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Eminent Domain and Real Estate Valuation Blog

Condemnation and Real Estate Litigation

Rand Paul Attacks Trump Eminent Domain Use

Posted in Eminent Domain

Kentucky Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has added eminent domain as an area to attack Donald Trump. For example, Paul raised this issue at an appearance in Idaho and a call with Alaska reporters. Paul called Trump a “fake conservative” citing, in part Trump’s eminent domain action against Vera Coking, a retired homeowner in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1993, Trump expanded his property holdings, and he bought several lots adjacent to his property in order to build a parking lot for limousines. Coking, who had lived in her home for about 35 years, refused to sell. Trump and the city of Atlantic City condemned her house using the power of eminent domain.

“I don’t believe that most Idahoans support eminent domain,” Paul said. In his call with the Alaska reporters, Paul said, “Donald Trump’s been a big fan of [eminent domain]. He used it in his business model and has really shown no consideration for small private property owners.

Appraisal Institute Adopts Valuers Code of Professional Ethics

Posted in Appraisers

The Appraisal Institute Board of Directors at its July 30-31 meeting in Dallas adopted the proposed Valuers Code of Professional Ethics as a model code and approved making the VCPE available for use by non-AI professionals as a companion document to the Appraisal Institute Standards of Valuation Practice. The Institute describes the VCPE as containing “high quality, straightforward, principles-based and strict canons and rules of ethical conduct that valuers can follow when national or international ethical codes do not apply or are not required.”  AI explained, “To develop the proposed VCPE, the Professional Standards and Guidance Committee (PSGC) started with the Appraisal Institute Code of Professional Ethics (CPE), removed obligations and terminology unique to Appraisal Institute professionals (e.g., cooperating with an Appraisal Institute peer review committee) and adjusted remaining language to ensure universality.”

Trump Criticized Over Eminent Domain Use

Posted in Eminent Domain

There have been a number of articles written recently regarding presidential candidate Donald Trump’s use of eminent domain to acquire properties.  For example, the Boston Globe published an article on 8/25 titled “Donald Trump is no champion of the little guy.” This article referenced Trump’s use of eminent domain to acquire property in Atlantic City.  Similar articles have appeared in other newspapers and websites such as the Huffington Post.

Homeowner V. Appraiser Value Opinions Widens

Posted in Appraisers

The gap between homeowner and appraiser opinions of home values has nearly doubled since May, according to mortgage lender Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans publishes a “Home Price Perception Index” which it states represents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values. The index compares the estimate that the homeowner supplies on the mortgage application to the appraisal that is performed later in the mortgage process. “Many homeowners around the country are seeing the national headlines about home value increases and they are optimistic about their equity increasing,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. “While some areas are seeing the same level of home appreciation, or even more, there are also some areas that have slower home value increases. This can lead to homeowners and appraisers not quite seeing eye-to-eye.”

US House Bill Introduced Seeking To Limit Eminent Domain Power

Posted in Eminent Domain

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) has introduced legislation in the US House seeking to prevent state and local governments from using eminent domain for economic development. The “Private Property Rights Protection Act” would prevent a state or political subdivision of a state from obtaining federal economic funds for two fiscal years if it uses its eminent domain power to transfer private property to other private parties for the purpose of economic development. The bill was first introduced in 2005 in the wake of the Kelo case.

California Considers Appraiser Regulatory Legislation

Posted in Eminent Domain

The California legislature in considering legislation seeking to modernize its regulatory system. It has been passed by the State Assembly and the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and currently is pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee. If AB 624 would allow state-certified appraisers to use standards of valuation practice other than the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when performing non-federally related appraisal work.

Any alternative valuation standards would need to be reviewed and approved by the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers and the client. AB 624 is similar to legislation that was enacted into law in Texas and is under consideration in several other states.

TX Updates Appraiser Law

Posted in Eminent Domain

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1007 which amends the TX appraiser licensing and certification law. The bill will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

According to the Appraisal Institute, SB 1007 includes provisions related to three high-priority issues for the Appraisal Institute:

  1. The bill will allow the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board to adopt rules relating to the standards for the development of an appraisal and the conveyance of an appraisal report that are “recognized as substantially equivalent to” the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
  2. The bill clarifies that an appraiser who is certified by a jurisdiction other than Texas can perform a review of an appraisal of real property in Texas without a Texas appraiser credential if the appraiser does not offer an opinion of value as part of the review process.
  3. The bill grants the TALCB maximum flexibility to adopt rules to implement the Appraiser Qualifications Board’s requirements that states have processes in place to ensure that applicants.

Kelo Case To Be A Movie

Posted in Eminent Domain

The infamous Kelo v. City of New London will now be made into a movie. Producer Courtney Balaker is planning on beginning filming Little Pink House. It will be depicted as an underdog story focusing on the lead plaintiff – Suzette Kelo – who fought to save her house from condemnation. Her fight led to the SCOTUS landmark 2005 case.

Orlando Avoids Eminent Domain For Soccer Stadium

Posted in Eminent Domain

Orlando City Soccer will apparently purchase a necessary property to build its new soccer stadium rather than rely upon the City’s power of eminent domain. The City of Orlando previously was proceeding to acquire the property though the exercise of its power of eminent domain.  However, apparently concerned that it could not then transfer the property to a private entity, the City “unwinded” the process according to the City’s attorney.  It told the owner it was backing out of the eminent domain process, and convinced that owner to sell directly to Orlando City Soccer.

PA Considers Amendment To Relocation Law

Posted in Eminent Domain

The PA House is considering a bill that would amend the PA Eminent Domain Code’s relocation statute.  That statute applies where a business or residence is forced to relocate due to a condemnation and is in addition to damages for the loss of the real estate.  The bill would increase the reimbursement amount for “reestablish[ing] a displaced farm, nonprofit organization or small business at its new site” from $12,000 to $25,000.  It would also increase the additional amount paid to homeowners under certain circumstances from $27,000 to $31,000.  It is too early to predict the likelihood that this bill will become law.