Hope that helps!
I am surprised if they took it for eminent domain that it is recorded with a sheriffs deed.
We agree with the other posts that it probably would benefit you to have your own appraisal done to "keep them honest."
Having an awareness of what the neighbors home sold for might be of interest but of even greater interest is if your city has invoked "eminent domain" previously. What were the circunstances and what were the buy out amounts for those homes?
It may be benefical to have this information.
In the end, an independant appraisal will be the best thing to support your position. I would wait and see what you are being offered by the city/state/county. Who Knows?
Often, but not always- the offer is better than you could imagine.
WHAT IS EMINENT DOMAIN?
Eminent domain refers to the power possessed by the state over all property within the state, specifically its power to appropriate property for a public use. In some jurisdictions, the state delegates eminent domain power to certain public and private companies, typically utilities, such that they can bring eminent domain actions to run telephone, power, water, or gas lines. In most countries, including the United States under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, the owner of any appropriated land is entitled to reasonable compensation, usually defined as the fair market value of the property. Proceedings to take land under eminent domain are typically referred to as "condemnation" proceedings.
By Aaron Larson
Law Offices of Aaron Larson
If you want the city (or the jurisdiction) that is taking your home to believe you, you need a third party licensed appraiser to tell you what it is worth. Their findings will stand up in court. Since your talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, why would you skimp on not getting an appraisal for probably $400? An appraiser is licensed by your state to be an impartial third party to the transaction. You can't get an answer that you can defend reliably from anyone else, period.