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Archive for Saturday, February 6, 2010

Property values buck national trend

February 6, 2010

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Be forewarned, Douglas County homeowners: The national news about a tanking real estate market won’t exactly match up with the news you are about to receive from the county appraiser’s office.

Nearly seven out of 10 homeowners in Lawrence and Douglas County have had their property values hold steady or increase over the last year, according to the appraiser’s annual study of the real estate market.

“Compared to the national news, Lawrence is just unique,” said County Appraiser Steve Miles. “It always has been to a degree.”

The values — which are Miles’ estimate of how much a home would sell for on the market as of Jan. 1 — are a double-edged sword. Steady or rising values mean the real estate wealth of thousands of Douglas County residents is in better shape than once thought. But, the higher than expected values also may mean many residents will pay higher property tax bills than expected. The values are used to figure property taxes that will be due in late 2010.

Here’s a look at the details of the report:

l 40.6 percent of homes experienced no change in value from 2009;

l 32 percent of homes decreased in value, with most posting declines of less than 4 percent.

l 26.2 percent of homes increased in value, with the majority of those increases less than 3 percent.

Miles said a significant improvement in the local real estate market in the last half of last year buoyed values. Miles said federal tax credits for homebuyers, plus a general increase in confidence, likely were behind the second-half uptick.

Steve LaRue — an agent with McGrew Real Estate and president of the Lawrence Board of Realtors — said he’s in agreement with Miles’ report.

“The bottom line is that as long as you are price sharp, we can still sell your house,” LaRue said. “The time of overinflating the price and waiting for an offer to come along is pretty much gone.”

Property owners should receive their change of value notices from the county by early March. Property owners will have until March 30 to appeal the values.

Comments

Thing 4 years, 2 months ago

That was a major factor in deciding not to buy a house in Douglas County.

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Fishman 4 years, 2 months ago

I still have friends in Lawrence so I get on here from time to time to see what is up back home. Articles like this make me glad I moved out of Lawrence after 17 years! The town is NOT even close to the same it once was. It's really too bad, but it is what it is. They aren't getting my money for overestimated property values anymore. I was lucky to get $15,000 less than what the county said our property was worth last year. This year it's worth less!

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none2 4 years, 2 months ago

This story is a lie. I know real estate agents who have left the business because the drop in values. This story should be set to "suggested removal" from outright lies from the county bureaucrats. They must be desperate to keep their jobs.

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swan_diver 4 years, 2 months ago

If a serious effort were made to research opposition to other bogus appraisal regimes in the more than 3600 US counties -- and roll that work into a plausible lawsuit against Douglas County -- it might just be that our county appraiser, in consultation with the county executive and county commissioners, might lower appraisals voluntarily -- to avoid the humiliating and damaging suit coming to bear. This way -- by your 'activism,' you've blackmailed the county into doing the right thing for property owners, and all citizens -- WITHOUT even filing the lawsuit!

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

I was told by staff at the J/W that the headline for a story is not written by the story writer. So, is it true or false?

We know the headlines are false.

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steveguy 4 years, 2 months ago

My county appraisal on our house has never gone down, even when everyone else has. They want the tax dollar so they say we are bucking the national trend. Who are they trying to kid.

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BigPrune 4 years, 2 months ago

Sigmund, I wasn't blaming Chad Lawhorn at all. After I read what I posted I was hoping it didn't sound that way. His first two words summed up the article nicely, "Be forewarned"

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KsTwister 4 years, 2 months ago

SPIN at its finest. Overvalued for years and people moving out in the last 3 as quick as they could fly because of it. Please, research.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

I was told by an employee of the appraiser's office several years ago, that the attempt was to have nothing valued under a $100,000 as low valuations make a community appear to be poor financially. So , go figure. But yet the city maintains five target neighborhoods to suck money from the feds, the Pimpdaddy, to bring that money back to Lawrence under the premise of "poor' neighborhoods. Those five target neighborhoods have properties in each and every one of them that are hardly representative of the poor.

The only thing poor is, the story above captioned "Property values buck national trend".

There is no oversight for the local appraiser's office despite what they may claim. None at all.

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sherlock 4 years, 2 months ago

does the Douglas county tax appraiser reside in this county or Leavenwoth county?

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years, 2 months ago

Now you understand why Mr. Miles was picked. He is an insider and the county commission, the city commisson and the USD 497 want it that way.

But fear not, there will be an influx of retirees to come to Lawrence to buy.

I would be more interested to inquir of Mr. Lawhorn why he doesn't live in Lawrence but rather the next town east? What about those valuations and home sales Mr. Lawhorn. Eudora isn't doing that well in sales. Chad didn't go door to door to inquire about homes to write the story. The city has money to buy containers for recyclers, the city has money to buy a compactor for Walmart, the school district has money to continue nepotisem and a bloated admin staff as well as maintaining buildings that have no real educational purpose and the county and the back door connivers have money to continue to acquire real estate for supposed industrial parks, never paying back what was taken from the county taxpayers over 20 years ago.

Some say 'hold them accountable" ? How?

