1. Will I receive proper notice of the government’s intent to acquire my property?
Usually, yes. In some cases, a government agency, such as a highway department, makes a decision without public discussion about where to locate a road and which properties are to be taken. In other cases, the local legislative body, such as the municipal board of council, may make the decision at an open meeting. Ordinarily, there is no process by which an owner may participate directly in the decision to acquire property. However, in our experience landowners are typically notified by a government agency or utility once a decision to take has been made for the purpose of negotiating a price for the taking. It is at this point that we recommend you get an experienced North Carolina condemnation attorney involved.
2. Should I get an appraisal?
An appraisal is an opinion of value given by an expert, typically a professional real estate appraiser. It is usually a good idea to obtain an opinion of value by a person with knowledge, such as a professional appraiser or real estate broker. Our law firm typically enlists the help of a qualified appraiser as a usual first step in your case. This will help you and your lawyer to determine the appropriate value to be put on your real estate, whether in negotiations with the government or in court.
3. Will the government take all of my property?
Often, particularly in transportation-related acquisitions, the government may take only a portion of the property, such as a certain number of feet adjacent to a right of way for a roadway widening. In such a case, the government must pay not only for the amount of property actually taken, but for the damage occurring to the remainder of the property. Frequently, the remainder of the property will become less valuable because of the loss of the part taken, such as because of loss of access or because the remaining property is less useful than it was prior to the taking.
Call us at 919-615-2473 with all your North Carolina land condemnation questions.
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