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Sale of property to the government

Lutherf

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I just got a letter from the City of Tucson about buying some of my property. The are doing a road widening and, apparently, need some of my yard for that purpose. I'm assuming that it will just be a few feet behind my back wall where they'd put a sidewalk (based on what they did in other areas). If that's the case then it's no big deal because I always assumed that was city property anyway. I would, however, feel a good bit differently if it turns out that they want to use my existing back yard. That would absolutely kill my property value.

Has anyone else run into this?
 

Fisher

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I just got a letter from the City of Tucson about buying some of my property. The are doing a road widening and, apparently, need some of my yard for that purpose. I'm assuming that it will just be a few feet behind my back wall where they'd put a sidewalk (based on what they did in other areas). If that's the case then it's no big deal because I always assumed that was city property anyway. I would, however, feel a good bit differently if it turns out that they want to use my existing back yard. That would absolutely kill my property value.

Has anyone else run into this?

There should be some plans on file with maps in the Courthouse or some County office that would show you exactly what they are doing. It varies. I have seen them do deeds where they just had all owners sign the same deed and then some where it was lot by lot. There really isn't anything you can do to stop it. The cost of hiring a lawyer and haggling over the price will probably cost you more than you would ever get additional unless they are taking your whole property.
 

AliHajiSheik

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Not sure about AZ, but they should tell you how they calculated the offer they make.
 

Captain Adverse

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I just got a letter from the City of Tucson about buying some of my property. The are doing a road widening and, apparently, need some of my yard for that purpose. I'm assuming that it will just be a few feet behind my back wall where they'd put a sidewalk (based on what they did in other areas). If that's the case then it's no big deal because I always assumed that was city property anyway. I would, however, feel a good bit differently if it turns out that they want to use my existing back yard. That would absolutely kill my property value.

Has anyone else run into this?

Yeah, it's called "eminent domain" and allows a government to force a property owner to sell at the "just compensation" price offered if it can demonstrate a public need.
 

Ray410

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Luther, there will be a lawyer in your area who is very experienced in filings against the city/state in order to get the best price for his clients in condemnation proceedings. Depending on how much is at stake here, you should not accept the offer from the city without having that guy review it first. Generally the first offer is not the best offer and the city or state has it's own appraisers.

Frequently a number of home owners in a row will accept a price and then a hold out down the line will get a much better price and the state will not increase the payments to those who previously accepted, which leaves a lot of people feeling frustrated and angry for a long time. This could be routine or it could be a money maker for you. It's worth it to get outside advice on this, even if just for your own peace of mind.

I don't know about Arizona, but Nevada passed a law some years ago that required the state to bear all costs in a challenge to eminent domain, which made it much easier for homeowners to fight the valuation.
 
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