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What is Tax Assessed Value, Tax Appraised Value, and Market Assessed Value?

2/15/2018

What is the value of your home? It depends on what you mean by "value."

Tax assessed value

This figure varies throughout the U.S. since it is determined by the taxing authority of the city, county, or state where you live. Sometimes it is the same as the market assessed value and other times counties will multiply the market value by an assessment ratio to get the tax assessed value, which is often lower than the market assessed value.

For example, suppose where you live, homes are assessed at 100 percent of market value. If you have a home that has a market value of $150,000, your home will be assessed at $150,000. However, if your taxing authority assesses homes at 70 percent of value, your $150,000 market value home will have a tax assessed value of $105,000.

Tax appraised value

This is the value of real or personal property based on the valuation established by a government tax assessor.

Market assessed value

This is the price the government tax assessor estimates the property would sell for on the open market as of the effective date for the assessed value for the year in question. The assessor’s market assessed value is based on actual historical sales of similar properties for a specified study period.
For example, a market assessed value with an effective date of January 1 may have been determined considering comparable sales during the previous 12 months ending September 30 of the previous year. Sales study periods vary by assessment jurisdiction. Because historical sales are used, assessed values are typically less than current market values.

Source: Zillow Group

Home Maintenance Notebook

2/9/2018

You’ve probably heard it before. Every homeowner should keep track of their repairs, maintenance efforts, and related expenses. But it’s such a hassle, right? Besides, all that information is somewhere in the house. Why pull it all together now, when it’s so tempting to put it off until sometime… later?

Why Do You Need a Home Maintenance Notebook? Most homeowners agree that regular home maintenance saves money and helps prevent problems before they arise. But did you know that simply keeping a record of your home’s systems and the maintenance performed on them could potentially MAKE you money? It could.

What to Include in a Maintenance Notebook A house is a much larger investment than a vehicle, yet few homeowners actually compile records—in an organized and easy-to-review format—on all the maintenance and repair work performed, related warranty details, and general information about the systems.

The Basics Begin by gathering all the information you already have, or can remember. When were the following items installed or most recently replaced?

  • HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning)
  • Roof
  • Water heater (tank or tankless)
  • Major appliances (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, etc.)
  • Septic system (if applicable)

Create and Follow a Regular Maintenance Schedule Starting now, work from a regular schedule, to be sure you perform the recommended maintenance and that you have a single place to store and find this information in the future.

Put Together Emergency Information

  • Police – 911 and/or other emergency phone #
  • Fire department – phone #
  • Gas company – name and phone #
  • Electric company – name and phone #
  • Water company – name and phone #
  • Homeowner association – contact name and phone #
  • Insurance agent – name and phone #

Final Thoughts When you’re ready to sell your house, you can remove any personal information and give the notebook (or USB drive with digital files) to the new owner(s). It’s a gift they’re sure to appreciate. Plus, if you’re feeling sentimental about moving on, this is a good way to form a “bridge” from one owner to the next, leaving something valuable behind.

It’s also worth noting that the cost of home improvements and repairs may reduce your tax bill while living in a home, or when you sell. Keeping careful records will help a tax professional provide expert advice on whether or not you qualify.

Why It Pays to Sell Your Home In The Winter

1/8/2018

Spring may still be peak home-shopping season, since most families want to move when the kids are out of school. Yet it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency: A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.

Should you put your home on the market now? Timing always depends on supply and demand. To understand your local climate, check the number of days on the market for current and recently sold listings. If most are sitting for more than 60 days, it’s safer to wait until spring, when more buyers will emerge. If properties are selling quickly, take that as a sign to list.

If you do move forward, these strategies will help make your home a hot seller this winter.

Price It Right

The quieter winter market brings special pricing considerations. Unlike in spring, when there are more shoppers—and it may make sense to price low to try to generate a bidding war. Winter is also a bad time to test the market and list high. If the house doesn’t sell, you may need to drop below market value to nab a buyer before new properties appear in spring and make yours look stale by comparison.

Schedule a Tune-Up

Winter buyers are particularly attuned to issues related to heating and maintenance. Get your furnace, HVAC, and roof inspected, and make any necessary repairs. Also on your to-do list: Clean the gutters, change air filters, and weather—strip the windows. Many cold-weather house hunters will also be thinking about heating costs. Consider low-cost upgrades like insulating the attic or installing energy-efficient windows, which can lower utility bills.

Brighten Your Home

Gray skies make for a gloomy first impression. Warm up curb appeal with basic landscaping, and add inexpensive cool-weather plants like holly to invigorate outdoor space. Fix chipped paint, caulk windows, and repair cracked window seals, which can cause condensation that freezes over and creates an eyesore.

Remember to de-clutter and depersonalize. Put away family photographs so that buyers can see themselves living in the home; instead display pictures that show what the property looks like when the temperature is warmer, like the garden in full bloom or the backyard in the summertime. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean buyers can’t appreciate what your home has to offer year-round.

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Fawn E. Combs
Direct: 704-880-2555
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