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Sigmund 4 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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demonfury 4 years, 2 months ago

Talk about piping sunshine up you a$$. Several things immediately pop out at me on this. Mr. Miles and Mr. LaRue are living in fantasy land if they think Lawrence is unique to the national real estate market. They each want only one thing from you - your money.

I want to see Mr. Miles' appraisals for the last 4 years, and then conduct a test by offering his house for sale at the appraisal price. Not to sell it, but to prove that it will just sit, proving that his appraisal, and the entire appraisal process is nothing more than a tool to increase income. A tool, just like he is.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Until the voters of the County and City wake the hell up and stop voting in these liberal rubber stamping morons, we get to deal with this type of leadership in every facet of city and county government.

Mr Miles has already proven his inability to effectively do his job correctly. In my book, that constitutes a satisfactory reason for dismissal. You do not need to rely on the progressive steps of discipline in firing someone for criminal activity. And commiting financial fraud on the public is in fact criminal activity.

Upon the release of this years tax appraisals to the public, Mr. Miles should be immediately suspended, investigated by way of a neutral 3rd party audit, and discharged upon public release of the investigative report which I believe can't say anything other than fraud has been commited on the majority of the homeowners in Douglas County. Then straight to prosecution for thousands of felony counts of tax fraud. Federal prison will guarantee that Mr. Miles won't stay anal retentive for very long. A nice white collar boy like him will have no trouble at all becoming some bad man's boyfriend. I'd actually pay more taxes to see that happen.

But you see, that won't happen as long as we have the same elected bozo's that we have now, and continue to elect the same affiliated bozo's everytime we have an election cycle. They, and the entire county & city government, rely on him to make sure there is enough property tax revenue to avoid their jobs being pay reduced or eliminated. That's how the Democratic process works, and by that I do mean Democrat, because that's what they all are. See a pattern here?

I hope all of the 'do nothing about it' homeowners enjoy getting dry fisted again with their tax bill this year. Until the majority of you stand up with us, who do appeal every year, and proactively do some things (like voting) to change the system that's screwing you over and over, it will remain business as usual. Doing nothing explains the mass of empty homes, and rentals all across this county. This is what happens when enough people don't fight back. Personally I would be in support of a mass boycott of paying the property tax bill this year until a complete re-appraisal is done to accurately reflect all of our property values. The choice is yours.......
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Healthcare_Moocher 4 years, 2 months ago

del888 (Anonymous) says…

there will be instructions on the appraisal about how you can appeal the amount. Everyone just needs to call in and schedule and appeal. After a few thousand of us call in, maybe they (the gov) will figure out that they made a mistake.


Thats what we would hope, but more than likely, they would add additional staff to handle the increased workload and charge us more.

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del888 4 years, 2 months ago

there will be instructions on the appraisal about how you can appeal the amount. Everyone just needs to call in and schedule and appeal. After a few thousand of us call in, maybe they (the gov) will figure out that they made a mistake.

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Godot 4 years, 2 months ago

My guess is the home that declined in value are the ones over $250,000. The ones that stayed the same are between $150k and $200K. The increases came for those below $150K. Why? The $8000 tax credit for first time homebuyers. These people have been overpaying for their first homes.

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barrypenders 4 years, 2 months ago

swan_diver,

I'm in.

Stimulus, Governments Demands, and Posercare lie unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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monkeyhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

swan - definitely like your suggestion.

"What can I do if I do not believe the value of my property is correct? Use one of two ways to challenge the value of your property: you may appeal the "notice of value" of your property by contacting the county appraiser's office by phone or in writing by March 30th for real property and May 15th for personal property, or you may fill out a "payment under protest" form with the county treasurer at the time you pay your taxes. If you paid all your taxes prior to December 20th then the protest can be made no later than December 20th (unless an escrow or tax service agent pays your property taxes, then no later than January 31st).

You cannot appeal using both methods for the same property in the same tax year. So, if you start to appeal your "notice of value," be sure that you follow through with the appeal. You will not be allowed to "pay under protest" later.

If you are not satisfied with the results of your appeal at the county level, you may take your case to either the small claims division or the regular division of the Kansas Board of Tax appeals. For more information on appeals, please contact your local county appraiser's office." http://www.douglas-county.com/online_services/faqs/faqs.aspx?category_id=ap

Though I could not find info on the county website, I do believe that if you win your appeal, the value stays the same for two years. The county "inadvertently" boosted the value on one of my appealed properties the following year and had to adjust it.

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Healthcare_Moocher 4 years, 2 months ago

One way to get the ammunition you need is to have what realitors call a comp done. This is a document that compares your home to the ones like yours in your neighborhood as to what they sold for.

Last year I got mine knocked back to what the value I could sell (Ask for) it for today. It was really easy to work with the county on this.

Insurance seems to be the same way, they sell you short, then pork you when you get into a comfort zone. I shop insurance every 2 to 3 years also.

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swan_diver 4 years, 2 months ago

Or -- a class action lawsuit against Douglas County, for fraud.

