Energy Realty recently hosted a seminar on Controlling the Costs of Home Ownership, and a representative from Paul Bettencourt’s office stated that property values will “remain flat” in 2016! How can our home values be the same as 2015 when we have seen prices dropping all across Houston?
The good news is that Paul Bettencourt’s office only charges 40% of the tax savings, while most offices charge 50%; however, I expected a representative from the former tax assessor for Harris County to offer encouraging tips on how to lower our tax values. The big question is how do we prove that our homes are worth less when the media is presenting a different picture?
It is true that home sales from $150,000-$500,000 have remained strong, but homes priced above $500,000 have declined. If homes priced above $500,000 are taking longer to sell and we are seeing those prices dropping, why does the tax assessor think our homes have the same value in 2016 than in 2015 (or in some cases 10% more)?
The issue is that prices did not start dropping until after May, 2015, following 2 solid years of up to 20% appreciation. 2016 tax values are based on a snapshot taken in January, 2016, just 7 months after the market started to drop. What about the 11 months we still have remaining in 2016? Although it may be difficult to show the tax assessors where we think home values will be in 6 months, it is important that everyone protest their property taxes. I am seeing cases of property tax values rising above actual market value, and that should never be the case.