My Nest

This has been a hard week for me.  I am just so sad.  I don’t even know how many people we have told our story to this week.  It seems like a lot.

One client who came in, who has also been through eminent domain on the business side, told me I am loosing my “nest”.  He lost in his process to develop a property.  He had also been through a divorce and the counselor told him he would never get the home because it was “her nest”.  The nest is where Mother’s bring their babies home, he said.

Wow, that was like a light bulb for me.  I went home and cried.  I am loosing my nest.  That is why I am so upset and my husband is not.  He is mad and done.  I am sad and holding on.

I am trying to reach out and contact other homeowners who have lost their homes.  I have a number of messages into families and individuals who have been forced to move. I need the emotional support of someone who has gone through this.  I need to hear what they felt.

Funny, we got an email from the county last Friday with more comparables for sale.  Still not in our area, but closer than the first five.  What a joke.  What a game.  The email also inquired as to when we planned to vacate and if we had contacted moving companies yet.  Really?  Are you kidding me?  Do they really think we don’t understand?

Athough, I have thought of having the four of us standing out on the front stoop on November 15th with Nerf guns…

No, we will be gone.  I do believe in Karma.  Everything comes around goes around.  I haven’t even began with the background and the past eight years…

I appreciate all of the empathy we have been receiving.  The phone calls, the emails, the face book messages.  I really do feel it.  Thank you.


Madness- “Our House”

Lately, I have been thinking about the eighties band “Madness” in regards to a song called ” Our House”.

Part of the lyrics are “My Mum is so house proud”.  I can so relate. I am so “house proud”.

I know my house, I can tell you everything we did and I can explain the details just as good as Marisa Tomei explained a 1963 Pontiac Tempest in “My Cousin Vinny”.


Tall Ships

Sometimes when we tell our story to someone who knows none of the background, we get that “deer in the headlights” look along with shock and disbelief.

It is like the Native Americans not “seeing” the Tall European Ships when they first approached the America’s.

One of my friends told me that growing up, it was “if you didn’t talk about it, it didn’t happen”, in her family.

Well, that is why I am talking about our story.  Because it does happen and never in a million years did I think this would happen to me and my family.  I want to tell our story so people understand  that the government really can take your home or business.

This is real.  I will tell you there is no amount of money that would make this okay.  Even now, at the end, I would rather stay in my house.  This is not just about the money.  This is about the principle, the purpose and politics that come into play.

Look up any story regarding eminent domain.  It is the same story over and over.  Whatever entity that is taking the home or business building, it starts to sound the same. The owners don’t feel they are being compensated fairly (because they are not) and the entity states they had an “independant appraisal”.  So the owners end up with two choices, accept the offer or seek legal representation.

There was a story yesterday in the Minneapolis Star/Tribune regarding a business in Edina.  The city just agreed to eminent domain for a parking lot.

I feel for the owners.  I know how devestation feels.  I know how we feel having worked so hard for what we have and the politicians decided our fate.

What you don’t hear or see is the process that the owners go through.  How we try to save our properties, the phone calls to our representatives, how we think we can do this and end up okay.

We are the Tall Ships…we need to be seen.

My Fab Four

I have four really good girlfriends that I call my “Fab Four”.  Three are from college and one is from high school.

Tonight I spoke with two of my “fab four”, one briefly and one for longer.  Last night I spoke with another and two nights ago the fourth.

Seriously, love you!  These are the people who have been with me through much more than these last eight years. They know everything about me.  They knew my parents, they were here for the best times and the worst times.

They are all monitoring my blog.  They have told me to keep writing.  They are the best.




Telling our story

Yesterday, I got a call from Minnesota AmVets, asking for a donation.  We donate a few times a year to their organization.  We are big supporters of our Veterans and usually a woman named “Kay” calls us.  The person I spoke with said Kay was sitting across from him.  I had to decline this time, but I had to explain why.  I proceeded to tell him our situation of loosing our home to eminent domain.  I told him to call in a few months, we have to put all donations on hold until we move and get settled.  Remember, we are paying our mortgage and a lease…

We are telling our story to everyone.  As a business owner, we are in contact with people everyday.  We know our clients.  We have been telling our story to our friends, clients, venders, people we do business with etc.  We have been telling it for eight years. And you know what?  No one is surprised that we received a low offer.

