Our Public Eminent Domain Encounter

Pull up a stump and settle in, its storytime.
Hotdogs and marshmallows are optional.

This house is been in the wife’s life for 57 years.
Her parents were the original owners,
the wife grew up here, her kids grew up here.
Her parents died here.
Her father died in the living room.
The wife was making her daily check on the father and found him in the living room.
The wife has only lived in two other places and that was for a short time.
So this house has some history and special meaning to her.

So I am sitting outside talking with a neighbor and a local news van pulls up.
The guy jumps and asked, “Did we get the notice?”
Now, of course, we didn’t get it the letter or notice.

I make the rounds of the neighbors to find a copy of this notice.
Our city Council and the Board of Public Works must’ve hired some sort of ninja because nobody saw any one put the notices on the door.
It basically says that our Board of Public Works has decided that they need to put a power plant in our neighborhood and are buying 22 houses and 15 businesses.

What a cowardly way to go about kicking people out of their house.
They said they’ve looked at nine other places and decided that our neighborhood was the best place for this powerplant.
No explanation as to why our neighborhood was better than anybody else’s.
There was no open forum, no contact or open hearings everything was done behind closed doors.

At this point in the story, our house was in the BLUE ZONE, meaning they were not going to buy our house but we could sell it to them.
Over the next couple of days, we talk to all the neighbors in the neighborhood.
And found out we had had to call to set up an appointment to have our house appraise.
Talking with the wife we decided what the hey let’s find out what they had to offer.
So a week later the appraiser comes and does a sidewalk appraisal.

One more phone call to the point of contact we found out that we’ll get the appraisal back in 10 days to two weeks.
Over the course of the next two weeks, the rumor mill will was in full swing.
Families saying they were going to fight this to the bitter end.
Wild guesstimationsas to how they were going to come up with the price of the house.
One of the crazier one was they were going to take the square footage of your house and multiplied by some abstract number.

The two weeks were up we started calling the number, “sorry nothing yet”.
The wife is not handling any of this very well, many nights in tears.

So every week we keep calling and keep getting the same answer “nothing yet”.
Four or five of the neighbors decided to band together and they’re going to march down on City Hall and fight this.
And of course that fell apart and nothing came of it, the City Hall just kind of said yeah go talk to him.
One Friday we got told by the rumor mill that our house was now in the RED ZONE, meaning that they were going to buy our house.
Our Monday phone call was “well we’re not sure what zone you’re in”.
Now the wife is having fits, it was okay when we had a choice but it wasn’t so good when they were going to force out.

The appraisal started showing up.
The pay structure was like this:
appraised value + (25% appraised value) + (15% signing bonus) + (3000 moving bonus).

Two months after this first started we finally got our appraisal.
When this first started the wife and I talked we came up with a number we would have been happy with.
After paying off a small mortgage and a few bills will have about $50,000 to put down on a piece of property.
we came out a lot better than a lot of the other neighbors some their mortgages are really underwater.
In the end we were more than happy with the results.

You know that feeling you get when the Cyclone Roller Coaster finally comes to an end.
You HAVE that queasy feeling in your stomach, your eyes are still blurry and you’re madly looking around for the exit and
still try to remember to grab your hat and sunglasses off the ramp.
That’s how we feel.

It’s not a ride would ever want to do again were just very glad about how it turned out.
Now the really scary thing about all of this.
Out of the 22 families this is happened to 3 of them before.
That’s kind of scary percentage.

And just when we thought it was over.
We found out were on a new ride the REAL ESTATE MARKET.

But that’s another story.