Search Results for "assessment"

Jun 08 2009

Maryland Property Tax Assessment Appeal

Published by Carolyn Thompson under Real Estate

The Maryland Departement of Assessments has told me that it is NOT a good idea to file an appeal in writing, as they may misinterpret the documentation the way the the appealant had intended.

 I sent a copy of my property listing.  The property was listed for $410K.  I bumped up the purchase price to $438,500 so that I would have some money to replace the roof and the deck, regrade the property on both sides of the house where water was coming in and fix some major plumbing issues.

I neglected to state this in my letter.  I thought that the fact that I had just purchased a property that had been on the market for 59 days would demonstrate that I had paid fair market value.  I was not dickerying about the value between the list and what I paid.

 I was told by the assessment office that the listing remarks stated that the house was listed under market and that it was a fantastic home.  I said that the house would be listed under market for a home in top condition.  I thought that the agent had stretched the remarks a bit and that this was not uncommon and that many agents stretch this a bit- especially in this market.

I said that it is a fantastic home, but it needed about $50K in work, removing the old deck and gutting the basement before the house was livable.

Me: The remarks also stated that it was being sold “as is”. 

The assessment manager: most remarks state this now. 

Me: It was mainly the bank owned properties and short sales that were being sold ”as is”. 

If a home seller wants to get top dollar for his property, it should be in the best possible condition and it should not be advertised ”as is”.  For this the manager said nothing.

 I asked her about the comparables that were used to assess my home.  I stated that most of the properties were newer and the living space at the time of assessment was much smaller.    She stated the the “compararables” that I had requested and received were not comparables at all, but they were area assessments.

Me: Okay- how does this effect the assessed value that was determined for my home?

Assessment Manager: some of the properties were used for the assessment, not necessarily all of them.  

Me: Okay, which ones were used.

 Assessment Manager:  I don’t know until the rest of the paperwork that you requested comes to my desk.

Me: I have checked every “area assessement” that was used.  All of the properties were newer than mine and had more living area.  None of them were in the terrible condition that mine was in. 

Assessment Manager: This is why you should never file an appeal by mail.  We had no idea what condition your home was in.

Me: What if I get an affidavit from the listing agent.

Assessment Manager: You should have asked us for a property review before you made the improvements.

Me: This was not stated on the appeals form.

Assessment Manager: That is why you should never file an appeal by mail.

Me: Uggh!!!!!!!  ( you don’t know what you don’t know)

Me: All of the homes on the area assessment were assessed at or below the assessed price, but mine was assessed for $85K above the purchase price.  Can you tell me why.

 Assessment Manager: You do have quite a bit more land than the home that sold around you.

Me: Yes, I took this into account, can you tell me what the difference is in the value of my land compared to the others?

 Assessment Manager: About $20K

Me: This still does not make up for the difference in newer homes with more living space, that are in better condition, but assessed for less then mine.

Me: Can you  tell me what the guidelines are for assessments, as it does not appear to be an appraisal.

Assessment Manager: No, it is a bulk assessment. We take into consideration recent home of similar sizes.

Me: The homes in my area assessment were all larger then mine.  Some were twice the size.

Assessment Manager: I have to wait to see the area assessments that were used before I can make a comment.

Okay, I feel sorry for the Assessment Manager.  I was grilling her.  Frankly, I just don’t understand how there can be such a huge descrepancy between what you just paid for a home and the assessed value, if the home was sitting on the market.

 There is a difference between purchasing a home on a short sale for well below the market and paying market price for a home.

If a home is priced well below market, it will go quickly, as market value is what a buyer is willing to pay under normal circumstances.

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May 30 2008

Maryland State Department of Assessments

Published by Carolyn Thompson under Real Estate

An email was sent this afternoon to the Maryland State Department of Assessment. 

I placed a formal request for the criterion for assessing a property.

I was told by the Montgomery County Property Assessment Appeal Board, a “non partial” entity that the only criterion they were aware of is that the comparables have to be of properties sold within that tax year.  There was no verification that the styles, condition, age or size was a factor.  I am not quite sure how the board can hear a case if they don’t know what the factors are for making the assessment.   This information came directly from the clerk of that particular Montgomery County board.

 I asked who made up the board and hearing members.  The clerk stated that they were individuals from different parts of the county.  Okay, this is nice that they are trying to keep things balanced, so my next question was what background did the hearing panel have to make a decision on reviewing my case.  Were they appraisers.

 No, the clerk stated that these people were not appraisers, but they were impartial individuals.   I think that I would feel better if the panel had some knowledge of property assessment, appraisals, fair market value.

 As a Montgomery County Commissioner, I am releived however to know that there are a lot of very intelligent, level headed impartial members on these boards.

 I was a bit anti governement as I felt that the government would do as it pleased.  I am pleasantly surprised to see very dedicated indiviuals volunteering their time and working for Montgomery County Governement.  It is especially tough for some government workers to have to work with demanding volunteers.  

 I am not confident that my case will have a favorable outcome.  My position on a committee will have zero influence on those who will hear my case.   The only advantage I will have is that the surroundings will be familiar and I have a vague idea of how the process works. 

On my commission,  The Commission on Common Ownership Communities there is terrific balance of individuals and professionals.  I am fortunate to be surrounded with such intelligence, expeience and dedication, as well as impartiality.  No one gets a break.  No one expects one and no one asks.    It is simply fair and honest with everyone doing their best to serve the associations and individual condominium owners.

My next email will be to the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection.  If nothing else, I am learning the workings of my local government inside and out. 

No responses yet

May 27 2008

Maryland Property Tax Assesment

Published by Carolyn Thompson under Real Estate

I just received a list of the comparables used for my property tax assessment, and to determine my property value.   Who determines which comparables to use in a property tax assessment?

 It was not the same group of people who determines the Fannie Mae guidelines for appraisals.  Some of the comparables they used were for Silver Spring properties that were sold more than six months before the assessment statement.  There were serious downward changes in the market during this period.

 The comparables did not take into consideration that my home was in terrible condition.  The roof leaked, there was water coming in from both sides of the house and there were plumbing leaks.  They must have figured that I had to make the improvements in order to make the home inhabitable, so they assessed it at the new value.

 No,  I don’t think so.  The value they gave the comparable homes used in my assessment were assessed at or below there respective purchase prices.

 The homes that they used were also larger then my house in Silver Spring, Maryland.

 I have called Montgomery County Property Assessment office on other properties as well.  I met one assessor at the Potomac, Maryland home of an elderly gentleman.  The property was in horrible disrepair.  The assessor asked me how much I thought that the home was worth and that is how he assessed the property.  I was honest.

 I anticipated the same outcome this time.  I did not expect to have to have a formal appeal hearing to demonstrate that they did not use valid comparables.

It is my hope that I can get this addressed through the proper channels without having to go to a hearing.

 If my Silver Spring home appreciated that much in just over two months, I would certainly consider selling, or holding.  Maybe I should ask Montgomery County Government what the market trend is.  As I use a different set of tools to do my analysis for my property value.

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