Assessed value of a property in Maine, the real estate you rip open a tax bill on yearly or in some cases twice annually is not the same figure a licensed appraiser would arrive at if they did a thorough review of what you own.
Often a Maine real estate buyer will ask first is there an appraisal on the property.
In the case of a couple that have owned the Maine home forty five years, that has no mortgage.
No Maine home equity loan taken out.
No divorce along the way to warrant an appraisal assessment for the parting of the financial ways.
No there is not a Maine real estate appraisal, current or outdated on this home. No there is not.
And if an appraisal was done on the Maine home say seven years ago, the figure that reflects the real estate market at the time is long stale, gone, out of whack.
Appraisals of real estate in Maine, anywhere, reflect what is going on in the market for a place like yours, the property you own today. Sure it can take in to consideration what has happened with a snap shot of the local real estate market from six months to a year ago in the process. But it is current, fresh, relative, pertinent to all the factors affecting the value of the real estate TODAY.
After the real estate buyer getting interested in a property we show them, introduce them to learns no current appraisal has been done because one was not needed, a call sometimes is made to the local town office.I learn what I already knew that the assessed value on the Maine home is such and such. But the buyers puts it in the terms "the Maine home is only appraised for $78,500". I have to politely correct them, remind them that no, the assessed value is only $78,500. There is a major difference.
Then a discussion ensues about the fact the town needs "x" amount to plow winter roads, provide education and services for fire protection, repair of the infrastructure and to pay salaries of the burg officials.
There is a mill rate established to apply to the assessed valuation done by law every ten years to get figures on property, real estate to raise the funds to run the town.
In the case of Houlton Maine, the last property tax assessment cost $160,000.
It was a down and dirty quick mass canvas of all the real estate in the six by six miles of the local community.
Not every Maine home, property is gotten in to for physical review. To check updates from the last property tax assessment for house comparisons.
A quarter of the property tax assessments can be out of whack. Too high, too low. Done very fast and efficiently as a checks and balance approach to update the town cards on each property taxed in the community.All the structures. Good, bad, ugly and inbetween get a value. Then multiplied by a mill rate that sets what is needed to run the village.
If you get a real estate tax bill that you think is reasonable, or even too low, you don't run to the phone and suggest that you want to pay more. That you think the taxes on your Maine real estate are too low and you want something done about it.
At the same time, if what you rip open and read makes your brain smoke, blood boil, you may run to the phone. Or pay the local property tax assessor a visit.To let them know whoa. Something is out of whack, needing review, revision, correction.
Smart Maine town tax assessors mail their property tax bills out on a Friday. So the weekend happens to cool the tax payer off before his "social" visit. By Monday, he or she is still not happy but other events take over their concern, worry and need attention beyond the initial shock of the tax bill they received a few days prior.
So the assessed value of a Maine home may be or may not be accurate, the place not actually inspected.
Some one was asleep.
It was missed in the property tax card shuffle during the brief tour from one end of the town to the other.
The new kitchen might not have made the eyeball review and got "caught", factored in.
And even if the assessment of the property is spot on, correct in the bigger picture of the rest of the town revaluation exercise, I find the assessment figure used to factor in how much you have to pull out of your wallet or purse is way below what you would actually pay for the place. That is what happens in my town and other places on the planet could find the assessed values are way way higher than real estate prices would reflect.
Because of a very low mill rate or the town still not up to the 100% valuation requirement the state, local community may or may not have in place.
Or if the one major town employer boarded up the factory doors and windows, suddenly you lost the only goose with any golden eggs creating jobs in a small town. In Maine Millinocket, East Millinocket with idled paper mills can cause that economic vise grip condition to happen.
The assessed value of your real estate is NOT the appraised value. Appraisals are moving targets, reflecting the market today. Not three years or decades ago. Not months or years up ahead on the road. Today in time. And the appraisers opinion of value considered the current market, the terms of the sale. If very attractive owner financing, or other concessions are made in the sales used for comparison, those come in to play, under consideration to arrive at the final value estimate. For resale, not tax purposes. Maine, people tell it like it is here and not known for spin, playing mind games. Are pretty out spoken with all their cards face up, showing. Maine, get here quick as you can.