The state of Florida has some phenomenal land from coast to coast. From city to country land is a precious commodity always increasing in value. Here in Central Florida thanks to Walt Disney World and the world class attractions, land is becoming increasingly scarce and more desirable. Urban sprawl and growth has been the result across Central Florida as land is being bought up in Kissimmee, Clermont, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Davenport, Winter Springs, and anywhere it is still available in the Orlando metro area.

Residential development once a booming industry, has since slowed due to the tightening economy and global credit crunch. Nevertheless eminent domain and governmental projects to improve the infrastructure of cities continues unabated. Eminent domain occurs alongside of many highways that are being expanded. For example the widening of the 408 east bound at Conway Rd. and Lake Underhill is an $84 million dollar project that will take several months to complete. Homeowners effected nearby will be compensated through eminent domain payouts to be disbursed by the Central Florida governmental authorities (Orlando and Orange County) having jurisdiction in their respective area.

Though residential development comes with much speculation, one thing is for sure is the value of the land before the improvements are added thereon. Undoubtedly local and state government realize the value of land, which they don’t hesitate to snatch up via the exercise of eminent domain when they see a public use which they want to implement.

In the 1992, U.S. Supreme Court case of Lucas vs. South Carolina Coastal Commission, the developer purchased land in expectation of future development. Before Lucas was able to erect any permanent structures on the land, the state passed an act barring any further development.

Lucas understandably filed a suit against the state claiming that the act constituted a taking because it extinguished his property value. Justice Scalia delivered the ruling stating that if a regulatory action deprives an owner of all economically viable use of his land, a taking exists, and the state must compensate the landowner, unless the prohibited use of the land constitutes a nuisance under the state common law.

The dissenting opinion from Justice Blackmun stated a landowner does not lose all economically viable use of his land where, as here, numerous sticks in his bundle of rights are still available, such as, his right to use the land and the right to exclude others.

Justice Stevens, equally as heartless and sympathetic as Justice Blackmun, stated that the chance that property be rendered valueless is a risk inherent in investment.

That being said, when assessing the value of land and future development, it behooves the investor to appraise both the value and any upcoming initiatives on the part of local and state government. This makes working with a bona fide and knowledgeable appraiser with his hand on the pulse of the goings on of government most essential. Otherwise an investor’s sizable investment can substantially be reduced in value overnight with the swipe of a bureaucrat’s pen.

Source by Paul F Davis

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