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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Real Estate Market Report for December 26, 2012


Weekly Real Estate Market Report for December 26, 2012

I hope you are doing well. The county tax re-evaluation has been done and now it’s time to pay our bills. This week I wanted to share a little advice on protecting yourself from property tax scams:
If you own a home, you’ve probably received at least one unsolicited letter in the past month offering to lower your property taxes. Usually, the letter will look very official, and may even list your official city or county tax assessor.
Granted, the offer can be tempting. The basic pitch is this: “For a nominal fee, we’ll save you hundreds or thousands on your tax bill by having your home appraised at a lower value.” You do “nothing” but pay an administrative fee.
Don’t fall for it! If you want to try and have your property taxes reduced, you can usually file an appeal with the tax assessor. The process is often only the minor inconvenience of filling out a form to request an adjustment. (Clearly, there’s no guarantee this will lower your tax bill, however.)
Here are red flags to look out for on these “lower your tax bill” letters:
1. They often ask for your social security number
2. They may request a certified copy of your property deed
3. Offers require an upfront fee for the re-assessment work
4. Letters will look like government letters, but may contain reverse side small print
Remember: The assessor will provide an assessment appeal for no charge. These companies are looking for a quick score and may even expose you to identity theft down the road.
I look out for my clients, friends, and family. If you need a trusted partner for real estate advice, please get in touch.
As it relates to Tax Value, a common question is “Is this what my home is worth”. The quick answer is…not necessarily.
I have seen homes that have values for greater than the tax value, and I have seen homes that would not sell for their stated tax value.
Tax value asessments focus on square footage, age of your home, bedrooms and baths, and compares this against other homes that have sold.
Although this information is relative, often what is not taken into consideration are the intangibles such as water views, aesthetics of the area, ease of beach access, floor plans, construction materials, interior features and upgrades, etc.
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Your Real Estate Market Report is provided by Justin Donaton of Coastwalk Real Estate. Any data provided is courtesy of the Wilmington Association of REALTORS MLS and/or the National Association of REALTORS. Justin does not just "list" properties, he sells them! To get your home SOLD for the highest possible price, call Justin at 910-352-0998. Justin has been the #1 Agent on Pleasure Island since 2006. He has the highest dollar volume of sales, and has had the most number of closings. His business is built on hard work and high-impact marketing. Please visit: for more info.
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