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We live next to two schools, and the school department is looking to tear them down and build a bigger new one. We just got a letter in the mail asking if we would be interested in selling our house in order for them to expand the site. What are the chances that they’re just able to take it (eminent domain) ??

Also, would they necessarily give us more than the value of the house because they specifically want this land? I’m curious why people would every say yes to this unless they ended up getting a great deal.

1 Thought on School department looking to buy house?
  1. Reply
    Mark Twain O
    August 26, 2011 at 3:25 am

    This is a classic instance where eminent domain would apply. The issues are how your particular state deals with the issue. Historically, the condemning authority tends to lowball the offer, factoring in what it would cost the condemnee in court costs to get a larger settlement.

    Oftentimes, however, they try a much fairer method, which is to ask the homeowner what they think.

    If the school is really interested in your property, you yourself need to find out what an equivalent home would cost you personally. This sometimes is more than your current house is really worth. Depending on how big a town you live in, you might contact your city councillor, county supervisor, and the local press. Smaller towns are more sensitive to the issue than are big cities.

    One upside to having your home condemned this way is that you can usually negotiate a long lead time for moving out (rent free), letting you make changes to your new home without having to move right in.

    Good luck.

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