MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) - Common questions from many of THV 11's Facebook users about the Mayflower oil spill asked "Did the homeowners know about the pipeline?" and "What's the property value now?"
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According to realtor Sandara Bridges with Real Estate One, a company that currently has three listings in the Northwoods subdivision where the oil spill occurred, the pipeline only runs under three of the properties.
Bridges told THV 11 News while showing a map of the Northwoods development that the homeowners of those three properties were made aware of the pipeline, but that information was not disclosed to the other homeowners in the area, as it is not legally required to make it known if it does not actually run beneath their property.
Bridges helped develop the Northwoods subdivision just ten years ago when it was built and firmly believes it can bounce back from this, but for those homeowners looking to sell right now, this spill could pose a major problem.
"They run from about a hundred, the hundred and fifties to the hundred seventies," she said when asked how much the home in the Northwoods Subdivision are selling for. She has three homes located there on the market right now and says even after Friday's oil spill, property values can recover. "If they will just stand together and make sure that all their problems are addressed, then their property values will rebound and recover very quickly."
Environmental Lawyer Sam Ledbetter with McMath Law Firm said he has already been contacted by affected homeowners and said in most cases like this, the real mess for property values remains even after the cleanup.
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"The cases that we have been involved in the past that involve impacts to property with pollution shows us there is a reduction in property value, often times permanent," he said.
Ledbetter told THV11 that the big problem here is this situation is almost unprecedented. This amount of oil in this close contact with homes on land just hasn't happened to this magnitude before.
Bridges and Ledbetter both agree the best thing for homeowners to do right now is to wait and see how ExxonMobil responds to the clean up before they take any action.