Home Buying in Miami>Question Details

Eric Sanchez, Home Buyer in Miami, FL

How realistic are county's appraisal and market value?

Asked by Eric Sanchez, Miami, FL Wed Aug 8, 2012


If you look at the tax records for the properties in Miami, you can see the county's appraisal for tax purposes and the market value. The market value is always higher than the appraised value but it is still relatively low compared to recent sales of similar homes in the area. Is this value useful as a guide of what you should expect to pay on the house or is it very inaccurate?


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Hi Eric,
Yours is an interesting question but in my opinion needs some serious clarification. While many words in real estate sound alike and people toss them around as if they are interchangeable, they are not. I don't want to sound like the word Police here but there is a difference the size of the Grand Canyon between the words "appraised" and "assessed". While we're at it, the difference between "appraised" and "market value" is as big as the ocean. An appraisal comes from one place and one place only, from a licensed appraiser.
The assessed value is based on many things: what you paid for the house and how long you have been there, if you have any exemptions like a homestead exemption, how much your neighbors have paid, etc. Living in South Florida, you may have read about or heard about issues with Homestead exemptions of late. That is going to be a very bumpy road for many in the near future and you heard it here first, trust me on that one. Often times, people think, what's the big deal with the Homestead Exemption, it's only a 25,000 exemption on my assessed value, right? WRONG! The SAVE OUR HOMES initiative was started in an effort to keep people in their homes that were being taxed out of their own homes after living in them for 20-30-40 years and more. With the Homestead Exemption, your assessed value can only go up by 3% a year, no matter what. The taxes that you pay on your home are in large part based on your assessed value. Think back 10-15 years ago when housing prices were going up by 10-25% a year in some areas. Families that had no plans of selling or moving on were watching their tax bill increase by leaps and bounds to a point where they could no longer afford to live in their own homes.
The market value comes from AVM's in large part. AVM = Automated Valuation Model. All of the big banks, city governments, tax assessor's are all using them. Even sites like Zillow and anywhere you can plug in your address and poof, your supposed value pops up are all from AVM's. To say that they are imperfect would be a gross under-statement. You have to know that they don't take into consideration things like location, view, improvements and overall condition.... all the things that make your house more valuable than your neighbors that doesn't even know where the Home Depot is much less ever made an improvement on his/her home.

Matt Murray CRS, GRI, CDPE Pat Dahne Realty Group, Vice President
murraymatt@aol.com 305-588-2534
Master Broker's Forum
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Good Morning Eric,

If you are referring to the assessed value from the county, it would not be a good indicator of value. That value is used for tax purposes,and gives different weight to various attributes in a home. Also, unless there has been a recent sale, assessed values can often be many years old.

I hope this helps.Feel free to contact me with any other questions.

Pat Palmer-Broker Associate
Boca's Best
Direct: 786-286-6557
Email: patpalmer@kw.com

Keller Williams Boca Raton
2424 N. Federal Hwy. #318
Boca Raton, FL,33431
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
Thanks a lot for all the helpful info. I'm actually working with a realtor and of course I also get his input on prices but I always like to learn as much as possible and research on my own to make a more informed decision.

Thanks everyone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
I think I said, just because I did, your best idea of value is an appraiser.
and I think I said, just because I did, next best is a Realtor.
Its for sure mindless people buy homes for much more than they are currently valued, reason . who knows why, maybe just because they can
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Matthew has invested great effort in shedding some light on the "NUMBERS' being labeled as market value. The issues regarding SOH is significant.

Let me shed a little more light in the resulting distortion using recent sold price and Just Market Vaules from the tax assessor.

Sold Price / Just Market Value
536,000 / 540,000
559,000 / 377,000

173,000 / 170,000
185,000 / 140,000

235,000 / 196,000
232,000 / 164,000

The Just Market Value in Pinellas County can be from 90% of sold price to 142% of sold price. Your real estate professional will be able to advise on the proper use of this 'Market Value" misdirections.

One would be wise to choose carefully the numbers accepted as REAL.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Sound you are looking just at the Tax-Roll or County Page. Market Value at the County Page is just to pull taxes or count taxes for the property. The other Market Value you see in the Multiple Listing or Sales in the area is another story. Properties selling in by market value and comparables.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Thanks John. Makes a lot of sense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Its a good measure IF you know how it works.

By LAW they must value your property at what the house should sell for , less the cost of selling property (about 10% for a rule of thumb) as of Jan 1.

So in a market that is rising fast, or falling fast, the further you get away from Jan 1 the worst it gets.

Also, you might make improvements to the house (Tile, counter tops and the like) that might improve your home over the other in the area.

Best idea of your present value will come from an appraiser, cost $300 to $500. Next best is a skilled Realtor doing a CMA. I do these (not for your area) for $100 each, I do many for the banks as well. If you are thinking about selling some Realtors will do it for free.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
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