Most people see new home construction in their neighborhood as a good thing. New homes typically help increase the market value of properties, so when someone in an older home goes to sell, they often can ask a higher price than areas without new construction. But too often the county takes that a step too far and assumes the assessed value of the older homes is the same for the new homes. Most of the times, this isn’t the case.
New homes have many benefits over older homes, especially when trying to sell. New home construction can incorporate many different features and amenities that are less expensive to include during the construction phase, where older homes would need to do a more expensive remodel to include the same amenities. Older homes have less resale value because they have been lived in, while new homes have that new smell, new look and “never-lived-in” quality many home buyers want. As a result, a new home can sell for 10 percent to 12 percent more than an older home.
But when the assessed values of the homes are equal or don’t take into consideration the difference in selling prices between the new and older homes, the older home owner gets assessed by the value of the newer homes. This results in the homeowner of the older homes paying more in taxes than is fair. This is called unequal appraisal. The county assumes because a new home next door to an older home is valued at a certain amount, the older home is worth the same amount also.
You have the right to protest your assessed value based on both market value and unequal appraisal. If you feel your property’s assessed value is too high, it’s your right to file a formal protest. You can protest your property value yourself, or hire a professional consultant to handle your protest for you. Either way, there’s no reason to pay more property taxes than is required by law.