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Old 10-02-2007, 02:32 PM
 
10,378 posts, read 17,114,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clgrimes View Post
Here in a suburb of Houston where I live (Clear Lake/Johnson Space Center/Nasa), our home values are much more than the tax assessment. For example, my real estate taxes on my home are $8,000 per year based on an assessment of $240,000, but my home is valued at around $300,000+, based on what homes in my neighborhood just sold for, with the highest just selling for $375,000 and the lowest for $300,000. My homeowner's insurance is another $2,700 per year, so my taxes and insurance are $10,700 per year on a tax assessment of $240,000! I am looking at homes in Blowing Rock, NC and the tax on a home assessed at $240,000 would be around $600 per year! What a difference! However, $240,000 doesn't buy much in Blowing Rock, but I could get a more expensive home there and still end up paying close to the same monthly mortgage payment just because of the taxes. I guess in some places of the country, the tax assessed value is higher than the market value, but here in Houston, the market value is definitely higher than the tax assessed value, may be because our tax rate is so high!
Wow, taxes are that LOW in Blowing Rock? My taxes in Asheville on an assessment of $180,000 is around $1800 (1%). Market value of that house is around $235,000. Are you sure that house you are looking at has had a recent appraisal from the tax assessor? Because it sounds too low. I think that is something to watch out for when buying a home anywhere.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ
486 posts, read 59,424 times
Reputation: 153
More interesting information. The problem in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Florida can be seen in this video (http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=msnbc&tab=s55&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20837318/&from=00&vid=828eba81-1eeb-4312-9d35-5b3ad4eaa73c&playlist=videoByTag:mk:us:vs:0:tag:So urce_CNBC:ns:MSNVideo_Top_Cats:10:sd:-1:ind:1:ff:8A - broken link).

The foreclosures are DOWN nationwide except those 4 states where SPECULATORS who don't even live in the properties they own are facing foreclosure. I have no sympathy for them.

But there ARE some people suffering as FloridaHater noted. My father is trying to sell his double-wide (fully furnished) in Zephyrhills. He has moved into assisted living in Massachusetts and needs to sell that trailer. It has been on the market for almost a year - no takers. He has dropped the price to $65,000. No takers. He is about ready to tear his (remaining) hair out.

I have seen some similar situations here in AZ, but the fact remains - good homes in good locations are selling! They may be slower to sell because there is more competition, but they do sell. They may sell for less that the peak evaluation because that peak was artificial anyways and there are now more homes for sale, driving down the price, but the good ones will sell.

I am not worried. If you go to the grocery store looking for bananas and see brown ones and spotted ones everywhere for 30 cents a pound, you still might by the nice, firm, yellow organic ones for 75 cents a pound. Right?

The same principle applies to houses.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:38 PM
 
51 posts, read 137,203 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Wow, taxes are that LOW in Blowing Rock? My taxes in Asheville on an assessment of $180,000 is around $1800 (1%). Market value of that house is around $235,000. Are you sure that house you are looking at has had a recent appraisal from the tax assessor? Because it sounds too low. I think that is something to watch out for when buying a home anywhere.
This is a current listing (Blowing Rock Realty):

Newly remodeled 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath
affordable home located in a quiet, rural subdivision within Blowing Rock school district! New kitchen, new wood floors, new windows, antique fireplace with gas logs, renovated bathrooms complete with beautiful tile work, plus a large family room or office complete with wood stove and a one car garage! Ideal year around or second home!
Conveniently located between Blowing Rock and Boone.

