First time home buyers find the structural “Sweet spot.”

Blog fodder:

Home built in 1979.

In the structural real estate realm, that means:

Copper water lines, not the celcon-fitting class-action polybutylene that came along a couple of years later.

Solid hardboard siding, not evil class-action hardboard.

Copper wiring, not the aluminum branch circuits from the mid-’70’s.

No lead-based paint disclosure or tangible concerns, as in 1978 homes and earlier.

And this home was very affordable!

All in all, pretty cool, we thought!

Yahoo rejects MLS emails as SPAM!

It’s a little bit of a nuisance.  My automatic MLS property search emails that go out every morning are anticipated by several of my motivated Buyers in Cary, NC.

And as of last week, Yahoo! is refusing to deliver them to folks who use Yahoo! email.  Seems too many Yahoo! clients have called agents’ MLS emails SPAM, and Yahoo! has blacklisted the Triangle MLS server.

Our good folks at the TMLS tell me they have contacted Yahoo! looking for help.  And they have received no response.  So now, as well as trying to help nice folks find housing, I’m also promoting Hotmail, Gmail, or other providers.  Not exactly the business niche I seek, selling email services…

Of course, folks can also use my site to search for homes, and set it to alert them to new listings.  That would be:

But I would be just as delighted if the TMLS folks could make peace with Yahoo!  That would give me a great blog to write!

The Tax Man Cometh

So, I have been working hard telling folks how the Wake County Property Tax reassessment works.  And how to appeal their new tax values.

The other shoe dropped for me this week.  I got the response from Wake County that my appeal was denied.  No adjustment will be made to my over-assessment.

I delivered quite a package to Wake County.  Recent sales.  Similar models that have expired as listings, unsold at values lower than my assessment.  Comps that indicate that Wake County has assessed my home at a higher per square foot value than any home has ever fetched in my neighborhood.   These are cookie-cutter tract homes, with my model represented throughout the neighborhood.  Easy to comp.

Still, I’m assessed at $147/square foot, with an active railroad right-of-way (can you say “Negative adjustment to value?”) adjoining my lot.  Nothing in my neighborhood has ever brought over $127/square foot.  I listed and sold that house, and somehow think I have a clue as to values.

I asked Wake County to revalue my home at $133/SF, allowing 5% appreciation on that $127/SF.  Denied.

Sweetie asks if I will appeal?  I will be making the phone call tomorrow.

Sold! 919 Madison Avenue, stylish and affordable!

Sold in April!  This starter home is one of my favorites.  It is in a supremely convenient location, sharply decorated, and exceedingly clean and well-maintained.  At $179,900, it is SO affordable, too! Continue reading “Sold! 919 Madison Avenue, stylish and affordable!”

Wake County, NC, Property Tax Reassessment has gained a LOT of attention!

Part of working in Cary, NC, real estate is helping people understand the local landscape.  I have had many recent conversations with folks who are concerned about the new tax valuations.  Many are convinced that their taxes are going to go up as much as 75%.

People are creating all sorts of new concerns, stressing about the effects of reassessment on their property values and the ramifications of new tax values on their home values.

“My tax value is low.  How will I explain that to Buyers?”

Well, tax value and market value are not tangibly linked in Wake County.  Tell them they are getting a bargain on their taxes. Continue reading “Wake County, NC, Property Tax Reassessment has gained a LOT of attention!”

Wake County Property Tax Reassessment: How to appeal your new assessed tax value

Wake County Property Tax assessed valuations for 2008 were released this week.  We saw property values increase by an average of 40% across the county.  I know folks who saw their values increase by 70%. Continue reading “Wake County Property Tax Reassessment: How to appeal your new assessed tax value”

Affordable homes in great Cary neighborhoods

Cary, North Carolina, routinely pops up on lists of most desirable towns when areas are ranked.

A combination of factors creates a wonderful environment.

Cary, NC, is located in the center of the Triangle region, between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill and just minutes from the Research Triangle Park.

This location allows for easy access to all the amenities of the area, which would include entertainment districts, employment centers, sports venues, medical care, parks and other outdoor recreation, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), and great shopping complexes.

And Cary is an easy 2.5 hour drive to great North Carolina beaches.  A similar drive takes you to the mountains of North Carolina.

Town of Cary government is very proactive in creating a safe community, and the Town routinely ranks as one of the safest towns under 200,000 population in the United States.

Growth has been rampant, and well-managed.  In 1970 Cary’s population was under 4,000.  Today it is over 110,000 and growing.  Growth has been very suburban in style, with subdivisions organized in a cul-de-sac layout which leads to quiet streets with low traffic.  Growth has allowed Town government to maintain a superb credit rating for bonds, and low property taxes.

I have lived in Cary since 1997, and enjoy it tremendously.

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Wake County Property Taxes, Assessed Value and Market Value are not equal!

Wake County, North Carolina Property Taxes can be confusing to Buyers and Sellers.  You can access photos, notes on building permits, tax bills, deed history, subdivision or area sales, structure information, and a map of the property, including zoning, environmental features, and aerial photography on line at Wake County North Carolina Property Tax information.

One confusing detail for many Buyers from out of state is the lack of correlation between “Tax Value,” and the Listing Price of a property for sale.  Basically, it is safe to say there is no link between the two in Wake County, and much of North Carolina.

In many states “Tax Value” is adjusted to reflect recent sales activity, and correlates closely to property value.  Wake County Tax Values are re-assessed at eight year intervals.  There is an optional “adjustment” at the 4 year mark of that cycle.  It is not aggressively used to bring Tax Values “into line” with market conditions.

The next Wake County re-assessment is scheduled for 2008, and Tax Values will likely change dramatically to the upside. 

Separate from the Tax Value is the “Property Tax Rate.”   This is the percentage taken against the Tax Value to determine the property tax due. 

In Wake County municipalities, the rate is in the 1% vicinity, i.e., on a home with a $275,000 Tax Value, the owner may pay just over 1%, or $2750+/-, property tax, including local municipality and county taxes.

The Market Value of that home may be $255,000 or $500,000, or whatever, depending on whether it existed prior to the last re-assessment.  Typical Assessed Values fall into a range of 60% to 90% of Market Value.  In some neighborhoods without much appreciation, Assessed Valued can be higher than current Market Value.

Currently, the Wake County Property Tax Rate for a home is .64%, which includes School taxes and a recycling fee, and the Town of Cary is .32% on my home, yielding a total property tax rate of .96%.  If living in an unincorporated area of Wake County, the Property owner will typically pay only the .64% County tax, with no municipality taxes.

So, don’t be surprised when Tax Value and Listing Price don’t correlate.

And when you see  “FOR SALE BELOW TAX VALUE!,”  be aware that is not an immediate indication of great value.  Either the Seller doesn’t understand the local system, or is trying to attract Buyers who don’t understand.