Your home is your safe space. A government land taking and project can literally destroy your serenity and privacy. An example is where a new elevated sidewalk is built on the land taken and allows pedestrians to peek directly into your home. Raised roads allow headlights to flash into your windows at all hours of the night. Under these circumstances the property has suffered a change in location which results in a loss of value. You will have several options depending on your preference. Our civil engineers and class A general contractors, based on conversations with you, may be able to devise a cure to lessen the impact. The cure may entail constructing a berm and a subdivision type privacy wall with landscaping. The cost of the cure would be included in your claim.
Alternatively, the site may lose all appeal to you and we would seek payment for the entire site. The government is only entitled to acquire what is necessary for the public project. The government can be compelled to pay for nearly the entire value of the property even when there is a partial taking of the property. Once the case is over, you will decide whether to spend the money on a cure, move, or stay. The choice will be yours. Our job is to provide you with options and the means to carry out your decision. There are huge differences in appraisal philosophy. Governments typically rely on the market sales approach in order to formulate their appraisals and offers. The government appraiser may include sales where sellers were under distress due to health issues, family or other problems which result in a lower price. We believe the better approach is the cost approach. You are not a willing seller. The government should pay what it will cost to recreate what you have. This is especially true when you have built custom features into your home.