Equity Approach

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Absent data from recent sales of comparable property, the “Equity Approach” can be used. This approach suggests that homes that are very similar in age, quality, location and construction should be assessed equally. This approach breaks down value to a per square foot of adjusted living space.

If you are unable to find identical homes, then you must find comparable homes. The next step is to adjust the value of the comparable homes to address discrepancies. This means that you must add or subtract value depending on what the other homes have or do not have. For example, if a comparable home has a pool and pool house, and yours does not, then that house must have added value. Similarly if your house is a one and a half story and has a full basement but you are comparing it to a house that is a one and a half story but it rests on a slab then you have to subtract value.

Another variation on this approach is to compare sales to assessment ratio studies conducted by some assessor’s offices. This study compares the actual price of a sale to the assessed value placed on that property.

If the ratio for your own property is 15-20% higher than the sales assessment ratio derived by the assessor’s office, then you have a good case for an appeal.

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