I don't necessarily think that local political figures in Anchorage get a break on their taxes but I'm less than thrilled that Mark Begich's primary residence
in East Anchorage saw a 1.4% DECREASE in value while mine went up 8%. Home prices appreciated and his home depreciated in the eyes of the Muni? Interesting. And I'll just leave it at that.
How does the Muni assess property values? The Muni's website summarizes that process as, "The sales approach compares your property to others that have sold. Sales prices must be carefully analyzed to get a true picture. One property may have sold high because the seller included substantial personal property or special financing. Another may have sold low because the seller was in a hurry or needed cash right away. By comparing numerous selling prices of properties similar to yours, adjusting for differences between the sold property and your property (e.g., two versus three bathrooms), the market value for your property is estimated."
I find that interesting because we are a non disclosure state so unless you are the rare person that fills out their survey after you buy your home, they don't know the sales prices or if special financing occurred or if the seller paid your closing costs, etc.
Here's how a Muni assessment differs from The Croom Team's comparable market analysis to value your home:
We choose like-kind homes. Meaning I don't use a run down home compared with a full upgraded home.
Location Matters. I take into consideration that even though two homes can have the same zip code, one can be in a "pocket neighborhood" that's highly desirable compared to a house 3 streets over with surrounding homes that show little to no pride of home ownership.
We know exactly what the homes sales price was. Alaska is a non-disclosure state which allows homeowners to know report exactly what they paid for their home. Yes the Muni sends a card in the mail asking what you just paid for your new home.........but you should toss those in the trash unless the assessed value is higher than what you paid and then you should report it!
Before we list a home we walk through it. When's the last time someone from the Muni finance department walked through your home? Exactly, so they really are just guessing at values and are not taking into consideration anything besides basic recorded information of the bedrooms, baths, square footage, year, etc.
These assessed values are really a shot in the dark and you want to keep your assessed value as low as possible. I've never had a buyer that made their offer price based on the Muni's assessed value. If you are feeling like the Muni has over assessed your property, please contact me at 317-1992 or firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm more than happy to give you my opinion based on research and real data! Please make sure if you do qualify for the Muni Residential Exemption that I talked about last week that you have that postmarked by March 15th, 2015!