Appraiser Error or Property Owner Abuse?

It is difficult to imagine has the same appraiser can value a property at $10,000,000 at one point and then arrive at $2,000,000 thereafter. This office has experienced this in an Ohio condemnation, but rarely does a community use the same appraiser to lower its offer. Frequently, communities hire a second appraiser who determines a lower Just Compensation than the prior appraiser, but rarely do governmental agencies utilize the same appraiser to diminish the value.

The second contract also elicited commotion, for another reason. The $35,000 contract to hire attorney Edward Buzak was for a land use lawsuit involving a stretch of land known as “block 12.” The city has worked to acquire block 12 for the creation of a southwest Hoboken park.

This piece of private property was allegedly appraised for $10 million at one point and then $2 million at another point by the same appraiser. Now the city is trying to acquire it through eminent domain for $2 million from the private owner. A member of the public, David Liebler, called this “fraud.” He specifically blamed Mayor Zimmer.

“What you are doing is practically fraud,” said Liebler. “The use of eminent domain for something like a park, I have no words. Mayor Zimmer did not even sit down and try to negotiate. You can’t have the same appraiser go from $10 million to $2 million. That’s like me going to your house and saying it’s worth $500,000 and then $300,000.”

Members of the council argued about how an appraisal works for a situation like this. Councilwoman Jen Giattino said, “Appraisals are not set one way. There are many different ways that a property can be appraised.”
 
 

The second contract also elicited commotion, for another reason. The $35,000 contract to hire attorney Edward Buzak was for a land use lawsuit involving a stretch of land known as “block 12.” The city has worked to acquire block 12 for the creation of a southwest Hoboken park.

This piece of private property was allegedly appraised for $10 million at one point and then $2 million at another point by the same appraiser. Now the city is trying to acquire it through eminent domain for $2 million from the private owner. A member of the public, David Liebler, called this “fraud.” He specifically blamed Mayor Zimmer.

“What you are doing is practically fraud,” said Liebler. “The use of eminent domain for something like a park, I have no words. Mayor Zimmer did not even sit down and try to negotiate. You can’t have the same appraiser go from $10 million to $2 million. That’s like me going to your house and saying it’s worth $500,000 and then $300,000.”

Members of the council argued about how an appraisal works for a situation like this. Councilwoman Jen Giattino said, “Appraisals are not set one way. There are many different ways that a property can be appraised.”



 

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