The 2007 property assessments are now online. For the past few years there have been some steep increases — how about this year?
Our block back here in Fairmount looks to have had on average a 10-15% increase.
Land value on my block of Q St. increased $10,000
My wife and I just bought a house on S St. off of Oakwood. The value for house and property went up by just over 15% from last year, totalling a 55% increase from two years ago! (It had a siding face lift that probably accounts for a third of the two-year jump).
My land value nearly doubled but the building value was unchanged. This means an overall 8.5% increase in assessed value.
My land value on the 3300 block of E Marshall increased 19%, the overall was closer to 5% though.
My land went up 10,000 and the house went down 17,000. I guess they came out and saw that it needed to be painted!
Land assessments on our block went up more than 100% for most of us. Assessments for the buildings were unchanged.
My assessment has tripled in the last two years. Doubled last year and now up 50% this year. Ouch.
I just moved here last summer, but I find that my assesment went up 61%/land 5%/bldg, an overall increase of 18%.
Last year, it went up 57% on the land, 9% overall. This, on top of 20% in 2005 and 10% in 2004. What gives?
I suppose I should feel lucky that its still less than the purchase price, but it still seems unreasonable that assessments have risen in such large bites. My history shows almost 75% in five years!
Has anyone ever contested their assesment? Any tips?
New to the Hill- yes, lots of people have contested, and last I heard, about 65-70% of them won at least something, if not everything they were contesting. I contested, way back in the ’80’s and won at least $20,000 off. At the time, I did my homework, found comps that sold for less. I don’t know what it’s like now, but I do know of two families who appealed last year and got quite a bit off their assessment – they both lived way into the historic district, on East Grace St.
Lora – talk to your sister-in-law. I spoke to her this evening and her land assessment went up also. I’m wondering, how much are they asking for the vacant lot across from you, the one with the willow tree on it? (I HOPE you’re the right Lora, and also that the vacant lot with the willow tree is across from you!)
All – what the hell is going on, what is the city basing the increased value on the LAND assessments on? Thoughts? Have there been a bunch of vacant lots recently sold, and if so, are you aware of the actual selling price?
Also, I’ve talked to several people today who wanted to appeal ‘en mass’ to the city – in other words, as a civic association. Apparently, other neighborhoods elsewhere in Richmond have done this successfully – ranging from west end to south of the river such as Forest Hills area. Everyone might want to think about that? I have some memory of reading about that in the Times Dispatch a couple of years ago, something about more power in having a group….
Couldn’t higher assessment values be a good thing? I like many, like the thought of the lower taxes that come with a low assessment. But at the same time, they can be an expression of the desirability of an area. For people who are looking in but not familiar with a neighborhood, a low assessment value alone might act as a turnoff. The more it’s worth, the more people want it.
Lets sharpen sticks and go get the assesors!!!
Yeah the land valuation seems a bit out of wack. The lot at 2206 M St sold for $21k on December 13th as per the city’s tax records: it appraised for $31k two weeks later. That said, I think considering the recent sales for like housing, the city was pretty fair in its overall assessment (at least for our house).
The “Lora” that you are addressing is not me (note the spelling). However, I am the Laura who has several empty lots across the street from me – one with a willow on it.
Three of those lots are being sold as a package at $299,000. Yes, you read that right! $100,000 for each lot – very unrealistic. The realtor’s message about the property states that potential buyers can develop an apartment complex or condos there which is not true. One of the lots is zoned single family and the other two are zoned multi family – duplex. a potential buyer would have to get a variance on the zoning of those properties in order to develop it into a complex, and my neighbors and I would fight that with everything we can. Opposition from neighbors is enought to shoot down a variance request.
The point is, some people are trying to sell lots for outrageous amounts, and won’t get it despite the increase in assessments.
I think the city is jacking up the assessment value for the actual land to get people to sell vacant lots they have been holding on to for years.
or it is a non legislative way to increase city revenue. A money grab.
A benefit of higher assessments:
If you are a relatively new homebuyer and put less than 20% down on your mortgage, then chances are you are paying mortgage insurance. This covers the bank in case you default on the loan.
