Residential Takings

Under the law of eminent domain, the government can take your home and land for public use, but you are not powerless. You can, and should, fight for the highest possible compensation. Read on to learn more about your rights as a North Carolina property owner.

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Issues you may be facing


If you lose your home when the government takes your property, there are many expenses and challenges you may face. Be sure to fight for relocation expenses.


Condemnation is the process of taking all or part of an individual’s private property for public use. While eminent domain is the right of an entity to take your property, condemnation is the actual act of taking it.

Inverse Condemnation

Inverse condemnation is when the actions of the government affect the value of your house or land, effectively condemning it, but you were never offered compensation.


The government can either buy or lease the right to use a portion of your property through permanent and temporary easements, respectively. It’s still your land, but easements can affect your property’s use and resale value.


An appraisal is a professional evaluation of the value of your land and/or residence. Under eminent domain, you are entitled to a fair market value of your acquired property, and the appraisal is instrumental in determining this.

Eminent domain process: Residential

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The clock starts

As soon as you receive notice that the DOT plans to take your property, it’s time for action.

Even if the taking is years off, this is the time to find out exactly what the effects will be to your residential property, because when acquisition starts, it will move quickly.

INSIDER TIP: This is the best time to find a qualified lawyer. If they work on contingency (meaning no up-front costs, an arrangement our firm offers), you get someone to spoon feed information to appraisers and speak on your behalf during this period without you having to pay anything.
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The initial offer

A government appraiser will give their opinion on the value of your property, and make an offer. These opinions can vary greatly, and DOT is not required to share its appraisal with you – though an eminent domain attorney may be able to get it.

If you agree to the price they offer (not recommended), you cannot negotiate for more in the future.

Parcel map with a pen in the middle.

We advocate

After the initial offer is deposited and you declare your intent to fight for more, you can take that money while we begin building a case to try to prove your property’s “highest and best use.” 

We then negotiate on your behalf, leveraging the evidence we’ve built. If history is any guide, you’ll see their offer rise.1

INSIDER TIP: Proving your property’s worth can be expensive. It often requires long hours and hiring additional experts. But we’re so confident in our work that we front all costs and guarantee you pay nothing if we don’t get you more than the government’s initial offer.
Person writing on papers with coffee and a notebook on the side.

Get the second check1

After we have negotiated what we believe to be a good offer that truly compensates you for what is being taken, we’ll ask for your authorization to close the case. Then we work to collect the funds on your behalf.

In some instances, we may advise that it is in your best interest to take it to trial. This choice will be yours, and our active litigation practice often results in higher offers the longer the matter proceeds into the litigation process.

INSIDER TIP: Only at this point will we take an attorney’s fee. We will also use this settlement to pay any bills associated with your case for you. The net recovery is all yours!

Frequently asked questions


Get a free case
evaluation today.

There are only a handful of attorneys in NC who practice eminent domain exclusively, and even fewer with NCDOT experience. We have several. That’s why its worth getting in touch with us for a free case evaluation.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell us about your situation.

2) We research your property as needed, using DOT maps, our own technology, and experience to see the exact effects.

3) We let you know what we think a fair offer would be. This evaluation is free, and there’s no
pressure or obligation to hire us after.

But please don’t wait to act. Waiting can hurt your case, and the cost is the same: free.

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