Thursday, August 29, 2013

Over a third of South Florida homes are still underwater

South Florida home values are on the rise, but that does not mean everyone is in great shape.  There is still over one-third the share of mortgaged homes that are under water.  It has been improving and the underwater homes have fallen again in the second quarter, according to Zillow.

In Miami-Dade County, 36.7 percent of mortgaged residences owed more than their market value, down from 39.5 percent in the first quarter and 45.4 percent a year earlier, the Seattle-based online real-estate operator said.

In Broward County, 33 percent of mortgaged homes were underwater, down from 35.6 percent in the first quarter and 44.1 percent a year earlier, Zillow said.

Nearly 40 percent of homes are still underwater in Palm Beach.

The nation’s negative-equity rate continue to fall in the second quarter, with 23.8 percent of mortgaged homes under water, Zillow said.

Among the 30 largest metropolitan areas tracked by Zillow, Orlando posted the third-highest rate of underwater mortgages in the second quarter (39.8 percent), behind No. 1 Las Vegas (48.4 percent) and No. 2 Atlanta (44 percent.)

Despite the improving trend, “millions of homeowners remain so far underwater that it will take years for them to regain equity, even as home values continue their recovery,’’ Zillow said.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

A New way to negotiate your property tax assessment

The Tax Appraiser’s office has issued the 2013 values of your property, allowing a very short property deadline of September 17th, in which to file your appeal.

So it goes year after year, the County is still working though their 2012 appeals, even though the 2013 appeals will now be filed.  There is no legal way to challenge the County’s property tax bill, but this is still your  opportunity to challenge your own property assessment, to lower your own taxes.

The big difference is that now the Miami-Dade Tax Appraiser appears to want to get appeals settled through an informal assessment review.    This is supposed to address any property value concerns quicker than appealing it through the Value Adjustment Board (VAB).

They appear to have motivated their staff to complete appeals in the same tax year.  Some people may be happy with a reduction regardless of its magnitude, instead of having to argue their valuation before  a SpecialMagistrate.  They may be surprised that the County will even grant them  any relief at all, without a hearing.    You may not get the value you were hoping for, but you may get a reduction you can live with.
As frustrating as the process may appear to be, remember that if one does have a hearing and does obtain a refund at a Value Adjustment Board (VAB) hearing, the County is then obligated to give you a refund, plus 12% interest per year on the amount overpaid.

January 1 is the valuation date in Florida.  Therefore, this year’s Market Value listed on the 2013 TRIM notice, reflects an estimate of your property’s market value on January 1, 2013.  It is based on market data from the preceding (2012) calendar year.

Consequently, these new 2013 Tax Roll values are by now, almost eight (8) months old, when the market might have been weaker.  This fact may want to be considered in order to attempt to reduce the 2013 assessment.

Your best best is to hire Property Tax Appeal Group as your expert to attempt to reduce your property taxes.  We can attempt to meet with the Property Appraisers office early and get a reduced rate, if we feel we could obtain a larger reduction in a hearing then we would be able to reject their offer and proceed.  Make sure you use a professional to assure you get your assessment set at its accurate amount and receive your refund check.