Albemarle County real estate assessments are out … did yours go up? Go down? Questions about your assessment? Ask me … quickly (434-242-7140. I’m a real estate agent by the way). The deadline for challenging your assessment is this Friday, 28 February. The 2014 Real Estate Assessment Form can be downloaded at Albemarle County’s site.
I chose nine Crozet neighborhoods as a sample. I wanted to choose Laurel Hills but because some of those have been renovated over the years, I didn’t think they would provide the relative homogeneity that I was looking for. If it wasn’t so darn labor- and time-intensive I would have done more neighborhoods.
5 Reasons why real estate assessments matter: (more thoughts on the value of assessments)
1) The County bases their budget on property tax revenue.
?2) The assessed value is the value upon which property owners pay taxes. These values are a backward-looking assessment.
?3) Buyers look at assessed values as a measure of market value … but really, it’s a point in the equation, but are neither a definitive point nor a necessarily accurate one.
?4) Also – “Virginia, unlike some other states, by Statute requires localities to assess property at 100% of fair market value, based on an objective analysis of the property’s fair market value…”
?5) Sellers look at assessed values and wonder if buyers will think that the assessment means their home is worth X (it doesn’t).
From my professional capacity, I place little to no value in real estate assessments when seeking market value. When I see a property marketed as “below assessed value” or “new assessed value is $10k higher!” I think only that that means a property’s real estate tax bill will be higher or lower.
Thoughts on some of the Crozet neighborhoods’ assessed values:
– Old Trail was all over the board – from 44% decrease to nearly 400% increase. I removed these outliers from the equations. Assessed values ranged from $175k to over a million dollars.
– Parkside Village was up about 15%. Despite its being one of the best located neighborhoods in Crozet, some of the houses increased in assessed value by 20%. Reasonable?
– Highlands is the only neighborhood that declined in assessed value. An aging housing stock is likely to blame.
– Western Ridge (the second largest neighborhood behind Old Trail) – ranged from -4.17% to +13.44% – is essentially flat.
Note on my math – – I pulled the crazy outliers – -50% and +400% for example – and then averaged the delta column. I thought about doing a weighted average but went with this method. See the link above, please check my math and let me know what’s better and where I screwed up. 🙂
Challenges with assessing the validity of the assessed value data –
– Albemarle County makes it hard. I had to have someone download each neighborhood’s 2014 data and then manually go to each record and note the 2013 real estate assessment. This was very time intensive. I spot-checked the data, but …
– New construction. For example: a new home in Old Trail was a vacant lot in 2011. It was partially built in 2012 when it was assessed. It was completed in 2013. So … I pulled out the properties, the deltas of which where in excess of 19%. One property went up in assessed “value” 392.75% – it was assessed for $247,500 in 2013 and $448,400 in 2014. I’d say that would skew the results.
– Some people make improvements to their home and don’t report the improvements to the County. You ought to get the proper building permits, but the County doesn’t have a right (as far as I know) to enter your home to assess your property.
– This is the link to the raw files. Mistakes may have been made – either in my calculations or by the person doing the data entry … it took many hours to do.
– The City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle don’t use short sales or foreclosures when assessing properties. I and my clients do when seeking to determine market value, so there’s that.
These are very different than the overall change in the White Hall district, and the County of Albemarle as a whole. From the County’s press release:
The average annual reassessment changes for the magisterial districts are as follows: Rio – +1.75%
Jack Jouett – +3.64 %
?Rivanna – +2.85 %
?Samuel Miller – +1.58 %
?Scottsville – +0.27 %
?White Hall – +0.49 %
?Town of Scottsville – +1.49 %
?What do you think about the infographic? I’m not going to pay $19/month for the ad-free, downloadable version, but I like the responsive nature of it. I’ve also included a screenshot of the zoho spreadsheet as I’m pretty sure that one day the free infographic will go away.