03-15-2012 03:35 PM
In order to value a property, I try to take the zillow estimate, the county assessments and cost of surrounding homes in to account, but lately I've been finding that the county assessments seem much lower than zillow or the surrounding homes. Any ideas on how to value a home prior to the actuall undertaking of an assessment (by the bank)? I wonder what formula zillow uses, other than $/sq foot!
03-15-2012 04:02 PM
Compile as much sales information as you can and then do the same with the tax. You should be able to see the dif pretty quick.
stats are available for many areas through Redfin.
However you must keep in mind that the cities will continue to value the properties based on the need to gather revenues.
And of course the part of your taxes that is based on bonds and levies is not strictly tied to value it is a fixed number that gets spread across a tax base.
In some areas the Tax assessments are way too high even 30% over but it is hard to fight with almost no sales data to support you.
The city can just claim you got a great deal on your property and tell you "well done”.
The real world state of affairs is that many counties have little choice but to raise Tax assessments due to decreased sales tax rev.
03-16-2012 01:53 PM
My view is that the zillow and tax assessed values were too high, or at least were too high until perhaps the recent frenzied sales activity in north Seattle (Ballard, Fremont, Greenlake, and Ravena) of the last two months. I purchased a condo last fall at maybe two thirds of the assessed value and 75% of the original zillow value, although zillow has corrected to be closer recently. I know of condos going for less than half of assessed value and at least a third off zillow value. Honestly, you should look at both zillow and the tax assessment, but do your own market based appraisal by looking at real comparable actual sales. Redfin makes this easy for you. The market determines the value, and not some computer program or some tax assessor who is suppose to maintain tax revenue.
03-17-2012 12:19 AM - edited 03-17-2012 10:12 AM
I guess it depends on the neighborhood. Where I live, in Woodinville, tax assessments are well below zillow estimates. I bought recently and I know that, in my neighborhood, zillow is about right give or take a few % points.
So, one way of looking at it is -- if the properties in a neighborhood are selling X% above or below the assessed value, given a house and assessed value you can find the rough market value. Ofcourse, X will never be exact. It will be a range. So, can you calculate a range given an assessed value.
03-17-2012 08:57 AM
These days condos are overvalued for tax, while houses are undervalued in many neighborhoods. The assessed values should get more in line with market values over some time, as the sales history feeds into the statistical model.
03-21-2012 10:38 AM
I analyze prices on hundreds of properties each year. King County assessed values can be close to market value or off by as much as 30-50%. It generally does a better job in newer, homogeneous neighborhoods, but I've even seen bad data there.
Tax assessments don't take into account interior condition, remodels, finshes, etc and are often littered with inaccurate data on older homes. View difference are another subjective measure that these assessments (and Zillow) have no ability to accurately gauge.
If an owener has added 500 sq ft to a house, and the county records don't reflect the update, no seller in their right mind is going to alert the county. (Their taxes will go up.)
Other than a very rough gauge of value, I generally find the King County tax assessment values to be of little to no use when valuing a property.