It comes as no surprise to people who grew up in New Orleans, but if you're new here, there are some things you should know. Among them is that the assessed value of a New Orleans home has little to do with the actual market value.
Tax assessment and fair market value
When you're buying a home, of course you want to get the best deal possible. Part of the research into making an offer on a home includes finding comparable sales in the neighborhood. But there are a few caveats about those comps. They must be recent (ie, within the last 6 months). They must be of similar size and finishes, although an appraiser can certainly make adjustments to compensate for differences.
Nowhere in the research will you find us considering the assessed value of a property.
It's not a reliable source, unless the sale was recently recorded (new sales are taxed at the recent sold price). Neighborhood prices change, up and down, all of the time. The assessor cannot possibly adjust values annually, so if you're buying in a neighborhood that hasn't been updated for some time, the assessed value may be completely out of whack with the current market. That doesn't mean that the homes you're considering are overpriced, only that they haven't been reassessed for some time.
PRO TIP: Estimate your annual New Orleans property taxes here
How do you know what's a fair offer?
That's a discussion to have with your REALTOR. They will pull the comps and walk you through what's happening in your chosen neighborhood. Together, you can decide what's the best offer you can make, without assessed value even being a part of the conversation.