Becoming a homeowner is a great lifetime achievement. Your home is something you’re proud of and between the mortgage payments and home repair projects, a lot goes into building your dream home. But in the case of eminent domain, you could lose all of your hard work because of the government’s right to your property.
Now, fighting eminent domain isn’t always inevitably a losing battle. There are things you can do if you’re being threatened with eminent domain to fight for the compensation you deserve or to keep your property. Read the following tips to help you understand your rights, the eminent domain process and the resources available to you.
Get legal advice as soon as you hear that your property could be taken for public use. You could be informed by a mailed letter, in-person notice or a phone call. You may also only be dealing with an easement, which allows the government to go onto the property without taking full possession of it or to take a portion of it to widen a road. Either way, the best thing to do is to talk to a lawyer to get as much information you can and prepare yourself for the next steps.
The government will send someone out to calculate the market value of your property. It’s a good idea to have your own appraisal done by someone else of your choosing. All appraisers should be unbiased but it’s always smart to have a second opinion. Doing this will ensure you’re getting fair compensation for your property.
After you know how much your property is worth, you can either accept the government’s offer, ask for more money or fight back. It’s all up to you whether you want to accept the offer, but know that there are difficulties you may face with any decision and there are resources out there to help
Photo courtesy of Colin J Bird by WikiVisually