$274,900
Address: 123 Leigh Circle List Price: $274,900 Lot Size: 0.321 Acres
Area: Blowing Rock Taxes: $589.50 Style: Cottage
School Dist: Blowing Rock POA: $200/Year Age: 1978
County: Watauga Zoning: Residential
Bedrooms: 2 Range: Yes Micro: Yes FireP: Gas Logs
Bathrooms: 2.5 Ex Fan: Yes Washer: Yes Closets:
Sq Foot: 2020 Refrig: Yes Dryer: Yes Drapes:
Stories: 2 DishW: Yes Disposal
Basement: Finished Garage: 1 Car StormW: Double Pane Road: Gravel
Attic: Decks: Open StormD: Drive: Private Gravel
Exterior: Wood/Brick Heat: Monitor EBB Water: Shared Well Int Cond: Excellent
Roof: Asphalt Shingle Hot Wtr: Electric Sewer: Private Ext Cond: Excellent
Insulation: Per Code When Built

Look at what the taxes are on a $274,900 home!
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:49 AM
 
Location: East Asheville
758 posts, read 1,590,690 times
Reputation: 382
Father John,

What are the chances you could RENT your house and move to a similarly priced RENTAL house in WNC while the market improves?

Jan
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ
486 posts, read 59,424 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Parkies View Post
Father John,

What are the chances you could RENT your house and move to a similarly priced RENTAL house in WNC while the market improves?

Jan
That is always a possibility, Jan, but it is more of a long-shot than selling, I think. Not that someone wouldn't want to rent the house, but the paperwork, tax issues, etc. are all much more difficult for rental property income than just selling the house.

We haven't even put the house on the market (MLS) yet. I am not discouraged in the least. In fact, I still BELIEVE and I am EXCITED.

We are still sorting for a yard sale. The winter grass goes in today and will be GREEN in 2 weeks. The bushes are being trimmed and then I will Miracle Grow them for a month. The front will look great.

Then we will have a yard sale with a sign that reads:

YARD SALE! HOUSE FREE WITH PURCHASE OF YARD!

We did that with our last home and it worked. The house sold at the yard sale and we only needed the realtor for the place we were BUYing to do the paperwork (and she did it for free) for the sold house.

I am sorry for the struggles you have had and I hope they pass soon. We haven't reached that point and I truly believe we won't.

And I've NEVER been wrong before!
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:17 AM
 
Location: East Asheville
758 posts, read 1,590,690 times
Reputation: 382
I realize you're high as a kite, and you should be! We're just looking at your options over time.... (I love your yard sale sign!!)....

P.S. Forget pricing a house according to tax assessments. It's all about COMPS, including that little measurement they call "price per square foot." That's a biggie.

Jan
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ
486 posts, read 59,424 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Parkies View Post
I realize you're high as a kite, and you should be! We're just looking at your options over time.... (I love your yard sale sign!!)....

P.S. Forget pricing a house according to tax assessments. It's all about COMPS, including that little measurement they call "price per square foot." That's a biggie.

Jan
From one of my RE contacts (my comments in RED):

Pricing is the key. There are only a few ways to price a home for sale and sellers who don't want to wait around on the sale of their home need to adapt to the accepted modes of pricing and get over the fact that their house may not be worth as much as it was 12 months ago.

The first model is probably the most popular -- the comparable. By pulling up only the sales of your particular model, your Realtor (or YOU using Zillow or others sites that list actual sale prices) can determine a trend price for your home. The challenge in a slowing market is that your particular model may only have three sales in the last year. Such a low number of houses selling does not really create a trend line, especially if the last sale was 6 months previous. Thus, you turn to the second pricing model.

Your home is then dissected to create comparables across a few neighborhoods or even a whole zip code that match your local community. Several aspects of your home will be plugged into the comparable model: style of home (split level, colonial, etc.); number of levels; number of bedrooms and baths; extra rooms; year built; square footage; and more. Then the averages on these parameters are tabulated and you'll have a target price. Keep in mind to remove the highs and lows. (YOU can do this method, too, using Zillow or similar sites.)

