Category Archives: Oak Cliff

Dallas real estate

Helpful Tips to Protest Your Property Taxes

The right to protest to the Appraisal Review Board is the most important right you have as a taxpayer. Below is an email we received from our client, Joe H., after he successfully protested his property taxes. Thanks for your advice Joe!

Appraisal Report
Becky and Shelle,

The hearing this morning was a success. I was able to get the appraisal board to reduce the market value on the house by $30,000. I am happy for the results considering that we did buy it at the end of the year at a high point of a good sales market. The board members did comment on how surprised they were at the amount of reduction from the appraisal district so that was a good sign and also gave me some pointers for next year.

A few things that I learned in the process that might be valuable for others going through a similar process:

1. Check the building class compared to other houses in the neighborhood. In DCAD they had our house classified as as Class 23 – all of the other houses on our street were classified as a Class 21. When I read the definitions, I noticed that our house did not technically fall into a Class 23 definition and that was a focal point of my case because this affected their value. I may have them come out and review this for next year because they still kept it at 23.

2. Challenge the stated “Condition”. Because of our sale price, the DCAD system automatically adjusted the condition to “Very Good”. I was able to provide evidence that it was in AVG / GOOD Condition. They were able to adjust this.

3. Get sales comps from your Realtor®. The sales comps that you provided were perfect and I used the ones in my immediate neighborhood with similar sq footage. I used total of six: They only used three of the highest values for their appraisal. It was nice that I could show more comps to challenge the avg $/sq ft.

4. Take photos of all problematic areas, including dirt or rust. I took pictures of all things that were problematic around the house, however I wish I still had interior pictures from before we came in and painted and cleaned up. The board did comment that seeing some interior pictures would have helped for better challenging the classification. My advice for new owners is to take pictures before any cleaning, or any updating is preformed.

5. Take photos of existing amenities, appliances, equipment. They also asked about the pool, being that it was almost 30 years old, If I had taken pictures of the pool and equipment condition, I perhaps could have gotten them to reduce the “additional improvements” (pool) a little bit.

6. Create a itemized list of needed repairs and estimated costs. The other thing that they asked for, which I did not have because I wasn’t using as supporting evidence, was an itemized list of needed repairs and vendor estimates. I did have a list of house issues but did not have any official cost estimates. It seems like they might have used that in consideration for value if I could have provided it.

7. Make five (5) color copies of your presentation, including photos. There were three board members and a DCAD appraiser. Even though they scan everything into the system for evidence, it would have helped if I had extra copies of my evidence for all of the board members. I also did not bring in any pictures because they had previously scanned these into the system when I went for the informal meeting last month. They did display them on the projector screen but they were hard to make out. I wish I had known and would have brought extra copies for all to share.

In all, it was a great experience and I am happy with the results and I also saved by not paying a tax group to protest for me.

Thanks again for all of your help!

Joe

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Download 2010 Market Reports – Free Information from Real Estate Center

Do you need to know what the population breakdown was last year in Fort Worth? How about the cost-per-acre of development land in Corpus Christi? Curious about how the number of residential building permits in Dallas last year compared with those in previous years?

You’re in luck.

The Real Estate Center’s 2010 Market Reports, now available on the Center’s website, contain this information and so much more.

A report is available for each of Texas’ 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. I have downloaded the Dallas-FortWorth-Arlington report and I’m studying it now.

Texas Market Reports

Click here to download market reports

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UpdateDallas.com writes about my opinions on Healthiest Dallas Neighborhoods

Click image to read the article. Thanks Anne Briggs!

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Real Estate Update – The Briggs Freeman Blog

Hello! Here is a link to the Briggs Freeman Real Estate Update Blog. Feel free to use the updates and information from the blog in your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Pass it on…
http://www.dallas-realestateupdate.com/

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The real estate market looks good this fall; appraisals can cause hiccups.

It’s the end of summer and schools have started – It’s time to re-focus on the last quarter of the year. That is our usual plan in real estate and I was wondering if this year would be the same or different? Well the phones are ringing, buyers are out and sellers are preparing to get their houses on the market to take advantage of the end of year buying season. I have been in Colorado recently for an event at my listing in Crested Butte and they also report an increase in activity with buyers – thats good news! Interest rates have continued to stay low and, yes, there is money available as long as a buyer has cash to put down and good credit. Our only challenge is to get past the appraisal process in some areas – this has been a bit of a hiccup lately.

A bit about the latest appraisal process: The large banks are required to hire appraisers randomly. Realtors refer to this as “spinning the wheel” and wherever it lands is the appraiser that will be sent out to your property. If you live, or are buying, in a development that has all similar styles, sizes and prices then you are not as affected by the random appraisers because they are able to compare information easily. But the areas that I work in, such as the Park Cities, Uptown and Preston Hollow, have a mix of older homes, new homes, architecturally-unique homes with different special features – you get the picture. Well, when an appraiser comes to do an appraisal in an area that he/she is not familiar with, then it is very likely the property will not meet value. Some of the mortgage brokers have a smaller list of appraisers that they “spin the wheel” on and so the likelihood that you will get a local appraiser for your home are much greater.

Bottom line is that I feel very confident about our real estate market this fall and we need to keep in mind that it is important to make sure your agent has found good comps to justify your price and/or has gotten an previous appraisal on your home.

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Survey: Dallas-Fort Worth home prices flat in 2Q | Dallas Real Estate News | Dallas Morning News

DMN logo
Three optismistic (quite welcomed) quotes from the article:

1) “We are beginning to see some more positive trends in the housing market, which is great news,” said David Brown…

2) The D-FW area has had one of the smallest overall home price declines of any major U.S. market during the last two years…

3) Economists anticipate that the D-FW market will be one of the first in the country to rebound.

Read more:
Survey: Dallas-Fort Worth home prices flat in 2Q | Dallas Real Estate News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News

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House Prices Will Rise Greatly over the Next Few Years, Buy Now

Now is the time  to buy for first-time homebuyers

Now is the time to buy for first-time homebuyers

In the 80’s when I purchased my first home I was so excited because the interest rates were 13% – I mean they were down from 16%. Today, we have a combined buying opportunity of low interest rates and lower home prices in the Dallas area than we have seen in a few years. The area of town and condition of the house also affects how much the prices have come down. The bottom line is that it is a buying opportunity right now. First time buyers are really in a great place to make their first purchase with the tax incentive of $8000 if they make $75k or less. I think it is $150k for couples…call me for details 214-536-4727. And, CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE about this topic on one of my favorite real estate news websites: “So, tell your clients the truth: Interest rates will never be this low again in their lifetimes. Home prices won’t be this low again in their lifetimes. This is the perfect storm economically, but it also the perfect time to buy a home; provided that you buy it as a home and not a piggy bank.”

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