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ksarmychick 4 years, 2 months ago

I appealed my appraisal last year. The county had my house vauled at over $32K higher what I paid for it. The appraiser only appraised the value at $120K but even with the paperwork from the appraisal the county refused to lower value to close to what it really was worth. The lowest they would go was $130K even after appealing it twice and showing them the apprasil with it vauled at $120K. We paid $109K for the house. Other houses on our street of the same model house sold for $102K and $107K within a few weeks of ours. Tried to get the county to listen but they just don't care. There is no way that we could sell our house today for $130K. The apprasil system is a joke and so is appealing it.

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thelonious 4 years, 2 months ago

Rather than whine about the county over-appraising our properties, we should overwhelm them with mass appeals of our appraisals. I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment here - the county is full of BS saying that values have been basically flat. I sold a house in Lawrence in the fall of 2008 for 16k less than county appraisal. My suggestion is that EVERYONE should appeal their appraisal - the county could not deal with that, and it MIGHT trigger a mass re-appraisal downward to calm the masses (probably wishful thinking, but we'll never know if we don't try).

Come on, let's do it - it's easy to appeal the notice, and the appeal meeting does not take long - I did this in 2006 for my home in Lawrence and won (just think how much more over-appraised I would have been if I hadn't). The work is gathering data to support your appeal, but there should be enough comparable sale data to do this. Let's do it!

Everyone, appeal your appraisal!

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barrypenders 4 years, 2 months ago

merrill with that fact, I think I love you man.

Stimulus, Government Demands, and Posercare lie unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Inflated property values have been a tool in Lawrence for about 18 years.

Inflated property values represent a tax increase.

Don't forget the tax increases that Baur Farms retail shops and Wal-Mart bring your way.

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George Lippencott 4 years, 2 months ago

I sure wish I could obtain the price the County says my home is worth. It always fascinates me that commercial appraisals routinely value my home $20,000 to $40,000 less than the county does.

There is something wrong here! I sure would like to compare county data to sales data. I am not sure the county data is actually related to sales data! I am beginning to think they just make it up. I know that the process they use is faulty and does not meet normal appraisal standards.

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BigPrune 4 years, 2 months ago

Let's see....there's 308,624,000 people in the United States. There were 374,000 new home sales for all of 2009. To be conservative, let's say there were 374,000 older home sales. So 374,000 + 374,000 = 748,000 homes sold for 2009 nationwide. 748,000 / 308,624,000 = .24% of 1 percent. So, .24% of 1 percent of the US population bought a home last year.

Lawrence has lost about 4,000 residents and a house in Lawrence can be purchased for $50,000 to $60,000 less today than last year.

Yep, I call bogus on this public relations B.S. article.

NEVER trust the government.

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Thing 4 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like the county needs to be investigated by the state of federal government.

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Tex 4 years, 2 months ago

I live in an older neighborhood where houses use to sell before going on the market; now there have been, and are, houses with a realtor's sign in the yard that sit...and sit....and sit... I find the information in this story hard to believe. A realtor told us a few months ago, "I think the market here has finally bottomed out." When I mentioned that remark to a friend who invests in commercial real estate, he exclaimed, "Ha!"

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monkeyhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

Last year I sold a property for $15000 less than appraisal. The true value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it at that moment in time. Lawrence is not some magical kingdom where property values actually rise while the rest of country decreases.

Everyone should make the county validate their appraisal.

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barrypenders 4 years, 2 months ago

The Government demands your money. Homes values have gone down. Way down.

Stimulus, Government Demands, and Posercare lie unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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Healthcare_Moocher 4 years, 2 months ago

Mutt is correct, the city needs money and to do this they either raise property taxes or the mill levy. After they get done, the schools and county do something like it.

This news story is the prep for what they have planned hoping we will just roll over and accept it when it is implemented.

It is time to hold them accountable.

The past values of the homes you are living in now are online, and you can verify the drop. We all know the city will not take a pay cut so they have to get the money somewhere. Last year they passed the empT off to a sales tax and forgot to reduce our property taxes. This stuff is going on all the time. I would guess the city staff could be reduced by 1/3rd and if they would do something, would never miss them.

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kansasmutt 4 years, 2 months ago

Everyone needs to look close at this. Douglas County home prices have dropped off over 15% and are still dropping. This is false story, not news at all. I don’t know ANYONE who has sold a home for what it was valued at 2 years ago , nor will you come close to getting what it is valued by Douglas County at this time. The $8,000.00 credit by the feds is being used to inflate prices , so the buyers think they got a deal. Realtors are showing buyers peak price homes in the area and are not showing buyers the real average price at this time. Most homes valued at $175,000.00 back in 2007 are only bringing $130,000.00 to $140,000.00 now and that is dropping still. I would love to see values go back up , but it is not happening. I have a home to sell, and you can’t get an offer close to 2007 prices, not within 20% now. This is a step to get more tax revenue and if we don’t fight it, we all will suffer. Take the time to fight your appraisal if it is wrong. If you don’t, you will pay for allot of blue sky. Most (county) appraisals have only dropped off 3 to 5% since 2007 and homes have lost close to 5 times that or more. The county is trying to make up money for the shortfall and waste. We as tax payers should NOT pay the price for their failures.

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