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Old 02-18-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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I'm a bit shocked and confused after having received my first property assessment from Durham County. I have a new construction home completed last June (2009). The purchase price was $235K. While I know we got a good deal due to the current economic situation, our home was just appraised by Durham County at $318K. That's $80K more than what we paid for it! I know that tax value and purchase price are very different things, but the letter says that it is based on 100% market value. What does "market value" mean? While I know we can appeal, I was wondering if anyone knew how they come up with the numbers. I tried to get information from the Durham County website, but I couldn't find the information on their extremely user-friendly website (voice unintentionally dripping with sarcasm-- sigh)
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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What was the (assumed) market value at the time Durham County last completed its assessment? If values went down since then, it would explain the difference - but it would mean you are in a relatively comparable position to other homeowners. Remember the key with property taxes is not simply how much your assessment is, but how much it is in relation to other similar properties.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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It's a brand new home so there wasn't a previous assessment. The last time this property was assessed it was an empty lot. Do they gauge their numbers on what a similar sq. ft. home (i.e. a neighbors' home) would have been assessed when they last did the neighborhood in 2008?
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ntchanga View Post
It's a brand new home so there wasn't a previous assessment. The last time this property was assessed it was an empty lot. Do they gauge their numbers on what a similar sq. ft. home (i.e. a neighbors' home) would have been assessed when they last did the neighborhood in 2008?
Yes - to keep things fair. That way a new house doesn't get slammed with a substantially greater tax burden than other similar homes that might have been valued 7 years earlier. But sometimes it can work in reverse, when values go down.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
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Have the agent who helped you buy the house pull comps for the area, and the neighborhood if possible. You will be able to see what the comps look like. As other people have said, because it is new construction, you were not assessed the true value of it the first year. Same thing happened with us, it went up (this is in wake county) after our first year, then it shot up again when they reassessed us last year..............always fun!

On the durham county tax website they should have instructions on how to appeal.

Leigh
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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So, I guess I should just be happy that I got a great purchase price on the home when I bought it last year. Hopefully if I ever have to sell it, the real market value will catch up to what Mr. Tax Man says is the market value!
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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@leighbe: Will the comps help us if we try to appeal? The letter says it's based on the 2008 General Appraisal and that 2010 is a "Non-Appraisal" year. There's also mention that "State Law prohibits changes in property values due to economic conditions affecting the county in general, which would either increase or decrease value." So, am I understanding that correctly? We are paying taxes for our home based on 2008 property market values rather than what the real value of the home is (i.e. our purchase price from last year and all of the comparable homes that have sold in the past 6 months)?
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntchanga View Post
@leighbe: Will the comps help us if we try to appeal? The letter says it's based on the 2008 General Appraisal and that 2010 is a "Non-Appraisal" year. There's also mention that "State Law prohibits changes in property values due to economic conditions affecting the county in general, which would either increase or decrease value." So, am I understanding that correctly? We are paying taxes for our home based on 2008 property market values rather than what the real value of the home is (i.e. our purchase price from last year and all of the comparable homes that have sold in the past 6 months)?
You could be in the reverse situation. We purchased our home in 07, was reassessed in 08 and there is NO WAY today we could sell the house for what we purchased it for in 07 or what the tax value is. So not only do we pay more taxes than the real market value of our home, we couldn't sell it for what we bought it for.

So it could be worse.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PDXmom View Post
You could be in the reverse situation. We purchased our home in 07, was reassessed in 08 and there is NO WAY today we could sell the house for what we purchased it for in 07 or what the tax value is. So not only do we pay more taxes than the real market value of our home, we couldn't sell it for what we bought it for.
If everyone's house value went down by a comparable percentage, you're still paying a fair tax amount relative to others. You can't just look at your tax individual tax assessment in a vacuum.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
If everyone's house value went down by a comparable percentage, you're still paying a fair tax amount relative to others. You can't just look at your tax individual tax assessment in a vacuum.
Yeah, I get that.***But still doesn't change the fact that I could not sell the house today for the amount Durham says it's worth. Yes, one fine day I actually might be able to believe my house is worth more than it's tax value. Just hasn't happened since I've lived in NC.

***When Durham reassessed in 2008 it appears it hit newer (less than 10 year old) neighborhoods much harder with fair market value increases than neighborhoods like Trinity Park et al. Yes, those increased, but not to fair market value of their homes. So no, I don't think it's always "fair" relative to others. But it is what it is. If I don't like it, I can take a lose and move.
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