I received a phone call several weeks ago to come look at a home the owner wanted to sell. I took down some basic information about the home and set up an appointment. In the meantime, I pulled the tax card and some other online information about the home.
Upon arrival for the appointment, the size (square footage) of the home didn’t seem right based upon the information I had gathered, i.e., the tax card. In the county, this home was located, the tax assessment was conducted every eight years and this was the year (2016) a new assessment was being made. To make a long story short, I had the company doing the new assessment come by and re-assess the square footage and the condition of the home. The square footage and the tax value was cut in half because the county had not only the wrong square footage, but also the wrong condition of the home.
Then about a week ago, I received a call to come look at some undeveloped land (almost a hundred acres), that had three old buildings on it. One of the buildings was the original home place that was built in the 50’s. All the buildings were unusable and unlivable, yet the county had the old homestead house value at $35,000. I thought to myself, “You got to be kidding me!” Again, I am having the tax assessor look at this property.
I cannot tell you how many times a potential seller has told me they priced their home based upon the tax value. Either above the tax value or just below it. Granted, there are some areas where the tax value is below true market value. You will find this in large metropolitan areas and upscale sub-divisions where the number of property owners is sufficient to meet the county budget.
But what if your property is overtaxed? What are your options? You can appeal it. Each county has its “appeal procedure.” You can go to the county website in your area and find out what the process involves. I can tell you now, it is not a “quick fix.” Most counties do not want to lose your money.
BTW, this appeal process isn’t just for real estate but also for personal property like cars, trucks, boats, etc. I had an old 1977 GMC truck that was barely drive able. I had to drive it to the tax office and let them see it to get the tax assessment down. (It was our part-time mosquito fogger.) Just keep in mind some counties re-evaluate every four years, while some re-evaluate every six or eight years.
It seems most people want their tax value high when selling but want it low when buying. It makes sense but it doesn’t always work that way in the real world. If you are thinking about buying or selling, give us a call at 252-257-4822 and we will assist you in evaluating your buying or selling process.