Finally, another way to price your home is to come up with a tax assessment model. This one takes a little bit more homework and data mining. It's tedious, but it can present an accurate picture of home values in your community. The first step is to pull up all the sales in the community in the last 6 to 12 months. Tabulate the sales price total (let's say it comes up to $10 million) and then tabulate the tax assessment total (our model will use $8 million). Divide the tax assessment into the sales price and you come up with a tax assessment-sales price ratio. In this case, the community ratio is 1.25. Multiply your tax assessment by the ratio figure, and it will determine your target asking price. For example, if your tax assessment is $250,000, multiply it by 1.25 and you'll arrive at $312,500 as a target asking price. Again, be careful to pull out the anomalies that represent overbuilt properties. The largest, biggest house in the community could affect your price, as well as the pre-foreclosure sale. (This method is harder to do, but tax records in AZ are available on-line. It just takes a lot of time to do the research. But do note that tax assessed value IS, indeed, a recommended way to determine your home value!)

The biggest challenge in pricing the home is a seller's greed level. Sorry to be so blunt, but sellers always want more than the last sale, regardless of the market condition. My blunt advice is to "get over it." Waiting around for the "right" buyer is just plain foolishness in the world of real estate. (Unless you have the time and don't mind waiting. RE Agents do NOT want to wait because "time is money" for them. Not so for us. We have years, quite literally, although sooner is better, of course.) If you're putting your home on the market, don't wait around and waste your time, the buyers' time and the agents' time (this is what he REALLY means) with an unrealistic asking price.

If your Realtor provides feedback from colleagues (yes, ask all the foxes what they think of the hen house security and then change it to meet what the foxes want. That makes sens. LOL) that your house is overpriced, move on it. Move from denial into acceptance and price the house right. Remember, the goal here is not to price the property as high as possible, but to sell the house. (That is the RE Agent's goal. My goal is to sell the house at as high a price as possible, even if it takes a while. ONLY when I reach a frustration or impatience level will I drop the price. RE Agents don't like this, but they need to accept it. The SELLER is always right; the RE Agent needs to meet the seller's desires or not accept the job.)
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,144 posts, read 57,085,003 times
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You said, "The SELLER is always right; the RE Agent needs to meet the seller's desires or not accept the job." I'm afraid I do not agree with that at all.

With all due respect Father John, you are the kind of client realtors probably PRAY not to get! I'm not a realtor, but I'm kind of offended for my realtor friends by your opinion of them and their motives. Sure there are those kinds of realtors out there, but they are not all (not even the majority) that way.

I sincerely hope things work out the way you want them too, but I can't helping thinking about the old saying, "A man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client". But again, we're all pulling for you to get what you want.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ
486 posts, read 59,424 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
You said, "The SELLER is always right; the RE Agent needs to meet the seller's desires or not accept the job." I'm afraid I do not agree with that at all.

With all due respect Father John, you are the kind of client realtors probably PRAY not to get! I'm not a realtor, but I'm kind of offended for my realtor friends by your opinion of them and their motives. Sure there are those kinds of realtors out there, but they are not all (not even the majority) that way.

I sincerely hope things work out the way you want them too, but I can't helping thinking about the old saying, "A man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client". But again, we're all pulling for you to get what you want.
OK, we can agree to disagree.

I know I am right, though.

When one's source of income is from sales, one does everything possible to make the sale and to make it as quickly as possible. I used to be in sales - and I was very good at it. But I couldn't live with the fact that I could sell anything to anyone ant any time whether they really wanted it, needed, it or could afford it. (I was in my late teens at the time.) When I realized that was what would be required in order to make money, I left sales and went a different direction.

The seller IS always right. It is MY HOME that is for sale, not the property of the Agent! I am not saying that the agents all low-ball houses to sell them fast (although some do), I am saying that as the home owner, I have the right to say how my house will be sold. If the agent doesn't like what I want, he doesn't have to take the job to sell my house. What is wrong with that?

Of course I am the kind of client (some) realtors don't want! Those who want total control over the process don't like intelligent, educated people who have done their homework! It is easier for the agent to do everything they way they want it done. I understand that.

It isn't like I am asking a ridiculous amount and am being stubborn about it. I am asking a price well within the comps. I have done my homework - the same work people pay thousands to a RE Agent to do for them. In return, I expect to get my price and not pay an agent for that which he (or she) will not have to do for me.

