Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Property assessment too high? Here’s how to fix that!

If your property assessment is too high it is not a good thing. Considering that the amount of real estate taxes you pay is based solely upon what the assessor’s office determines as the worth of your home, a high assessment equates to higher taxes and who needs that? If you feel that your home has been over appraised than there are some steps you can take to have the assessed value lowered. 

The first thing you can try is to record the addresses of other homes in your area that are similar in style, age and size to your property. You can then visit the website of your local assessor’s office to find out the appraised value of those particular properties. Be sure to pay extra attention to the assessed value per square foot of each of the homes. You can figure this out by simply dividing the homes square footage (not including the garage or basement) into the total assessment amount. If the home is 1,500 square feet and the taxes are $3,000 a year than the assessed value is $2 per square foot ($3,000 divided by 1,500 square feet = $2 per square foot). If your home’s assessment is higher than other homes in your area you might be able to have the assessment amount lowered.

Another possibility is to research the recent sales of homes in your area. If your home is valued much higher than the average sale price of similar homes you may argue that you have been over-assessed. This is especially true if you purchased your home within the last year or so. If the purchase price was much less than the current estimated value you have the best evidence possible to have your assessment lowered accordingly. This may not be useful if you bought a short sale or foreclosure at a lower price however. In this case the assessor’s office will argue that your home is, in fact, worth more than you actually paid.

As a final effort to reduce what you think is an over assessment of your home you could spend a few hundred dollars or so to have a certified appraisal performed to determine the fact that it has been over appraised but you should be sure that this is the case. If a private appraiser determines that your home has not been valued too highly by the assessor’s office or the difference is minimal you will be wasting your money.

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