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Work coming to a close in advance of 2017 property reappraisals

Posted on October 4, 2016 at 12:23 PM Comments comments (0)
By Linda A. Moore of The Commercial Appeal
Property reappraisal notices for 2017 won't go out to Shelby County landowners until spring, but workers in the assessor's office are already busy putting the final touches on them.
Employees such as associate appraisers Elizabeth Sharpe and Marvin Byrd Jr. are rolling slowly down every street past every property in the county, looking at each house and comparing its characteristics and condition to those listed in the 2013 reappraisal.
That information, along with sales data from 2015 and 2016, will help the county come up with the new value of a house and the land it sits on as part of the reappraisal process that is conducted every four years.
It's the same process for everyone.
"We treat everybody fairly," Byrd said. "No property is overlooked. We take our time and ... we look at the neighborhood."
With the numbers still being crunched, Assessor Cheyenne Johnson won't speculate on where appraisals will fall in comparison to the last reappraisal.
"In general, some neighborhoods will have increases and some will not. I don't want to give you a percentage yet," Johnson said. "But we have seen areas where sales are plentiful. Most of those are within our (suburban) municipalities. They're not inside the (Memphis) city limits."
For areas with the lowest values, she said, sales are typically being generated by investors and not owner occupants.
"We're still seeing where investors from out of town are making a large impact on our rental properties. Those are issues we're having to deal with to figure out the impact of those properties," Johnson said.
When neighborhoods have few sales, the process shifts to what is called the cost value approach, said Charles Bow, director of appraisal operations.
It starts with the cost to replace the house, with adjustments for its age and condition to come up with a depreciated building value, Bow said.
"You take market value of the land and add the building value; that gives you the closest value based on the cost approach," he said.
Out in the field, each property has a sheet that allows the associate appraisers to compare what they see with what's recorded from the last reappraisal.
Houses are ranked, Byrd said — unsound, poor, fair, average, good or excellent. Assessments are significantly impacted by the houses nearby.
Last week, as Byrd and Sharpe toured an area of South Memphis near Norris and Hernando, they looked for sagging roof lines, rot or missing utility meters that signal a home is vacant.
Some houses were re-categorized, dropping from fair to poor or from poor to unsound, meaning it's not livable, or rising from fair to average.
On some properties, everything can't be seen from the street, so the assessor uses aerial photographs that show a backyard garage or home addition.
"It doesn't matter if it's a $20,000 house or a $2 million house. It's the same process no matter what area, what part of town you're in," Sharpe said.
For ever greater accuracy, property owners are welcome to ask for an interior inspection, Johnson said.
"In some cases, we're not going to hit the right value," she said. "You have to be realistic. Sometimes riding by doesn't give you the complete story."

Are you paying too much property tax due to an incorrect appraisal?

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM Comments comments (0)
If you are a home owner in Shelby county, you probably scratch your head every time you get a new appraisal from the Assessor’s office.  Talking to your neighbor who has a much bigger and nicer house than yours, but a significantly lower appraisal makes the situation even more perplexing.  There is an appeal process.  My friend, Appraiser Brian Mallory has agreed to write some guest posts to answer some frequently asked questions about tax appraisals and the appeal process. Here’s the first installment:
Property owners who missed the opportunity to appeal their assessment by the Shelby County Assessor’s Office for the 2013 year can now complete an online Informal Review for 2014.  This is not an appeal, but an opportunity for the taxpayer to make sure the Tax Assessor takes into consideration information he/she believes is important to arrive at a fair value.  This is one of the many opportunities that taxpayers have to explain any functional or external obsolescence, any deferred maintenance issues, square footage inaccuracies, suggest appropriate comparable sales, and give an opinion of the value.  Before May 1st, 2014, the Tax Assessor’s Office will notify the taxpayer of their decision, after having reviewed the information submitted.  Beginning May 1st, 2014, homeowners can then formally file an appeal.  While some homeowners may be comfortable filing informal reviews, or filing an appeal, others should consult a Tennessee-licensed property tax agent.
Brian Mallory, a TN-licensed property tax agent, a TN-licensed appraiser, and former board member of the Shelby County Board of Equalization, provides professional property tax representation for residential homeowners in Shelby County.  His company, Mallory Property Tax Advisors, can be found at  Brian can be reached at 901-870-4663.  Their new office is conveniently located at 4962 William Arnold Rd in E. Memphis (by appointment only).

