Does Your Mortgage Company Understand Property Values Better Than the Tax Auditor?

Real Estate Agent with Cutler Real Estate

This morning my husband opened a piece of mail from Fifth Third Bank in regards to our home equity line.  They said that according to a market study of our area, the value of our home has been significantly lowered.  Because the value is lowered, they are lowering the amount of money available to us through the equity line.  This doesn't really affect us because we have never really used the equity line, it was just the mortgage loan that worked for us when we bought our home.

We have known for a while that the value of our home is declining, however last year the auditor significantly raised the tax appraised value of our home, at least $20,000 higher than the home would ever sell for.  I did all the paperwork required, submitted recent comps, and even met with the REALTOR who works at the auditor's office.  They would only agree to lower the value of our home by a small amount. 

Now I know that our city, county, and schools need the tax money to continue operating, but it just doesn't seem fair to be paying taxes on an amount that's higher than our home is worth.  Is it being unrealistic to expect the auditor to use fair market value?  I thought I had learned at one of our sales meetings at the office that the tax appraised value is usually lower than the fair market value of a house.  I know they can't adjust the price of every home every year, but if we did sell our home this year at an amount that is way lower than the tax appraised value, would it be adjusted for the new owner?

Comments (3)

Rick Lafferty

It's a bunch of horse manure!  I have been checking banks for refi and had one that was grilling me on the value of my home.  I advised him of Green's tax appraisal, and annual taxes.  He then asks me what homes around me are selling for, and told him that they arent because its all mixed.  There is commercial, residential, and all the houses vary in size as well as the properties size, told him " I cant give you a $$ because there is nothing around similar to comp.  He then says they will only lend what that area and comps are selling for and that my city appraisal was virutually worthless.  However several other banks did not tell me that and were able to make a dertermination approx where we would be due to balance of current mortgage and overall value! 

So, who is correct, the banks that look at city appraisal and balance to value, or the one who said area sales will determine the banks lending practice even in our particular instance?

I would say the tax auditor should hold the gavel, and the mortgage co.'s should fall in line, whether higher or lower the value, they should be the judge and jury because they value each property in and of itself, ulike the bank who is going on area comps.  That practice is wrong because areas (like mine) are gonna vary at times....not everyone lives in an alotment where the lots are similar and house sq. footage is there, that is my take, now, however if the auditor doesnt adjust accordingly, and leaving where it is to generate tax dollars, then heads need to roll because that is a socialist tactic holding homeowners hostage on less value for government gain.  That is wrong wrong wrong!


Feb 14, 2009 10:53 AM
Christina Moock
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
REALTOR - Cutler Real Estate

I had an enlightening conversation with a homeowner today. The home was accessed at 154,000 by the auditor and they had it reviewed and it went down to 117,000.... now how come the auditor won't agree to lower mine by more???????  The realtor who looked at my home when we were having our value reviewed told me that they won't lower the tax appraised value of the home to lower than what you paid..... so does that mean if I bought my home 10 years ago I stand a better chance of getting mine lowered more? 

Feb 15, 2009 12:08 PM
Jim Dvorovy
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
REALTOR - Canton Ohio Real Estate

The November issue of REALTOR magazine had an article on page 47 called "Time To Appeal?" that encourages attempts to lower ones taxes when property values fall.  In the latest issue March 2009 "Voices" page 5, another article sort of muddies the water by attempting to explain how levies that are approved during voting mandate a certain amount be collected, regardless of whether assessments rise or fall. It is mind boggling, to say the least. 

Feb 23, 2009 11:17 PM

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