How to get your tax assessment lowered to a realistic value when purchasing in the current market?

Asked by Bayside Buyer, 23518 Mon Jan 26, 2009

I just purchased a property in Ocean View for $380,000, but the assessment value is $613,300 so my taxes are much higher than they should be. I have an appraisal that was just done for the mortgage, which came back at about $383,000. I have heard people suggest taking the appraisal to the tax assessors office to get the assessment value reduced. Has anyone had any luck or experience with this in Norfolk? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Bayside Buyer, Home Buyer, 23518
Thu Jan 29, 2009
I actually spoke with the assessor earlier this week, and he is going to come check out the property in person in a couple of weeks. It is a detached single family home that was built in 2003 before the current assessor started, so he said he has never viewed it personally. He echoed what Drew said with the upcoming July 2009 assessment being based on sales a year behind from July 2007 - July 2008, but he said he cannot ignore what is happening with the current market, so the assessment will likely be an average between the current and last year's numbers. He also said that having an appraisal definitely helps my situation. I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say during his visit, although the adjustment will not take place until the normal assessment schedule in July. Thanks for your answers.
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Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Dear Bayside,

I gather you purchased one of the new or recently built attached condos or townhomes and if so, you are not alone in this quandary. Many of those properties, which were built anytime after 2003/2004, all seem to be assessed $100,000 to $200,000 more than what a homeowner paid for it.

Also, if you search the Norfolk property assessor's website, , you will also notice that many of these assessed values actually increased over the past year, even if just by a mere $100.

Several years ago in Isle of Wight, homeowners faced the same situation but instead of lowering the assessed value, the assessor’s officer appeased homeowners by reducing the mill rate and this did lower the taxes, slightly.

It’s always a challenge when trying to have your assessed values reduced, but not impossible. I would contact the assessor’s office and ask them directly for an answer. Their number is (757) 664-3742.

Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR
Your townhome & condo expert!
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Drew Hitt, , Virginia Beach, VA
Mon Jan 26, 2009
I haven't tried to do it, but it sounds like you have some facts to back up your data. The problem is assessments are a year behind, so your new assessment should reflect a different price, but it's basis for your current assessment was based on 2007 -2008 sales comparables. I don't know for sure if you can challenge an assessment in the middle of the year and not when new assessments come out, but hey, it's worth a shot. After all you'd probably save about $1500 a year.
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