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Old 07-15-2013, 11:36 AM
1 posts, read 704 times
Reputation: 10


In 2003 we added a family room onto our house (1906 sq ft), legal city permits were issued. 2 years ago we refinanced and the appraiser noticed the discrepancy in sq ft. I had never checked county records for the additional sq ft update prior to his mentioning it. The county records do not reflect the newer addition of 225 sq ft.

I've spoken with a couple realtors and an unofficial conversation with a real estate attorney about this and both stated to let due process work and let the county eventually catch up and add the sq ft to the tax roles, aka increase my property taxes, if they ever catch it.

When I decide to sell the house, I plan to list the house using the newer square footage, 2131 sq ft. The house is in Austin, TX

I've read several threads that state the tax roles are often incorrect but have never read a situation like mine or what other outcomes may have been at sale time.

My concerns are these
1. What, if anything, happens at sale time when the discrepancy is found?
2. Can the local taxing authority come after me for back taxes?
3. As the seller, what am I liable for, if anything?
4. Should I engage an official real estate attorney to cover my bases?

Keeping my head down
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:26 PM
20 posts, read 30,804 times
Reputation: 16
I am interested as well - in my case the addition was made by previous owner in 2000 - bought the house in 2008, refinanced in 2012 (appraisal was done and reflected the sqft discrepancy) and am now renting the house out - still old square footage on county appraisal.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:29 PM
Location: Austin, TX
16,787 posts, read 48,216,590 times
Reputation: 9475
My experience has been that the County sends inspectors out periodically and usually after a permit is issued to check the property. When they become aware of the improvement they begin taxing on it. That was what happened on two houses I own when I made some small additions. There was no effort made to collect back taxes or determine how long the improvement had been there before they became aware of it. I have never heard of them trying to do that either.

As I recall when we bought our current house we had to pay for an appraiser to measure and appraise it. That should take care of any obligation regarding the sale of the property. As I understand there is no obligation on the part of the seller if the appraisers SF numbers are off a bit, that is not uncommon. I would report the full SF you believe you have when you sell the house and let the buyer do their own verification.
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