How do I find the market value of my house?

Asked by Scott, Texas Thu May 15, 2008

I just bought a house and am now protesting the tax assessment on it. The taxman is jumping up the market value by 15% which I think is ridiculous in today's climate. We bought the house for under the appraisal (the tax assessment is $8,000 more the the bank appraisal) and I am not sure how to get a ralistic market value on the house. ANy help would be appreviated.

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7
Jeffrey Schn…, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu May 15, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Scott,

Depending on your taxing authority, in Texas, the purchase contract and HUD-1 closing statement are all that you should need to defend the value of the home. The appraisal district uses a mass appraisal approach to determining value. That means they aren't looking at your individual circumstances, but a broad brush valuation of an entire neighborhood at one time.

In most Texas jurisidictions, you have a limited amount of time to file the protest, but you do not have to provide the proof with the protest. Just sending a letter to the taxing authority is often adequate enough to put you "into" the protest process. Usually, at some later date, typically starting in June, they will schedule hearings, most often informal for the first one. All you typically have to do is take your purchase contract and the HUD-1 statement and politely tell the appraiser you're meeting with that the value of your home is based on the market value, which you established by purchasing it. Show them the HUD-1 and the purchase contract, and that's pretty much it.

Since you just purchased your home, be sure that next January you don't forget to file for your homestead status. The home may have it now, but that would be based on the prior owner's status as of January 1.

There is one caution in all of this. In Texas, most taxing authorities are taxing you based on the value of your home as of December 31, 2007. If they could establish based on valid data that your home at that time was worth appreciably more than it is now, then you could have a difficult time on your hands. I don't think this is going to be the case, but it's something to verify. For example, let's say you bought your home in April of this year. If they could prove that other similar homes in close proximity to yours sold in late December for 15% more than what you bought your home for, and that your purchase price was impacted by some significant event that occurred in February that negatively impacted your neighborhood and that's why you were able to buy the home so cheap, then you could be in for a nasty fight.

Hope this helps,

Jeffrey
1 vote
Mark Chovan, , Frisco, TX
Fri May 16, 2008
Hey Scott,
Last week I had several neighbors upset about the same thing. I ran a comparative market analysis on sold homes in our area for them. You can have one of us do the same for you. Like suggested your purchase contract will be a strong example, and make sure you bring sales comps that are in your specific sub-division for examples. Make sure they are similar properties, with the same amenities and features. Bring at least 2-comparisons along with your contract.

PS; I have a feeling the County Appraisal offices will be busy with protesters this year.
Web Reference:  http://www.bigdrelo.com
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu May 15, 2008
As stated in prior answers your contract and appraisal is your proof, send certified return receipt also perhaps pay a visit to the office. It is always a fight to get these handled the city depends on tax revenue when homes are sold for less then it reduces the cities income.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu May 15, 2008
If you just bought the house, the contract is the best evidence. Just take them the contract. Normally what I see is they will adjust it for at least a year at the contract price.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote
Leading Edge…, , Minnesota
Thu May 15, 2008
Scott,

The appraisal would be one source for value, your purchase papers showing what you paid would be a second. The third would be to contact a local agent to get some recent comparables. I would then take this pile of proof when you go to dispute, and, in my experience, many homeowners are successful. The tax numbers are often PFA numbers (Plucked From Air). Hope that helps!

Best Regards,
Brian Dickerson
http://www.hotrealestatetopics.com
1 vote
Barbie Reno-…, Agent, Clearlake, CA
Thu Feb 10, 2011
Take your HUD Statement and closing documents to the taxing agency. Since you stated that you just purchased the home, they shouldn't be able to argue with what the true market value is. The true market value is what you paid for it. Most homes if overpriced will sit on the market. Once you and the Seller came to an agreement on what the selling price was going to be that became the market value. Otherwise, you would have paid more. Call me if you have any additional questions.
0 votes
Dave Turnqui…, Agent, La Porte, TX
Wed Jun 4, 2008
Easiest and fastest way is to ask any agent to run a CMA for you and email it to you. You can use the comps for your protest with HCAD.
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