I-405 changes force couple from their brand new dream home

I-405 changes force couple from their brand new dream home
RENTON, Wash. -- Changes to I-405 are forcing a Renton family out of a house they just bought a few months ago, and apparently nobody warned them this would happen.

The Randquist Chung family thought they'd found the perfect house, a mile from work, close to a good school, and now they're forced to sell it to the state.

"(We) have that one home that our children are gonna grow up in for their whole life, that was the original plan," said Richard Randquist Chung. "And now seven months later, getting our home ripped away from us."

Richard and his wife Lori say they bought their 4 bedroom, $439,000 dream house last summer not knowing it was in the path of progress.

"I do feel deceived, I am angry," Lori Randquist Chung said.

Recently, their realtor called upset, saying she just received a letter showing the home is in the right of way of where the state plans to connect I-405's HOV lanes to HOT lanes on SR-167.

"If we knew it was coming we would have purchased a different home," Richard Randquist Chung said. "They're gonna go ahead and chop our road off about where my garage is."

So why wasn't it disclosed? Both the builder and realtor tell KOMO News, they didn't know.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says it met with residents about this phase of the 405 expansion project starting in 2004.

"In 2008, we received final environmental clearance for the project," said Denise Ciere, the I-405 Deputy Project Director. "But since that time, we've been on hold waiting for the next phases design and right of way which we now have."

But in that five years waiting for money from the Legislature, the new housing development popped up. The city didn't stop permitting or prevent owners from selling since there was no construction funding for the project. And there still isn't.

"What we don't know is when construction funding will be allotted from the legislature," she said.

Cieri says it might take two years to complete the purchase of this home and many more years before the state bulldozes it. But the Randquist Chungs say they don't plan to wait and see when that day will come.

"In my heart, I know we'll be taken care of but doesn't mean the process is gonna be easy for my family and my children," Lori Randquist Chung said.

The DOT needs to give this family fair market value for their house. The family plans to take legal action, but against who, we don't know yet.

The builder doesn't know if he'll take a financial hit, because now that the word is out, buyers just backed out of another home he'd hoped to sell, even though it's not slated for demolition.