A Property Owner’s Guide to NRHA Acquisition Procedures
If you own property that lies within a designated redevelopment or conservation area, NRHA may need to buy it from you. Here are answers to some questions you may have about this process
We realize that sometimes selling property under these circumstances can be unsettling, so we want to help you in every way we can. Please feel free to call upon us for assistance at 624.8637 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Contact: Email Jim Hollomon or call 624.8637
How are these conservation and redevelopment plans developed?
Before taking steps to acquire property for redevelopment, NRHA makes a thorough study of the neighborhood under consideration. We work closely with the City of Norfolk’s Planning Commission, and we help set up a Citizen’s Committee to develop a plan for the area.
This plan provides an outline of the desired objectives regarding land uses, traffic flow, public transportation, public utilities, building requirements, recreational and community facilities, other public improvements, land to be made available for private and public redevelopment, and provisions for relocating residents into decent, safe and sanitary dwellings.
Before the plan is adopted and carried out, public hearings by NRHA and Norfolk City Council are held so that citizens may voice their opinions about the project area. Approval of the plan by the City Planning Commission and City Council will be made in separate actions. NRHA can take no action in a neighborhood until the conservation and/or redevelopment plan is approved by those municipal bodies.
How does the acquisition process begin?
After a neighborhood plan is approved, NRHA may begin acquiring property there. But before we make you a price offer, we will pay to have your property appraised by an independent, state-licensed real estate appraiser.
The appraiser will contact you to set up an appointment. You should accompany the appraiser through the property so you can point out any items that you want to be sure are noted. This ensures that appraiser has all the facts, which will result in a fair and intelligent appraisal. Your cooperation with the appraiser is a very important step and cannot be stressed too strongly.
Who determines fair market value for my property?
When NRHA receives the report from the appraiser, it will be reviewed to determine if it is complete and factual, that proper procedures have been employed, and that the appraised value is properly supported.
We make a thorough analysis of the appraisal to arrive at the fair market value for your property. Once we have determined the market value, an acquisition contract will be mailed to you with a copy of the appraisal. Please be assured that we will offer you the full fair market value for your property.
What if you need only part of my property?
If only part of your property is to be purchased by NRHA, and this part causes your remaining property to decline in value, you will be paid for this loss in value to the remaining property. Damage or loss to the remaining property will be evaluated by the appraiser, and explained to you by the negotiator.
If acquisition of part of your real estate leaves you with an uneconomic remnant, NRHA will offer to acquire the entire property.
What if I'm not happy with your price offer?
If you feel that our offer does not represent the true value of your property, you may refuse to accept it. If you have additional information that you feel bears upon the value of the property, NRHA will be glad to consider it in making its estimate of the property’s fair market value.
In redevelopment projects, if an agreement cannot be reached as to the value of the property, NRHA may be required to exercise the power of eminent domain and institute court proceedings to purchase the property.
It’s important to point out, however, that NRHA may not need to pursue your property under eminent domain to implement the redevelopment plan. Each situation is decided individually. Instituting court proceedings is a serious matter to be used only when absolutely necessary, and it must first be approved by the NRHA Board of Commissioners.
How does the court process work?
If a court proceeding is held, fair market value of the property will be determined by a jury. During such a proceeding, you are entitled to present your own appraisals and other evidence pertaining to the value of the property. Any attorney’s fees, appraisal services, or other costs incurred by you in presenting your case to the court would have to be paid for by you.
The amount determined to be fair market value will be deposited by NRHA with the court. The interested parties may then withdraw the funds to which they are entitled by presenting to the court a title certificate signed by an attorney setting forth the names of the property owners and the amount or portion to which each owner is entitled.
Can I retain the fixtures on my property?
If you want to retain any fixtures, shrubbery, or other property improvements that would normally be acquired by NRHA, you should contact the NRHA Demolition Supervisor as soon as possible at 757-314-2094, so that your wishes can be considered.
If you want the items before they are included in the appraisal, you must have them removed yourself. If you leave them and they are included in the appraisal, you will have to buy them back from NRHA after we have acquired them.
Who pays settlement costs?
All costs of examining the title and preparing and recording the deed, except grantor’s tax, will be paid for by NRHA, and no sales commission will be charged to the landowner. However, if there are outstanding loans or liens on the property, these must be discharged and released prior to or at the time of settlement.
What if I bought the property through a GI loan?
If you have a GI Loan on the property, the Veterans Administrations (V.A.) will generally recognize the circumstances of the sale and restore your loan privileges so that you may use them to repurchase another property. We suggest that you check with your nearest V.A. office.
What about my tax considerations?
In most instances, the sale of privately owned property to NRHA for public purposes is considered by the Internal Revenue Service to be involuntary conversion. This means you may not have to pay capital gains tax on any profit realized if the money is reinvested in similar property within two years. We encourage you to discuss this with your personal tax advisor or contact your local Internal Revenue Service office.
Will you help me relocate?
Yes, if you are a homeowner, tenant, or business owner who occupies property being purchased by NRHA, we will help you move. Since moving may create problems, the staff of NRHA is available to help you in many ways. NRHA employs Relocation Specialists who are trained to assist property owners and tenants of both residential and commercial properties. These specialists help make the process of moving to a new location as smooth and convenient as possible.
Soon after NRHA makes an offer to purchase the property, a Relocation Specialist will come by to see you. He or she will explain everything you will need to know about your relocation, including relocation payments. Please do not move out until you have talked to one of our specialists. Your Relocation Specialist is highly experienced and will offer you advice and work closely with you to help you with the relocation process. It is our goal to make the transition a smooth and efficient operation.
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