The price for mortgage insurance is about $500 a year for every $100,000 you owe. It is figured into your mortgage payment.
You can cancel the mortgage insurance and save yourself a lot of money when you have built up about 20% equity in your home. With the rising assessments, it is possible to reach that is less than 2 years.
The lender will not tell you when your home has reached 20% equity, you have to ask them about it. Although I don’t think they go by tax assessments. I think you’ll have to pay for a private assessment. But city assessments will give you a good idea of when you’ve reached that 20% equity mark, so you know when to pay for a private assessment.
I think folks are confusing assessments with appraisals. Assessments generally mean nothing to banks. They are only used to determine what taxes you are paying. Historically assessments have been way below market value. Now they are supposed to reflect market value, but in some cases have been inflated beyond market value. I think this is the situation with lot values in Church Hill/Union Hill. Lots just are not worth their currently appraised value. This needs to be corrected for the whole neighborhood. And even if values increase, they should not be doubled in one year.
I will not complain about my assessment, however for those who are new to the area that could be a good thing in a few years … we could be called the new “fan”. If you feel that we should complain we should do it as a body of united voices and a petition should be drawn up and not just one or two people on one block, concerned citizens have to unite.
I’m not thrilled about having to pay higher taxes on my property, but I am glad to see the number of new residents in the area buying abandoned and vacant properties, and renovating. This is the reason for increased assessments – the area is being – and hear comes the ugly word – gentrified.
The assessments have gone up with the corresponding boom in migration, and accompanying improvements to the neighborhood. It is a more desirable place to live that it was 5-6 years ago, and I think assessments are based on that and market values, etc.
Just a thought, but you know the folks who move way out into remote areas who complain about sprawl? They are the sprawl!
I think that this analogy might pertain to some of us here complaining about assessment values.
I’m not pleased…my vacant lot next to my house (I purchased it about four years ago) went from a value of $4,500 to $41,800 in one year!!!! That is a 1,000% increase…and cannot be legal…can it? I believe the city is taking advantage of the tax abatement that they used to encourage folks to move to Church Hill. If my property is worth so much, why isn’t it selling when I’m not evening asking a tiny percentage of the “value” the city says it’s worth?
Three small vacant lots at 500, 502 and 504 N. 32nd Street sold for $30,000, $18,000 and $40,000 respectively in November all to different buyers. And the $18,000 one is lower than the other two because it was sold at a city auction.
The lot at 601 N 22nd sold for $990 in 2002 and is now assessed for $27,500. Do the math.
RTD 2/6/07 Assessments rise in Richmond
Lots North of Broad typically are selling these days for at least $30,000.00 Your assessments are accurate.
Purchased a home last year, my increase was a little over 19%, partially due to the completed building value being picked up for 2007. I for one am pleased to see the increase in this area. Land values were last increased two years ago…Supply and demand dictates buildable lots are at a premium. There are tax relief programs available. As for a group protest of assessments…I plan to sit this one out!
If the city is using a market-value assessment approach, then their should be little if any difference between an appraisal value and a assessment value.
being a first-time home buyer and an english major, i’m a little confused about the difference between assessment and asking price for a home (any home) in our neighborhood. could someone enlighten me on this issue?
for example, a house on 24th street is assessed right now at 130k, but is selling for 240k. how does that work? is that good or bad? sorry. i’m a very poor capitalist. thanks in advance.
My shot at explaining Assessments and Appraisals…
Assessment is the value the City puts on the property for tax purposes. The assessment should be close to fair market value, but has often been inaccurate.
An Appraisal is the result of an inspection and a formula to determine the fair market value of property- usually dependent upon recent sales of similar properties in similar locations–or rental income derived from the property. An appraisal is often conducted to reassure banks that the money they loan is being spent on a good investment.
The City is currently attempting to bring its assessments much closer to fair market value. The problem is that they are trying to do it all at once, which can be a burden to tax payers.
So eventually, assessments, appraisals and market price should all be close to identical. Until they are, the system will need additional modificatiions.
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