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Marksmu

HCAD Appraised Values 2014

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Wow is all I can say.   I got my appraised values yesterday, and HCAD was very aggressive this year in trying to get appraisals to meet purchase prices.  I saw an over 50% increase in one of my properties in the Heights, another was well over 40%....I think the long time residents of the well maintained shacks, who have been fighting all of the new construction to keep valuations low may, as of this year have finally, lost their battle.   I have seen increases in every single year I have owned, but they have all been reasonable....6%, 8%9%- but 40%-50% is pretty tough to handle, no matter who you are.

 

Granted the 10% homestead cap will help many of the old-timers stick it out another year or two, but if they are seeing 50% increases as well (based solely on land values) it wont be long until they are forced out and the builders will complete the clean sweep of the area.

 

 

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After going up only 2.5% last year, and being steady for 3 years before that, we got the full 10% increase this year.

 

Looking at some random spots around the Heights on HCAD, land values have been adjusted from $30/s.f. to anywhere from $40 to $60.

 

The rental house across the street from ours went up 21%, but that was virtually all land value; the valuation on the structure actually went down, and is now valued at only $20/sf.

 

 

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Old 6th Ward saw a massive hike as well... mine went up 20% - and this is before the auxillary structure is even built! wow...

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So, at a 2.5% tax rate, if you have a small rental house on a 6600 s.f. lot, valued at $60/s.f., you've got a $10,000 tax bill. Can rents be raised enough to offset the difference? At what point does selling the rental house for development make more sense than keeping it as a rental?  

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Land went from $198,000 to $297,000 for me.  Improvements actually went down by @$8k.  Another house near by that is all but abandoned actually had their improvement value go up by @$1,000.  I am homestead capped and will see an increase of 10% if my protest doesn't go anywhere.  Everyone on my block had market value of $45 per sq foot for land.

 

Even if the market falls back, we are all pretty much locked into seeing an increase of 10% each year for the next few years as the property value increases this year were so huge that they will take a few years to filter through the cap. 

 

I have heard that the City is looking at a pretty sizable budget surplus.  If we do not get some tax relief, I would like to see the City aggressively fund some quality of life improvements.  Love and Milroy park are both seeing lots of use as the neighborhood fills up but are both in terrible condition.  The playground equipment is pretty terrible.  I would love to see the pool at Love upgraded with a splash area for little kids.  It is terribly underutilized because it is not in good condition and is not very good for little kids (toddler to kindergarten).  Both community centers at Love and Milroy need to be overhauled.  There was also talk about putting a trail around the Rutland detention pond. 

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Even if the market falls back, we are all pretty much locked into seeing an increase of 10% each year for the next few years as the property value increases this year were so huge that they will take a few years to filter through the cap. 

 

 

 

So far 2014 is continuing to increase at a pace equal to 2013.  I think homestead caps may not catch up for 10 years or more if we dont see a slow down....The rental properties are especially hard hit b/c there are no caps on investment property.  Rents are going to increase even though the quality of the structure has not.  That usually has the effect of driving out existing tenants, and forcing land lords to either sell or make improvements to the structure to bring the quality of the house up to the rent necessary to continue to cash flow.

 

HCAD is still below market though.  The house across from one of my rentals sold for $405K as a tear down....it commanded a premium b/c the owners took the time to get it declared a non-contributing structure and it could therefore be torn down quickly by the new owners...The historic districts have added some odd angles...the new homes in the districts command more, the older homes are being priced accordingly, and a non-contributing structure or empty lot is selling at obscene prices.

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I went from 40 to 54 for land..  and with a 6,350 lot, that sucked.  I got hit with an overall 25% increase, with the value now being ~75% higher than what I paid for it in 2009.  What is really annoying is where I am, the people on my side of the street are at 54 sq. ft for land, and the other side are 28.  Stupid computer modeling, no buyer would give two craps about what side of the street a house is on. (zoned to same schools and etc.)

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I have heard that the City is looking at a pretty sizable budget surplus. If we do not get some tax relief, I would like to see the City aggressively fund some quality of life improvements.

Agree on tax relief first. This is not unlike the person that receives a tax refund and thinks they are receiving new money. Adjust your withholdings sir. Why is so out of the realm of possibility for governments to consider that maybe taxes are too high and downward adjust when a surplus exists?

