GA:

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1446723

  
Hey, that's my thread! Hopefully it can be of use to you. Please clarify a couple of things for the forum.

1. Is the letter you received an actual offer? And is it from the government (not a real estate agent or someone like that?)
      - The first offer I received was in person and I had to sign something saying I received it

2. If it is an actual offer, why are there hearings to see which route the road will take? Seems like they have already decided if they are buying land.

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jmcguir1 said:   What are comps in the area?
  
"comps" = comparable homes in the area

You'd be looking at homes of equal size and feature (give or take a little) that have sold recently.    
If you have a 1300 sq ft 4 bed on 1.3 acres then look for other houses that are 3-4 bed in the 1200-1500 sq range with ~1 acre lots and see which have sold lately.

The appraisal you got recently would have already done this.   If you have the appraisal itself, it will likely list the comps they used.

 

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jmcguir1 said:   I am new to this forum and seeking advice or help with some of the questions I have about eminent domain. thanks for your help and opinion in advance. I never had a clue what eminent domain was until we got a letter in the mail stating that my house might be in the middle of a project called the Rome-Cartersville corridor connector. the state dot has two proposed routes. if they go with the route that my house sits on they will be putting in a access road to the interstate for all the big business like Budweiser brewery and Georgia's biggest steel plant along with many other big business to have quicker access to the interstate and I will be brought out and give fair market value of around $85,000 which when I recently had my house refinanced the bank appraiser appraised the house around$115,000 . by the way I live in Georgia. my biggest question is I have a four bedroom two bath house with a de attached garage. my house has around 1300 square feet and my house sits on 1.3 acres. I have began to look around my area and I cannot find another place for under $150,000.  that has around the same square footage and lot size and amenities like a fenced in backyard and a garage. does anyone know if the state of Georgia has to find you the same kind of place as for as square footage and amenities for the same amount of money that they buy you out for if its through eminent domain. and if the government buys my house at there fairmarket value I will break even and will not have a down payment for my place. does the government assist you in down payment.
 

  
If it 'might' be in the middle of the project, then how could you have been given an offer of $85K?  Acquisition does NOT begin until a final plan(s) have been approved and it could be several years if not a decade+ until this is finalized.

 

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I don't know how it works in GA, but here in FL getting your house seized by eminent domain is actually a pretty sweet deal. Everyone thinks the big bad government is stealing property from people, but the truth (as usual) isn't quite so simple.

So here in FL, if you object to the valuation they offer, you have the right to go to court. AND the state not only has to pay their own lawyers, they have to pay for YOUR lawyer's fees as well.

As you may expect, some people are wise to this, and therefore don't accept even reasonable offers, figuring the state has to pay for their lawyer, your lawyer, and the judge for as long as you fight it, so people ask for Fair Market Value + some additional amount because it will cost the state a lot of money to fight it & won't cost you a dime. As you may also expect, some big developers actually ask for the FDOT's road expansion plans, then buy up all the property along that road, just so they can have the privilege of getting the state to pay them more than it's worth when it gets seized through eminent domain.

In other words, my tax dollars are paying some opportunistic developer taking advantage of gov't transparency laws and their generosity in paying for both sets of lawyers. Yay capitalism! (But somehow the government is the bad guy?)

Yes, it sucks if you own your perfect sentimental home and don't want to sell, but sometimes the gov't needs to build/expand a road or airport and that's all there is to it. But even in GA I'm sure there's a way to contest the appraisal. If they pay for your attorney or not I have no idea.

Skipping 13 Messages...
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rufflesinc said:   Should have taken a HEL or cashout at 95+% LTV at $115k valuation then tell GA DOT to suck it
  Won't he still be liable as the HELOC is in his name, and then if he walks away upon eminent domain grab that digs credit?

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