As a Texas homeowner, you should know the value of your property best and as a taxpayer, you should have a decent handle on your neighborhood and surrounding properties as well. So what do you do if you have reason to suspect that, based on your most recent property assessment notice, your home has been appraised higher than similar homes in your neighborhood? These days, you can simply check out anyone’s property value online so there’s no fear of coming across as a nosey neighbor. Appraisal districts do mass evaluations on millions of homes each year and about half of the homes end up overvalued and the other half under-valued. Hence, it’s not uncommon for Texans to protest their assessments, as they should. In the meantime, here’s some reasons why your home may have appraised higher than your neighbors:
If you did major upgrades to your home and property the past year, then that would be an obvious reason why your home might appraise higher than your neighbor’s. On the other hand, if your neighbor’s property shows external signs of poor upkeep such as an unkempt lawn, peeling paint or cracked concrete, then their home value may have gone down. These types of things can ultimately affect the property values of an entire neighborhood.
Unbeknownst to you, your neighbors may be having some serious financial problems and may be facing foreclosure on their home. This could also be a reason why their property might be in physical disrepair. Although a foreclosure could have an impact on home values, it is certainly not a permanent situation. In today’s hot housing market, things should turn around quickly and the bank or lender will sell the home to someone else.
The ongoing housing boom is stretching appraisers very thin in counties across the state. It could be that your county appraiser was rushed, stressed and not as detail oriented as he/she should’ve been. As a result, your home value could very well be grossly “out of whack” one way or the other. Taxpayers should never hesitate to question or outright protest their assessments as this directly affects your property taxes.
What To Do
If you have solid reason to believe that your home assessment is out of line compared to your neighbors, you can and “should” protest. You have nothing to lose. Protesting can collectively help everyone in the neighborhood; plus, it will help keep the county appraisal districts from getting sloppy in their future assessments. The best way to protest your assessment is to work with a professional property tax reduction service such as Gill, Denson & Company.
If you’re a Texas property owner in need of assistance with your property taxes, reach out to the professionals at Gill, Denson & Company. While our team cannot file exemptions on your behalf, we strive to point you in the right direction as you work with the appraisal district.