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How homeowners can respond to condemnation for highway projects

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Eminent Domain |

The Texas economy keeps growing, and so the state’s roads have to expand as well. In addition to adding new miles of paved streets, Texas has also made major investments in expanding its existing highway infrastructure. Such expansions take years and cost millions, but they allow for faster and possibly even safer transportation if making use of the right design concepts.

Unfortunately, all of that expansion often comes at the expense of people living by those new or growing roads. Texas authorities can and will use condemnation proceedings to lay claim to properties that they must demolish for a highway expansion. They have the authority to do so under eminent domain laws.

How can a homeowner who is facing an eminent domain claim for a highway expansion in Texas protect their interests?

They can maximize what they get for their property

By the time the relevant authorities start making offers on individual properties for a highway expansion project, the situation has probably gone well past the point where a property owner can prevent the inclusion of their land or home specifically. Therefore, actually fighting and preventing the sale of their property will not be a realistic goal.

Their best outcome will involve getting the most money possible for their home. In theory, the authority condemning the property should offer to pay the owner its current fair market value based on its size, location and condition. Determining the fair market value can be a very involved process, and often those working for large highway projects will offer whoa amounts for properties.

Upgrades, improvements and premium finishes are all expensive additions to a property that may have increased its value substantially and which can be hard for an outside authority to know about and integrate into their offer. Homeowners will need to detail what makes their property unique and establish an appropriate fair market value with the help of a real estate professional.

They can then potentially counter the offer that they initially received if there is a sizable gap between the two figures. Those who are able to maximize what they receive for their property during the condemnation process can then reinvest the proceeds of that forced sale into a new home of comparable quality elsewhere. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about the options available to homeowners facing the condemnation of their property may benefit those who are worried about protecting their most valuable investments.