Due to the subjective nature of tax assessments in Northern VA, we use these purely as a just one of our market valuation tools because if you neighborhood suffered from many distress sales, we have seen the assessed values are more negatively affected than others within the Great Falls zip code.
According to our MLS statistics, average sold prices in Great Falls has actually increased by 8.8% from sales reported in the month of October 2010 in comparison to sales reported in 2011. Please refer to this report:
And more more information you can visit the website referenced below.
I hope this information is beneficial.
In answer to your question, Yes, the assessed values have typically gone down in your area for the past couple of years. That is a delayed reaction to the values falling and homeowners object when they have to pay taxes based on negative values. In recent months, however, the market values have increased in your 22066 zip code area. When that happens, you can be assured that taxes will rise at some point.
The previous answers regarding market values vs assessments cannot be stressed enough. Many homeowners erroneously think that assessed value = market value. It does not. Market value depends on much more criteria.
For a market evaluation, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to offer a complimentary market evaluation of your investment.
There have been distress sales and even a few foreclosures in your area of Great Falls. The tax assessors, by law, are required to take these into account when determining property values for tax purposes in a neighborhood. These sales, for all sorts of reasons, are, on average, at least 20% below market value.
This is why, Doug, the average regular sale price can go up in a neighborhood, while the assessed values for tax purposes can go down at the same time. Again, Doris is right to say that tax assessed values typically lag the regular sale market by at least 12 months. Hope this helps. I am available for a comprehensive market value analysis, if desired.
call the County Assessor and review. I hope this helps.
Tax assessments are for county budget purposes only - tax assessments should NEVER be used as an indication of property's market value. Tax assessors rarely inspect the exterior of the property, and certainly never inspect the interior of the property. For this simple reason tax assesments should not be used for real estate purposes to determine the market value of the property.
Great Falls area (22066) is very unique and each property is very unique. Therefore, the statistical median and the average prices do not work well for Great Falls. The only way for you to know the true market value of your property is to list it for sale and let the buyers price it. Of course that would be a very irreversible, very lasting and permanent decision so you need to be sure that you want to use this pricing method :-)
I have some statistics for Great Falls on my blog: http://VivianneRutkowski.WordPress.com