Memphis to Lead Nation in Rise in Home Prices

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 10:21 AM Comments comments (0)
Memphis will lead the nation over the next four years in the rise of its home prices, according to a national study released this week.
The Demand Institute’s “Tale of 2000 Cities” report forecasts what would be good news for the area’s home owners and real estate agents: That Memphis home values will have grown 33 percent between 2012 and 2018.
The nonprofit organization studies consumer demand worldwide, and conducted the study with Nielsen and The Conference Board.
The metropolitan areas likely to experience the strongest median increases for single-family home prices between 2012 and 2018 will be Memphis (33 percent), Tampa (33 percent), Jacksonville (32 percent), Milwaukee (30 percent), and St. Louis (30 percent).
Metro areas with the lowest projected price rises are Washington, (7 percent), Oklahoma City (10 percent), Denver (11 percent), Minneapolis (12 percent), and Phoenix (13percent).
“That would be great,” Dick Leike said of the study’s forecast for Memphis housing prices. He’s president and co-founder of Crye-Leike Realty, Tennessee’s largest real estate agency.
There’s no question that Memphis houses have been undervalued, he said.
“I’ve always said Memphis is one of the best places to buy a home in the United States,” Leike said. “Memphis is poised to grow and to do it very reasonably when it comes to a city of 1 million plus. We just have very reasonable home prices. Our utility prices are very reasonable. We’ve got plenty of water. We are an easy place to get to a lot of other places.”
The Demand Institute’s report concludes that a large portion of the nation’s housing wealth is focused in a relatively small share of cities. Of the 2,200 municipalities studied, the top 10 percent in value of their owner-occupied houses held 52 percent ($4.4 trillion) of the housing wealth.
The bottom 40 percent accounted for just 8 percent ($700 billion) of the total home values.
The report also compartmentalizes the nation’s cities into nine different community types. They range from the “Affluent Metroburbs” to the troubled “Endangered Communities.”
The study suggests that about half of U.S. communities are still struggling after the Great Recession.
The analysis also concludes that double-digit increases in home prices over the past two years were driven mostly by investors buying many distressed houses for rental, and that the rapid rate of price increases won’t necessarily last.
Prices will rise at a significantly slower rate, the report forecasts, just 2.1 percent yearly between 2015 and 2018.
But prices will rise more than three times more in the strongest markets than in the weakest ones, the report states.
The report recommends government and business leaders support and leverage the successes in the most robust cities, and consider intervening to help strengthen struggling communities.

This week, on Behind the Headlines, the coming 2013 property reappraisal and how that will impact the amount of property tax revenue with which local governments have to operate.

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Memphis appraiser branches out into property tax advisory

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 3:59 PM Comments comments (0)
Brian Mallory, a 10-year residential property appraiser and native Memphian, is growing the scope of his business to include property tax advisory services.
Mallory has presided over Mallory Appraisals since early 2003 and gleaned some helpful insight while a member of the Memphis & Shelby County Board of Equalization — where taxpayers go to dispute tax assessments.
“I got to see how the process works from that side of things and it was sort of an obvious fit since I already have an appraisal company serving Shelby County residents,” Mallory said.
The Tennessee State Board of Equalization recently awarded Mallory designation as a registered property tax appeal agent; in response, he has established Mallory Property Tax Advisors to supplement his existing appraisal business.
Mallory said that side of the business has been growing increasingly healthy.