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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Jun 08 2009

For Sale By Owner Contract

Published by Carolyn Thompson under For Sale By Owner

We now have blank real estate contracts available for, for sale by owners, fsbo who have elected to sell their homes on their own.

 This is extremely helpful information.  It is not light reading, but read it a couple of times and it will make sense. 

 If you are a for sale by owner, who takes the time to study the contract, you will have an advantage over most home sellers who don’t have the time to read the contact before they sign it.  You will have a better understanding about the various points of negotiation, then the home buyer. 

 You will also be better prepared if there are problems. 

 What do you do if a buyer exceeds a contingency date?  What do you do if they don’t have their home inspection on time or if they want something repaired, but the property is being sold as is.

 Since, you don’t have the advantage of a Realtor guiding you through the home selling process, this is a good tool to have.

We will post additional documents soon.

If you are a For Sale By Owner, don’t hesitate to drop us a note with your property information, so that we can pass it on to our readers.

Our readers beg for For Sale By Owner listing information.  Unfortunately, most investors know that you as a group are easy prey.

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Oct 20 2008

Priority Lien Bill - Article

Is your home located within a home owners’ association, condominium association or co-operative?

 The priority lien article is a MUST READ.   

Before you purchase your Bethesda Condo, read this article.

 When a property goes to foreclosure, the property owners’ portion of the dues often goes unpaid and the community suffers.  Many associations are going bancrupt.

This is an opportunity for you to get informed and do something about it.

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