Eminent domain is a legal process wherein the government takes the private land of an individual for public use and provides that individual with just compensation. For a person who loses their home or the property that they have worked hard to develop through eminent domain, no amount of compensation may seem just. In Florida and jurisdictions throughout the nation, just compensation is often based on the value of the property at the time of the taking.
Determining a property's value is often established through the valuation process. Valuation is done by determining what a property would be worth if it were sold. There is more than one way to value property and this post will discuss a few of those methods.
One method of valuation is to compare it to other, similar properties that have sold recently in the same real estate market. If comparable properties all sold in a specific cost range, a property taken through eminent domain may be valued similarly.
Another method of valuation involves how developed parcels should be valued. If a parcel contains a specialized building or structure, the total value of the parcel and development should include the replacement cost of rebuilding the specialized structure in a new location. As readers can see, finding a fair value for an eminent domain taking can be complex. An attorney who works in the eminent domain field is a good resource for a person who has concerns about staying whole after losing their land to eminent domain.