I'll avoid debate on the number of parks/need for new parks, but on the subject of city services and beautification I'd like to see a concerted effort to combat, address, and enforce the rampant rise in graffiti throughout the city. This is a base-business activity for a city, and Houston is failing miserably at it.

Other base-business activities I'd like to see a focus on: "Enterprise-level" traffic signal management with intelligent traffic forecasting and demand management. Intelligent traffic signals don't require bloated pension and healthcare liabilities, mobility response team personnel do.

And finally, gasp, take the "extra money" and hire a reputable, and non-biased company to conduct a thorough efficiency analysis of the COH with the intent of adopting Lean Sigma-style methodologies in our city's operations.

Edited by TGM

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We can debate the merits of different ways to improve the quality of life in Houston with additional city spending, but I think the key point is that we're all on the same page... let's keep the taxes at this level for a while so long as the extra money is put to good use.

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When i have to pay and extra $7 a month for a "drainage fee" on a pier and beam home on a 6,350 sq. ft. lot, and city has a large budget surplus... that rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe they should absorb the drainage fee costs...  

 

That is just one example...

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I pay in excess of $5,000/mo in property taxes...pay a drainage fee, and the city still required that I do an additional $14,000 worth of drainage improvements (including on-site detention) to issue me a building permit.....But the ditch in front of my house which needs cleaning badly, they wont let me or my builder clean out or improve.  The storm sewer is only 35% exposed and 65% silted in, but I can't touch it either....and they wont. 

 

I feel quite strongly that a reduction in property is the way to go.  The city should shore up all of its debt, cut all pension benefits 100% to all employees, move them toward a traditional 401K program, not a pension, and cap all office budgets where they are now, and then refund the rest to the taxpayers. 

 

Unfortunately, I know taxes never go down in cities run by democrats - so what I expect to happen is bigger budgets for all city groups, kick the can down the road on all legal problems like pensions, and continue to cry about not having enough funds to get anything done.

 

The city is a very poor manager of money, and the less they have the better we are. 

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  The city should shore up all of its debt, cut all pension benefits 100% to all employees, move them toward a traditional 401K program, not a pension, and cap all office budgets where they are now, and then refund the rest to the taxpayers. 

 

 

The city is growing rapidly.  The City is finally showing solid population gains (not just the burbs and unincorp Harris) and is seeing a big expansion in business activity in almost all sectors.  This means more demands on City services and public safety, as well as strains on already neglected infrastructure.  The City's budget will need to grow to meet the demands of a rapidly growing city.  And the City should also take advantage of the growing economy to make investments in neighborhood quality of life.  But the City is supposed to be looking at a surplus for 2013 and with the massive hike from HCAD should have a surplus in 2014 even after growing the budget to meet demand.  If that is the case, then tax relief is warranted.  Or, at least, HCAD needs to back off jacking up property values as aggressively as it did this year.  But Houston cannot continue to grow if city services and infrastructure do not keep up.

 

I have heard that a lot of people saw dirt values go up with improvements going down.  HCAD has usually been willing to sustain a protest and reduce improvement value, but is very tight on reducing dirt value.  HCAD seems to be making a preemptive strike on protests by keeping improvement values low or reducing them while jacking dirt values sky high.

 

 

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that is exactly what they are doing.  The improvement value of my home is less than the amount the land increased this year.  They will not decrease the land value.  Their computer algorithm doesn't take into account that one part of a block would be less desirable than another.  Interior Woodland Heights lots are obviously worth much more than brookesmith bordering lots, but all of woodland heights is raised the same.  This really hurts those of us on the outside edges that are less desirable (still highly desirable but less so than the interior woodland heights) because we also have larger lots. (even if the over 5,000 is only at half value). 

 

More people are moving in to the city that much is true, requiring more money... but there has also been a lot of new construction and renovations to account for this increase in people (it wasn't like the city was just sitting vacant) greatly increasing the tax base.  There is no reasonable justification for my tax bill to increase 75% in 5 years.  I'm fine with the appraisal value going up, but the rates need to come down.  Tax Relief is greatly needed/warranted.

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So what does it mean when my appraised value is 24k less than my market value? I thought the market and appraised values were always the same? Did I get lucky and have them decrease the value of my house?

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your capped out at 10% for your appraised value.  It will increase by 10% every year until it equals your market value.  My Appraisal Value is 55k lower than my Market Value.

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