But the tax value says…..

But the tax value says…..

There are two ways to find the tax value of a home in Harris County Texas. You can talk to someone who has access to Stewart Tax Records or you can visit www.hcad.org. The Tax records provide loads of helpful information including a “Tax Value” for the subject property.

The tax value of a home is important to a buyer and a seller. A seller pays property taxes based on their “tax value.” A buyer who is interested in buying a home should pay close attention to the tax value when getting a fantastic deal on a home. If the home was recently foreclosed on, the value could be much higher than what the buyer/investor is actually buying the home for. Just because you bought the property for $100,000 doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to pay taxes on that amount. The tax value could be $200,000. And for the record, you never have to disclose what you sold your home for to anyone. Texas is a non-disclosure state, so don’t voluntarily provide what you paid for your new home to the taxing authority after closing. If the tax value is $116,000 and you paid $150,000.00 then you’ll probably want to keep that information private.  If you get a letter in the mail asking for your contract sales price, ask them if you are required by law to provide it. The answer will be “no.”

Home sellers routinely battle their tax value. When successful the property’s tax value will drop on the tax records. This doesn’t mean the neighborhood is declining in value. The Tax Assessor does not gain access to homes when performing their valuations. They have no idea if the homeowner updated the interior or remodeled the property. In most cases the tax value is off by about 10%.

When I purchased my home it came with a swimming pool. It had been there for over 6 years. I’ve lived in my house for six years as well. It wasn’t until last year when my neighbor protested his taxes did the Taxing Authority realize that I did in fact have a pool. My value increased. Last year the taxing authority reduced my value by $20,000 even though neighborhood values actually INCREASED!

The long and short of it is that you shouldn’t rely on tax values to assess the value of any home. View comparable sales. Talk to a Realtor (me).

I am happy to provide you a complete market valuation on any home seven days a week. Learn more about trends, neighborhood weaknesses and much, much more.

photo by: DonkeyHotey
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