A few weeks ago, I helped some friends buy a house near Ginter Park for around $175,000
Here’s the glitch: the city is assessing the house at a value of $339,000.
Hmmmm… let me do the math…
How Common is it?
A recent study in Philadelphia found that 40% of homes in that city are being assessed outside the acceptable standard of 80-120% of a home’s true market value.
A quick glance of houses for sale and houses that have sold just in the past 6 months in my Southside neighborhood (Westover Hills/Forest Hill/Woodland Heights) gives an idea of the local community.
5202 Sylvan Court
Tax Assessment $400,000
For Sale: $299,950
Annual Overpayment: $1,200
2601 Semmes Ave.
Tax Assessment: $201,000
For Sale: $152,000
Annual Overpayment: $588
3728 Brookside Rd.
Tax Assessment: $180,000
For Sale: $150,000
Annual Overpayment: $360
Sold in the last 6 months:
Tax Assessment: $217,000
Annual Overpayment: $504
4603 Forest Hill Ave
Tax Assessment: $276,000
Annual Overpayment: $432
Tax Assessment: $475,000
Annual Overpayment: $636
2000 Westover Hills Blvd.
Tax Assessment: $319,000*
For Sale: $282,500 (pending)
Annual Overpayment: $438
*mistake: the tax assessment above is actually from 2011. The current assessment is actually $265k.
Total overpayment for these 7 homeowners: $4,158.
That’s a lot of iPads, folks.
- City and County assessments are (usually) not accurate gauges to determine the true market value of a home.
- You might be paying way too much in real estate taxes.
- Don’t be impressed if a house that’s for sale boasts a list price “thousands below assessment!!”
Here’s what to do if you think your real estate property value is being over-assessed:
1. Contact your city/county tax assessor’s office. Requesting an assessment appeal is free of charge and it is not a really time-consuming process.
2. Make sure you make your appeal before the deadline for your city/county (see below).
3. Gather evidence for why you believe your property is not worth the amount it is being assessed for.
- If you just bought your house and the purchase price is far below assessment, use that as evidence!
- If houses in your neighborhood are all selling for well below what your house is being assessed for, use that as evidence!
- Remember that an assessment falling within 80-120% of hour home’s true market value is generally considered acceptable.
- If you aren’t sure what the true market value of your house is but you suspect your city/county is over-assessing you, give me a call; in a couple of minutes I can give you a pretty good idea.
4. Stop paying money that you don’t owe.
Contact your City/County Tax assessor’s office:
Richmond City: (804)646-5700. Appeal Deadline: July 31
Chesterfield County: (804)748-1000. Deadline: March 15
Hanover County: (804)365-6029. Deadline: March 15
Henrico County: (804)755-7380 Deadline: April 1
If you live in Chesterfield, Henrico, or Hanover county, your lowered assessment rate will be applied retroactively from January 1 of this year (as long as you request your new assessment before the deadlines above). Unfortunately- if you live in the city of Richmond- your new lowered tax rate will not apply to you until 2014.
Better late than never though…