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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55598
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Hello, I have made an offer on a vacant lot with intentions

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I have made an offer on a vacant lot with intentions of placing a home on it. The lot measures 100' x 150' at this time and is a corner lot. However, while doing my due diligence, I have found out that the lot is subject to eminent domain for street widening on both streets. If, and when, an eminent domain process takes place, the lot would then be reduced in size by 20' on two sides, rendering it 80' by 130'.

I have been reading up on eminent domain and understand that if I proceed with the purchase, I would have to be compensated for the two strips of land that would be taken. The home I plan to build would still fit on the land even if the lot is reduced in size, and I can plan the placement of my home accordingly to accommodate the loss.

My question is this: is there anything else I need to consider before going ahead with this purchase? My mother seems to think that this could actually be a good thing, in that the money I would receive as compensation could be used to improve the remainder of the lot without any capital gains tax assessments (from what I have read).
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. You are correct in your assessment. You will be entitled to compensation for the government taking of a portion of your property. As long as you can still do what you want to do, then it is likely be beneficial to you. The two things that I would bring up as issues that need to be considered in these actions are: i) You can get more for compensation than the initial offer made by the government. They will low-ball you and I would suggest getting your own appraiser to calculate the value of the "taking." It impacts not only the actual land being taken, but its impact on your remaining land....sure, you can still build the house, but the fact that your house is now located on a wider, and therefore much busier street, lowers the overall value of your property and improvements. ii) You will want to consider the impact on you of living on the busier street. As I mentioned above, it will negatively impact your property and house valuation because prospective purchasers will not pay you as much for a house on a real busy street than they would for the same house on a quiet less-used street. And, you can get compensated for this; but, there are also quality of life issues for you...i.e., do you have children that might be at risk; you have to get out of your driveway every day; etc. etc. If these issues don't impact you or bother you, then this is probably beneficial to you; otherwise, you might want to consider another property.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not sure if my first reply went through, so here it is again. If the lot is incorporated into the City of Perris in the future, could they make me tap into city services, such as the sewer system. Right now, the lot requires a septic tank and propane, as do all of the houses in the area that are on county land.

Thanks so much for your reply...I did not receive it so I very much appreciate you following up. Yes, it is possible that they would require you to do so. This would be included in the cost of the condemnation and they would need to pay you for this additional cost unless they agree to grandfather your lot.
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