Jump to content

Mark Resident

Full Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Mark Resident

  1. Looks like another cheesy staycation being built. This side of the Galleria can’t catch a break. Crime is really getting bad around here. I hear the Galleria Mall is getting more dangerous with each passing year. My condo building has seen more breakins lately.

    very sad and disappointing…

  2. Just a passing observation about the property across the street. 3535 Sage Road has a big for sale sign advertising 8.2 acre tract of land for sale. That’s pretty big chunk of land for this area. Also just south of 3525 Sage condos. Right now there is an abandoned two story commercial bldg along with a really big ugly parking lot. Looks like plenty of development opportunities around here… keeping my fingers crossed. Need lots more lovin in this part of town!

    • Like 4
  3. Funny… you would think that with oil over $80 and not likely to drop anytime soon that they could tough it out a little longer. Big oil companies are starting to loosen their purse strings although cautiously. Economy overall seems pretty strong right now. Job demand is at all time highs… rising wages, etc. Of course, construction costs are likely to remain elevated too. 

  4. On 6/14/2019 at 4:44 PM, Urbannizer said:


    I believe The Mercer was originally planned as 4 high-rises with their backsides facing each other, hence the lack of windows. The idea was cut down to 2 high-rises but only one came to be.



    Just an FYI regarding the Mercer... our general manager at the Mark worked at the Mercer when it first opened. Apparently the skyrocketing price of cement prevented the second tower from being built. Just as well if you ask me. Same developer built both the Mercer and Mark and then went bankrupt. Back to topic... I noticed some soil testing (is that what they call it when drilling holes all over the property?) about 6 months ago on this property. Hope this and the McNair developments happen. This side of town desperately needs some lovin... The Bristol and particularly 3525 Sage is looking pretty shabby. The Mark was recently painted and is holding its own but we could use some new investment over our way.

    • Like 8
  5. If you are native to Houston you have witnessed the cyclical nature of the oil industry and its impact on all things Houston, including real estate of course, going back many years. I still remember trying to get my career as an accountant off the ground in the mid 80’s when the local unemployment rate was 12%. Almost had to leave the city to find a job but got lucky at the last minute. And there have been several downturns (including this one) ever since. And without exception, everyone of those downturns was an opportunity to buy into Houston’s economy at a discount and reap big rewards later on. I don’t see why this downturn would be any different...

    • Like 8
    • Thanks 1
  6. Well if you're not willing to bite the bullet and show respect to the people that have this kind of power over the appraised value, why are you complaining? You're standing on principle that he is not deserving of respect. You've baked your cake, now eat it.

    What a stupid comment...

    I'm saying that people like that do not deserve respect. His comment came at the end of the meeting. I was respectful (as was my freind), throughout the entire meeting. I was frustrated when they started their double talk but it did not matter by that time.

  7. Yes, that is too much to expect that you receive an explanation of their valuation methodology. As I already explained, the board members are not employees of HCAD. They have a decent understanding of the rationale underlying a valuation, however they are not HCAD appraisers and do not and cannot have every coefficient for every formula in every neighborhood memorized, nor could they be expected to successfully articulate the neighborhood-level methodology by glancing at a set of formulas. Appraisals are complicated things; that's part of why it's easy for them to be wrong.

    The HCAD representative can talk and does talk when there's something for him to talk about, but in your case--honestly--I just don't think that you went about protesting using an accepted method. Go to the HCAD website and review the documents that they've got posted on the ARB hearings. If you want to be an expert on the process, you can buy this book or you can use the accepted valuation methods summarized here.

    One of the things you have to understand, as well, is that the State of Texas does not force property owners to report the sales price to the local appraisal district; this is very different from most other states that levy property taxes, where reporting is compulsory. As a result, HCAD does not receive sales data for most transactions and they have to fill in the gaps using statistical analysis. There are even cases where HCAD has no sales comps within one neighborhood and dips into nearby a neighborhoods' data to fill in the gaps. I recently helped a friend whose property was in the City of Houston and HCAD's comps were all from within the City of Bellaire...and that quarter-mile made all the difference (the HCAD rep at the ARB hearing revealed exactly which comps they'd used, btw, and from that evidence the ARB members were very accepting of the argument being presented to them). Although frustrating, you can use this to your advantage, but only if you follow the rules.

    Show them respect, don't waste their time, maintain a meekish kind of professionalism, and follow the rules. It sucks, but that's how the game is played.

    "Too much to ask"?? Sorry, I don't buy it... The "third party" appraisor did the same types of adjustments by making comparisons with other units in the building, allowing for differences in sq feets, upgrades, and elevation. It was very clear from his data sheet how he came up with his adjustments; and...... they were reasonable. This information could have been made available very easily if HCAD wanted to make it available. Of course, keeping the "unbiased" panel in the dark does make for a convenient excuse...

    As for respect; everyone wants to be treated with respect, but it works both ways. The kind of arrogance that I saw on display during this hearing when (certain) panel members were deliberately playing stupid when I would point out discrepancies or trying to run out the clock to avoid any kind of explanation for how the did things was punctuated by the panel members sarcastic remark about the how the arbitration rules were "available in both English and Spanish" which was directed at my freind who is asian. There was no mistaking his attitude when he said it. This kind of behavior is neither respectful nor is this person deserving of respect.

  8. Yes, sales. Speaking of sales...

    How much did your friend pay for his/her unit, when they bought it? 300? 325? 350? Over 375?

    We can only guess that your friend has a unit above the 20th floor and the tax district thinks it is worth 351K. If it is near the top (27/28/29+), 350's-ish seems reasonable.

