Market Conditions in Hampton>Question Details

Grace, Home Buyer in Hampton, VA

City Home Assessments

Asked by Grace, Hampton, VA Sun Nov 4, 2007

I am concerned about all the stories I hear about the prices of homes going down. Can I look at the city assessment of a home and compare it to the selling price? Does citty assessments ever go down? For example if the asking price is 300,000 and the city assessment is 290,000 can I consider this a good value?

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Linda J Sears’ answer

Sorry we all wish it were that easy. The assessment has nothing to do with a current selling price. The only gage of a deal is what else is selling. If you are working with a realtor ask the realtor to pull comps on the house you are interested it. If you are not then go to the local tax office and ask them if they can give you the sales statistics for that neighborhood for the last year or six months. They review and make sure you look at the square footage, age, garage size, etc. It is not that hard it just takes a little work.

Best of Luck,
Linda J Sears
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
Tax real estate assessments and market price of a home for sale do not necessarily go hand in hand. In many areas there isn't any correlation between the two. If the market in your area supports a 300K sales price and your agent has run all of the comps for similiar homes then the assessed value doesn't matter. Tax assessments due change both up and down based on sales in the area. Check with your local city to determine when they do their re-evaluation to know when you can expect to see the change.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007

See if you can get a copy of the Friday, May 9th, Daily Press and see the article about local assessments on the front page. It will give you some insight as to why assessed values are going up in a down year. You may be able to find the article online at If you can't find one, call or send me an email and I'll mail you my copy. You could even pick it up at my office.

In answer to your question about assessed value and asking price, there is no real "rule of thumb". The tax assessment is really NOT a good measure of value for property here. Ask a reputable Realtor to do a market analysis for you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008

You asked,” Does city assessments ever go down?" And yes they do, but not very often or quickly. The city, county and state receive monies from your assed value. Lower them, regardless of what the market is doing, makes them take a pay cut. Most government agencies don’t like that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2007
I myself have seen a $10000 drop in my home assessment which I guess is a mixed blessing over the last 2 years. I does reduce your escrow payment which reduces your overall mortgage payment. I definitely won't be challenging the assessment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 6, 2011
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