It is like painting your house. If you do the scraping, the taping, and the cleaning of the house, and then buy the paint, you will pay someone less to paint the house because all they are doing is spraying and brushing. If you have someone do all the work and buy the paint, you will pay them a lot more.

Do you know who said, "A man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client"? A lawyer, of course. And it is true if you are uneducated and do no research. But I represented myself in a parking ticket dispute many years ago and with pictures and research, I easily won.

The truth (as is always the case) lies between the extremes. I believe my approach is the right one: do my own research. Do my own preparation. Ask the price I have determined to be fair. And then find an agent with whom I can work under those requirements for a fair price (not 6%).

You said, "I'm kind of offended for my realtor friends by your opinion of them and their motives.." I am sorry you are offended by my experience, but my opinion is NOT of your friends or their motives. My opinion is my EXPERIENCE (some of it actually documented) with RE Agents in general and sales people in general. Your experience may vary.

We had a very bad RE Agent when we bought our first house and dropped him. Then we got a very good one. I still remember her name: Irma Munn. That was 25 years ago and I still remember her! (She isn't in the business any longer.)

With this house, I have been in contact with no fewer than 8 RE Agents. So far, my experience is repeatedly vindicated. One agent said, "I charge 6% and I never discount. You want me, you pay me." He is one of the biggest names in Arizona for RE and he has TV ads. I deleted his name from my list.

Another said, "You get what you pay for. I know a lot more than you and your research will never be as good as mine." Dropped him.

Another told me that "Zillow doesn't have a single accurate number. You don't know what you are talking about." I dropped him. Zillow, for what it is worth, has accurate SALES numbers for completed sales. Those are public records and they are the exact same records used by Realtors to do comps. This guy didn't know as much as he thought.

Another Agent did "comps" for me and estimated my home a full 20% below what I know it is worth. His comps included a large number of homes that weren't even close to being real comps - every one of them was smaller sq ft, smaller lots, and most were NOT custom home like mine but were "tract" homes. He put together an expensive, color, multiple page brochure for my home that was totally worthless. If agents spend their money doing things like that, is it any wonder I don't want to give them MY money?

The most recent agent told me up front: I may not want your house. Let's talk. I met with him; he gave me his comps (which matched mine). I explained my situation and what we need to get out of this house and the work I will do. He repeated: I'll consider you, but no promises. Get back to me when you are ready to list." He is at the TOP of my list. Honesty and good work pays.

Read what even the GOOD agents give you. The money you pay them is for marketing your home, showing your home, and listing it on MLS. I can do the same thing, perhaps not as widespread, for a lot less money. I have far more accurate information about my own home than they do - all their info comes from outside sources.

The facts are clear: a good agent is absolutely wonderful for those who don't want to do the job themselves. But if you do your homework, you can save tens of thousands of dollars marketing your home yourself. It takes patience and research and hard work (just the things a good realtor does FOR you if you choose).

I stand by my comments. I'm not a fool and I don't play one on television...
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
648 posts, read 2,064,438 times
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I'm paying about $13,000 in commissions to my agent for the sale of my home. I don't have the time to put into learning how to market my home, to show the home every time. I have an agent I trust, which is lucky for me since I didn't have time to interview eight of them. I understand it's a big transaction. I want all the paperwork done right, by people who are paid to know what they are doing. I want people to make sure every detail is taken care of.

At this point in my life (young family, mid-career) I cannot put the effort into learning the real estate trade through and through, so I hired an agent. I appreciate that they risked earning nothing for their efforts and expenses had the house not sold. I took a chance on them, they took a chance on me. We have worked together to sell my house, as a team, on the same page.

To those who have the time and energy to do it, I congratulate you, and know that you saved some money by doing so. I think I saved my sanity and countless hours of my time.


Also, the tax assessments in Blowing Rock are probably correct. My taxes are under $1000 in Buncombe County, on a $160k assessment.
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