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CT Homes: Fighting Eminent Domain in New Haven


There is a fight going on over CT homes in New Haven with one landowner claiming the city illegally swiped his property. So how can they do this and could you be next?

Local governments have had the power to seize property through ‘eminent domain’ forever but it isn’t often used. However, it has been returning as a far more popular trend around the country in the last year, especially with the chance to grab up properties cheap in a rising market.

Cities and counties can seize land under eminent domain when they deem a higher and better use for it. This is often seen when major highways or airports are being expanded on. In this case in Connecticut it is for a school in West Haven.

This is a relatively easy move for cities to make and though CT home owners are compensated it is based on current values not what the property was purchased for or the value it may hold in terms of sentimental value.

In the West Haven case, this might be a good thing for local school children from New Haven and West Haven, CT but it obviously doesn’t feel good to the owners losing their properties.

Apparently while the University of New Haven has been acquiring parcels around the area for a while it ran into stalled negotiations for 4 crucial lots when owners didn’t want to sell, which resulted in West Haven being asked to commence eminent domain. One owner in particular whose property dates back to 1912 and has been in the family for generations is particularly peeved and none are happy about the amounts they are being offered.

For others around the country there are ways to look at this situation not just for buying and selling CT homes but anywhere.

The first is that those buying cheap now in path of expansion could cash in to developers later as market blossoms and values rise and see a nice payday.

However, on the other hand some current owners might want to sell homes before they are pulled out from underneath them. Payouts are on current appraisals, which are obviously far less than before and even if appealed can be tied up for years in court and can mean big money in legal costs.

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