Home Buying in Hampton>Question Details

Irene, Home Buyer in Florida

I know assessed value means nothing, but if a condo on hampton beach is assessed at 158k and selling for

Asked by Irene, Florida Mon Mar 10, 2008

250k, isn't that overpriced? I guess I'm asking because the building was built in the 80's and has never been updated. Same rugs, appliances, boiler, etc... It's been owned by the same family since it was built and the condo, on the inside and outside, looks rundown. On the plus side, it's sturdy, big, has a basement, and is on its own land with the other three units. It looks as if most of the problems are cosmetic, but we can't be sure until after we make an offer and have an inspector come in. It's been on the market for a year and we are the only people that have looked at it on the inside after seeing the outside. After seeing brand new condos down the street for 250k I feel we should only offer 200k. My husband says it would be an insult, and that if I feel it's that overpriced I should move on. But I like this condo, but for 200k. Is the offer insulting? Is a 1200sf outdated condo a couple of blocks off the beach with a basement worth 250k?

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Irena’s answer
Don is right. The market value is the one you should be paying attention to not the assessments or sellers wishes. Personally I think it is ridiculous that sellers get offended with offers. Their castle is probably someone else’s fixer upper.
So get the most recent comps and if you are not completely in love with the place start with the lowest option, if you love the place, than start someplace in the middle (between highest and lowest sold price in the neighborhood). Just like Don said they can take it, counter or be insulted and loose a buyer. If the place has been sitting on the market forever the agent is probably desperate to get rid of it since listings do come with expenses.
Also find out if they had any price reductions and how often. Chances are if they did not than they do not really want to sell, and, or are testing the market.
Best of luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2008
Several thoughts/pieces of advice:

First, find out what the true comps are. The discrepancy between assessment and list price is odd, but there could be a lot of reasons for it--everything from an old tax assessment (maybe that's what they sold for 3 years ago) to simply a vastly overpriced unit. You really, really need good comps to know what the real value is. It's good that you've seen nearby condos, and are basing your initial price on those. But you still might be off by 10%, 15%, or more. So: Get good comps.

Second, don't worry about your husband's advice. (Hey, Realtors know that wives make most of the decisions, anyway! I'm only partly joking; women really do make those decisions--to buy or not to buy--far often than guys. And that's why Realtors really do pay attention to women. Now if only car salesmen could learn the same lesson...)

But my point is: Do not worry about insulting a seller. Never. It's your money. It's a place where you might live. It's your financial future. Look: If you're prepared to move on anyway if you can't get it for the "right" price, what do you care if the seller's insulted? The seller will have 3 options when he/she receives your offer: (1) Accept, (2) Counter, or (3) Reject. If he/she counters, it indicates some level of interest. If it's rejected, you didn't want the condo at that high price anyway. And if it's accepted, you get the condo for your price.

And think of it this way: The seller should be insulted by the people who have looked at the condo and not made an offer. You're indicating you like the condo enough to go to the time and effort to make an offer.

So get the comps, then make an offer based on those comps and your level of interest and ability to pay.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Irene when you looking for a property no matter where it is, especially if it is a condominium. i would look to see what they are selling for now. by looking to see what has sold and what is on the market and adjusting for condition, upgrades or any needed repairs you can come up with what today's market value is. Then use that price toguide what you would like to offer.

Assessed values, especially when the reassessment has just been completed like the one in Hampton, is a great way to obtain "value' if there have been no recent sales and there are no other units in the condo association for sale.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 22, 2008
Understanding assessment can help in valuing most properties in a particular area.

When did you check the assessment? Hampton just had a total reassessment for the entire town (available after November 1, 2008) and, quite frankly, the assessor did a great job with very few exceptions (this may be one of them, I wouldn't know whithout knowing the property.) He is quoting the assessment to be 100% assessment to market.

And contrary to the thought that assessments mean nothing, assessments are more often than not a valuable piece of information (as long as you know the equalization factor (or assessment-to-market ratio -- same number, different terminology.) It is one of the pieces of the valuation puzzle that should be taken into account as well as comps when buying real estate. Remember, for the most part, the assessor is the only licenced appraiser in the real estate buying scenario (pre bank appraisal), so it would be fooled hearted to disregard that figured without justification.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 22, 2008
Hi Irene,

Market Value is the key. Hampton, NH assesments are way overdue. They have not done a re-measure/re-list in years. You need to contact a LOCAL, very local REALTOR who knows the Beach and can communicate; future developments and potential resale/rental opportunities that may exist. I was selling condo's very similar to what you are describing. How long has it been on the market? What neighborhood is it in? Is the land leased? Whar rental amount is realistic? What is the market history on this unit? I am a Hampton Beach REALTOR and could help you make a very solid offer on a property you want. What is the big deal with the basement if you will not use it or it floods?! joeebert@nhhomesale.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2008
Do you understand the actual assesment cycle in the town/city? Have you spoken with the assesors office to find out specifically about this unit? I guess assesors don't log onto Trulia..but I have had MANY conversations with assesors in different states. How are recent comparables factored into the assesment cycle..you seek advise from realtors on pricing..but what about the historical big picture of appreciation in your specific situation? Also, consider getting an appraiser who will measure sqft, tour the home inside and out and provide a true market value based on comparables.
best of luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
I know some of the answers were from out of the state. That is good however remember all real estate markets are different. The Insult approach is a funny one to me. Let me ask you a question if you had something for sale, a car boat whatever. If you were asking what you thought was a fair market price for this item and to give it a number lets say $1000.00 this will keep the math simple for me. If I came and saw this item and decided that the item was worth $750.00 to me and offered you that for the item would you sell it for that amount or be offended? If the answer is offended I would say you need to hire someone to sell the item for you. You can not look at real estate solely as an emotional decision, it is partly this but it is also a business transaction. So getting back to point, I offer you 750 you say NO. A little time goes by your price drops to 900 I come back and offer you 800 and we settle on 850 and part ways both feeling happy. The point is any offer is a good offer, it may not be the offer that gets the deal done but if you go in at 250 they will NEVER take 225 after the fact. You can always go up on your offer it is kinda hard to go down (unless you discover undisclosed defects in inspection). Hope it helps. The advice of hiring a REALTOR to help you is a good one. In most cases a buyer’s agent will cost you no out of pocket expense as the listing agent splits a listing fee
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2008
Irene, you stated and answered your own question in the sentence. If you know the assesed value is for tax purposes, why as if it is overpriced? Market value is what trhe number is. The price is what a buyer is willing to pay for the property.

Get a realtor and comps. Your husband is right, you may insult them and they may not want to deal with you any further.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2008
don't buy it, wait til next year, the seller will probably be more motivated.
whats your hurry
"but i like this condo"
those could be the 5 words that ring in your ears for the next 30 years
especially if you pay too much for it.


good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2008
If you are seriously looking, higher a Realtor who is local (I grew up in Hampton and now live in Exeter) as a Buyer Agent. You become a client, not a customer and will have professional access to advice and information that will allow you to make the right decision. It's as easy as that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2008
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