“Comparable Property” Versus “Condemned Property”: Is There Really Any Difference?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 30, 2014

That really depends. How? On the actual value of both types of property. In any given case, if you were to condemn the property, would that mean the property has “less value” than another house still standing? Maybe, maybe not. Typically, though, when condemnation commissioners show up to put a house to rest, payment, one would think, wouldn’t be as much as if the house remained. But is that necessarily fair? After all, the house still has some value, one would think.condemned

This is definitely the case regarding the County of Dakota versus Cameron, an issue regarding the award of a specific amount of money totaling up to $655K in damages for condemnation of a particular property. Cameron cried foul, for obvious reasons, given the fact that the state of Minnesota has a “minimum compensation statute,” entitling anyone to comparable compensation regarding other properties in the community.

In other words: if there’s a similar property out there with X amount of value, condemnation commissioners better pay that kind of amount for another property about to be condemned. It’s only fair. The trial court, of course, awarded their decision for Cameron, entitling him to the amount of $997,056. The county, though, didn’t like that number and sought to appeal it. That didn’t work, and yet the county still sought to fight the case, addressing it with the Supreme Court.

Real estate law is fair, no way around it. This is a perfect example that you should pay the same amount of money for destroying a house as for buying one. It does sound funny to say that, but there’s no fairer way to state it in this case of real estate property dispute.

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