    With high-rises... there are the very top floors... and then everything else. Given that the median tax appraised is in the 190's... the fact that nothing has sold in the 300's is really of no surprise. The very top floors, however, the prices could be all over the place - and they are.

    He paid a whole lot more than it was worth on December 31st, that's for sure...

    Lets see... from Jan 1 2008 to the present, the highest amount paid for a unit at the Mark was 260000 other than a penthouse that sold for 325k. It was a unit on the 27th floor with 1401 square feet and is very comparable to my freinds unit. It also has the best view. You will find little difference between this unit and any on the 28 or 29 floors. I live there; I would know. It was sold in May 2008; before the financial crisis. Now, armed with that knowledge and you see a unit on the 2nd floor "grossed up" to $351,000, as presented by the appraisal district, what would your reaction be? How about "where did THAT number come from? "I'm sorry sir I don't have this information available and, gosh, we seem to be running out of time and we have to make a decision right now"!!! "Can't that guy on the other side of the table tell me?" No, he has already had his turn to speak". Come on... that's total BS!

  9. How interesting.

    3505 Sage.

    A general description of building:

    Homes at The Mark feature:

    -Breathtaking skyline views (varies per unit)

    -Sparkling swimmng pool and recreation area

    -Business Centers

    -Lush landscaped courtyard with reflection benches

    -Soaring 10 foot ceilings

    -Unified concrete construction

    -"Ultra-Quiet" soundproofing system

    -Private garages available

    -Private storage available

    -Perimeter cameras

    -High-speed traction elevators

    -Full building coverage fire sprinkler system

    Number of Units: 301

    Number of Floors: 30

    Number of Penthouses: 6

    Year Built: 2001


    ...so 301 units...

    Go to HCAD. Put in "3505 Sage" ... "View All"

    The highest appriased unit is Unit #5 on the 30th floor at $472K. And then as you go down from 30th to the first, the appriased values go down to 134K. Those values are consistent with this MLS page:

    Mark Condo Listings

    High of 599K down to 123K. Only two listings are below 135K (those people would have a better case at protesting). The majority are well above 135K. Oh... and note... the one for sale for 599K - is appraised at 472K (Unit 3005).

    Looking at the HCAD values... and the MLS listings... both seem to be fairly in sync. The non-independent "professional" appraisal of 45K less than the HCAD/MLS values is where the problem lies.

    What floor are we talking about here? If we're talking the upper floors, near the very top... and nothing is for sale up there... but there was a comparable sale floors below... using that sale + adjusting for the floor difference + the existing values of the other units at/near the same level (in the upper floors)... you can easily come up with an appraised value of 351K - for the upper units.

    I don't see the claimed inconsistencies here. All the data is too uniform.

    You may want to look a little closer... There are two big penthouse units for sale. One for $999K and one for $599K. The 599 is an empty shell. The 999 is completed. Both have nearly same sq feet. Both are valued at $472K by the HCAD. Yup. They (especially the $999k unit) got a good deal from HCAD. There are only two other units for sale with an asking price above $300K. One small penthouse that just went on the market for about $350k and one on the 20+floor for 325. The 325 has been on the market for about 6 months. As i said, nothing has sold for anything close to $300k since last summer, and that includes sales of units on the higher floors. It is SALES that counts, not SALES LISTINGS...

  10. Professional appraisors don't have any bearing on tax appraisals.

    You have one more level of appeal, unless I am mistaken. You should certainly take it!

    Why do professional appraisals have no bearing...??? Without some type of proffesional opinion about the value of your property, how do you support your case?

    Thanks for your input...

  11. Having had my own opinion of value disrespected at the ARB hearings, I understand your frustration, however you have to understand that these guys aren't there to explain why. They cannot possibly know what the adjustment methodology is for every single neighborhood in Harris County. Their place is to assess the evidence that you bring before them as compared to the evidence that the HCAD representative can present and to evaluate the merit of each party's opinion of value. Additionally, there are only so many different routes by way of which value can be assessed for tax purposes, and they are obligated to abide by the rules.

    I'd be pissed off about the rules in your situation too, mind you. The thing about not accepting your appraisal is assinine. But that's not the ARB's place to judge. To the extent that they were trying to give you the brush-off, they probably were. Unless you had an argument to present that was based on accepted valuation principles (and it doesn't sound like you did) then you were wasting their time. Also, bear in mind that the panel is comprised of private citzens appointed by elected officials, not employees of HCAD or even related to any HCAD employees, and are paid for their time only, regardless of their decisions; the only person representing the government's view was the HCAD representative, and his purpose in life is to prevent values from being lowered and to ensure that more tax revenue can be raised...which is to say that he enables wasteful spending but does not participate in it directly.

    Just bear in mind that there is a non-recoverable $500 fee involved to enter arbitration. Make sure that it is a worthwhile pursuit before you initiate that step.

    They don't have to explain how they come up with a number? Nothing in my building sold for more than $300k since last summer when the last penthouse for sale, sold. As you get to the end of the year, the numbers really drop off. They appraise as of 1/1/09 so you would think they would look at the numbers at that time. Yet they take a condo that sold for $205000 in October and develop an "adjusted sales price" of $351000. It has no relationship with reality. And there is an HCAD representative there, why doesn't he explain it? He isn't allowed to say anything apparently. I'm not asking for an explanation for appraisal methodology for every neighborhood in Harris County, just mine. Is that really that difficult?

    Why don't they have to explain why? I didn't make any numbers up, I just brought in "real" sales data to make my case. It doesn;'t get much more real than that?

    By the way, what constitutes an "accepted valuation principle". Real sales data and an apprasial by a third party does not?

    Thanks for your response... I am just trying to understand the process.

  • Create New...