Today was an interesting day. I went to the Travis County Appraisal Review Board to protest my property taxes. In the past, I had only gone in, spoken with someone, told them about my concerns, and was done with it. This time, I'm in a different situation. I'm in a brand new community and all the properties are being assessed all over the board.
I tried to do the informal thing where I explained what I was talking about, but apparently I went over the manager's head and he didn't understand. How he didn't understand, I don't know, but honestly, I think he just didn't want to deal with the situation.
In my neighborhood, there are equal and comparable new homes to mine that I would consider apples to apples comparisons, but values from $389k up well into the $400k's! How could that be??
I looked at a lot of information to find out what was going on, and you'll never believe it. I know different styles are common in different parts of the world, so this might not mean anything to some people, but my community has homes that are stucco, stone, or brick, and many homes with a combination of two different materials.
Because of the area and the amount of relocation we have from out of the area, the stucco homes are in high demand. Because of this high demand, the builders charge a pretty penny for the stucco elevations. However, do you think the appraisal district is following this same logic??
NO! They're not!
They are giving the stucco homes an inferior cost analysis causing my brick home to be valued higher that the others. When I brought this to the attention of the Travis County Appraisal Review Board, they were shocked. They were more shocked that the response from the Travis County Representative was that the stucco replacement costs were less so therefore, it's valued less. I'm sorry, but this isn't about replacement cost. This is about market value and what a buyer would pay for the house. If the builders are going to charge a premium, and the buyers are going to pay it, that's the cost analysis that should be used.
We had a little schooling going on, and my typical 20 minute hearing took over 45 minutes! Overall, I'm extremely happy with my results. I got my property tax value lower by over $20,000! That doesn't equate to too much over the year, but it'll add up year after year if I fight this stucco analysis each year. Bottomline, if you think you're not being valued like your neighbors' properties, do something about it!
Keep in mind, if you're in Texas and you're not happy with the Appraisal Review Board decision on your property, you can file arbitration and request me through the State of Texas' Comptroller's Office!
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Copyright© 2010 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Success at the Travis County Appraisal Review Board - Lowered My Property Taxes * was first published on donnahomesblog.com