In our last blog post, we discussed five factors that home-, land- and property owners should be aware of when dealing with eminent domain. In this post, we’ll outline a few more things people need to be aware of when city officials visit and present you with an eminent domain notice.
Appraisers Are Not Created Equal
While both real estate brokers and appraisers are certainly useful when litigating an eminent domain case, our eminent domain lawyers are experienced and qualified in assessing the market value of your property. If you feel that an appraiser assigned to determine your property’s value has given an unfair evaluation, then contact us.
There will be times when the entity overseeing a construction or road project will only want to take part of the land, leaving the homeowner with the rest. If, through eminent domain, you deal with “partial taking”, it’s always crucial to have an appraiser look at the remaining piece of land and the potential decrease of value caused by the seizure. If the government or entity is taking only a fraction of your land and a decrease in value affects the remainder, then you should be compensated accordingly.
The More, the Better
Many times, an eminent domain notice will affect multiple homeowners, whether it’s a pipeline, government building, highway, etc. The interest by these homeowners will be the same or very similar. If you’ve been provided with an eminent domain notice and know of others who have as well, by working together, the cost of litigation can be lower and the result can be more beneficial for each person involved.
Think Before You Sign
Yes, the government can take your land through eminent domain, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept their first offer. The 5th Amendment of the Constitution and Article 1, Section 18 of the Texas Constitution ban any entity from taking property without offering just compensation to a landowner.
Size Does Not Matter
Just because your piece of land is small, don’t assume you won’t need representation. At Fryer & Hansen, PLLC, we know and understand that the size of land will not justify ignoring its value. Rest assured that the government knows this and will remain honest and transparent.
Project SH 68
The construction of a new highway in eastern Hidalgo County, called Project SH 68, will consist of a highway facility near Donna to the north of Edinburg for a total of 22 miles. This project may very well affect residential and commercial properties. If you live in Donna or to the north of Edinburg and have received a notice from local officials about the possibility of eminent domain, we encourage you to contact us. Even if you have questions specific to the project, we’re here to help.
Seek Our Advice
There are many small, subtle issues that can be overlooked when dealing with eminent domain, such as oil or the decrease of value in “partial taking” cases. These are important factors that are many times overlooked by unsuspecting homeowners that think the government will have their interests at heart. It will always be worth your time to sit down with someone about the specifics of your case. Our eminent domain lawyers can help with valuation issues with your property so you can get the compensation you deserve.