No one.

Another thing that the County needs to do is find us “comparable” housing.  Meaning homes that are similar to ours that are actually for sale in our community.  “Community” is an issue.  What is community?  The city that we live in?  School district? Radius from our current location?  Between our business and our kids school, we need to be close to where we currently live.

Our home is deceiving.  It looks small from the front.  However, when you come in it opens up and goes out back.  We are also on a small body of water.  I have already written that we added on to our home and did a complete renovation.

We were presented with, no I am sorry, we were sent certified mail, information on five homes for sale that were on water, about the same square footage, bathrooms/bedrooms etc. Other than that, nothing was comparable.  These are where the homes are located and the distance from our current home:

1. Independence, 18.9 miles

2. Minneapolis, 13.7 miles

3. Corcoran, 22.8 miles

4. Maple Grove, 13.5 miles

5. Plymouth, 12.9 miles

Those that know our area, know that we would never consider moving to any of those areas — it’s too far from our “community”.  This is what we are dealing with.


63 days left

63 days left in my dream home. Or less, depending on when we decide to vacate.  But, no more than 63 days including today.

I think about things differently these days.  For example, today I opened a drawer in our bathroom and I thought “ugh! I need to clean this out. I walk into closets and think, geez, I need to go through all of this.  My husbands response is that we will get a dumpster…  No, we need to donate, reuse, recycle.  I cannot just put everything in a dumpster.

We need to start going through everything.  Even though we will have movers pack and unpack, there is still a lot we have to do.  There is no payment for our time for this as there is no payment for any of our time that we have put into looking for a home, researching Eminent Domain and putting our story together for appraisers and other appointments.

Moving will take at least a week.  Two to three days for the movers to pack us and then two days to unpack.  Someone needs to be here and there to organize and assist.  That is a week off work.  How fair is that? Everyone else working on this project gets paid, but we have to take time off from work to move and get nothing.

I am going to start adding up the hours spent on trying to save our home, eight years of hours.  Just for the principle of it.  This is crazy.  We live in America, how can this be?

And when should we stop mowing the lawn?  These are things I have been thinking about.


Friday the 13th

I need to try to relax and calm down.  I know everything will work out.  I have been pretty stressed with this process and getting ready to move that I haven’t been able to write.

I decided to write a little bit each day on how I feel and what is going on.  Basically, keeping the blog in “present” time and then getting to the background story after we move and get settled.

Last Friday we had two moving companies come to the house so we can get bids for relocating.  I broke down at the end of the first appointment.  I just became so upset showing our house and looking at everything we did.  My husband had to show our property to the second appointment.

I realized that it will be best to get out sooner than later.  Even though we are pretty sure we are the last homeowners on the road project still living in our home.  Our drop dead or the sheriff is coming date is November 15th.  So, we have stayed as long as we can.

Because we did not accept the County’s offer we will not receive any money until we do settle.  Except that to actually take possession of our property, they will have to pay the mortgage first.  We have no idea when they are going to pay it, by Novemeber 15th I woud think.

What that means is we are still paying our mortgage which is crazy.  We also had to put a downpayment on our rental home and will be paying both next month. I don’t see where Eminent Domain is a good process and laws protect the people.

This is our third home.  It was going to be our last home.  We have updated everyroom.  Including painting closets — on the inside, who does that?  Every piece of furniture is for the room it is in. Every thing has a place and a purpose in this house.  We have been here fifteen years.  Fifteen years.  I know now that it would not have mattered if we had been here fifty years.  If the government wants your property, they are going to take it.

But, really, just be fair and pay for us to get a comparable home or build.  I don’t want to go into details or numbers.  In a nut shell, the offer was less than what we have our home is insured for.  Our insurance number does not include the land.  We know a little bit about insurance and rebuilding cost.  I am an insurance agent and have been in the insurance industry over 20 years and my husband works with me.

This really does suck and I feel sick from the inside out.  The gentleman from the moving company last Friday was very empathetic and had worked with other homeowners on this project.  He told me to make sure I was okay “on the inside”, that is when I broke down.  Because I am not okay on the inside. That is why I know we need to move sooner than later.