Property Values in the Charlotte Area Over Time
The chart shown below shows a graphic representation of the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Prices Index. The index measures the average change in the total value of all existing single family housing prices in particluar region. The blue line on the chart shows represents Charlotte NC. The pink shaded area represents the US overall.
In January 2003, the date of the last valuation by the Mecklenburg County Assessor's Office, the index for Charlotte was 108. In the latest available posting of the index from November 2010, the index reading for Charlotte was 114. The significance of this data is that from 2003 to 2011, prices have, on average, increased approximately 6% in Charlotte. Even with the significant downturn in the real estate market, prices on average are now 6% higher now than they were in 2003. Of course, this represents the average for the whole city of Charlotte and the reality is that values and price changes are localized, many times to areas as small as a neighborhood or market area.
Every 4 to 8 years, Mecklenburg County tax authority is responsible for the re-valuation of more than 350,000 individual properties within the county to determine the value on which property taxes will be levied. The Tax Assessor's office makes its best effort to accurately estimate the values of thousands of properties with commendable speed and tremendous effort.
However, the methods utilized by municipalities to accomplish this Herculean task, including mass appraisal methods and computer modeling, are by design inferior to the valuation of properties by individually inspecting each home and researching the market conditions for its specific area. County governments, including Mecklenburg County, has neither resources or personnel to study each property individually, so a compromise of "good enough" has to do. The Tax Assessor's office wants values to be fair and when a homeowner or business owner thinks their value is too high, there is a process they can use to appeal the county's valuation of their property. Click here for a link to Mecklenburg County's website explaining how the Assessor's Office values properties.
Many factors can cause your home to be valued higher than it should be.
Another common issue is when a home is substantially different from the other homes in its neighborhood. This includes neighborhoods and market areas with primarily larger, custom homes as well as homes that include more than a few acres of land in areas where typical homes don't. These issues are multiplied when there are fewer available, qualified sales in areas that have experienced minimal sale activity in the past 12 months and due to declining market conditions in some areas. You need an expert on your side to sort through this complex market and make a successfully appeal to reduce your tax value.
Mecklenburg County wants to be fair in property tax assessments, but i
t is the responsibility of the property owner to appeal the revaluation of their property
prior to the date shown on the Notice of Real Property Assessed Value (your Request for Informal Appeal must be postmarked by the date shown on your Notice or the County will require that you wait until the following year to appeal). If the Informal Review process does not result in a satisfactory adjustment to your new tax valuation, Mecklenburg County provides additional procedures for a property owner to appeal a real property assessment to the Mecklenburg County Board of Equalization and Review.
First, it makes sense to do your own research before determining whether to go forward with a property assessment appeal, especially before you make the decision to hire a professional appraiser. Click here for information on how a property owner can do their own research. Review the Notice of Valuation you received from the County for errors or incorrect information, including the name of the owner, the details about the land and the improvements. Find information online, through local Real Estate Agents, and in the Mecklenburg County GIS System/Tax Records for sales on your street and in your neighborhood that occurred in 2010.
Save the information you've gathered, you will need it to make your Request for Informal Review to appeal your case to the county. You will be directed on your Notice to complete the form attached to the notice you received and your supporting documentation, and return it to the address on the form. Be sure to attach copies of the information you wish to be considered in reviewing your appeal. Many property owner issues are resolved this way.
If you are denied an adjustment through the informal review with the Assessor's Office and you still are not satified, a property owner can appeal their case to the Board of Equalization and Review. A property owner or their attorney must present their reasons for an adjustment to the tax value to a board made up of citizen real estate professionals and property owners. Of course, resolution is going to require you to provide good and accurate data to support your opinion of value. According to Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor's website, to successfully appeal the county's estimate of value, a homeowner must provide "Good evidence of this sale of similar property, or an independent appraisal of your property (from Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor's FAQ website)."
For many unique homes and properties in very stable neighborhoods, information for qualified sales and listings can be difficult to find. Moreover, knowing which sales can be used and what properties are considered truly "comparable" can be a challenge, even for knowledgable real estate professionals.
You don't have to do this on your own. Let us help!
Home Analytics Appraisal has access to information only available to appraisers and real estate agents. We have been appraising residential properties in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for more than 16 years and we are experts at detailed market research and determination of a fair value for your home.
Home Analytics Appraisal can determine your home’s true market value and we are available immediately to appraise your home. Please call or email us today if we can be of assistance through this process and be certain that you have a clear, accurate, and reliable appraisal.
We offer 2 levels of service at affordable prices. Click here for our Tax Appeal Valuation Products.
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