Recently I received a call from a reader. Mark told me he is appealing the 2010 property assessment for his Newport Beach home. He asked if I could supply "Sold" information to help with his case. No problem, was my response. I supplied the information, Mark was satisfied. I have not heard from him about the results. This things take time. Right? Well maybe not.
I told Mark about my experience of trying to do the same thing last year. I decided to appeal my "Investment" property's Tax Assessment. The duplex is located in San Clemente. I jest when I use the word, "Investment". I purchased the property in 2005. Perfect timing – Top of the market. Ouch!
Suffice to say the value plummeted. My 2009 tax assessment came in way over the current value. No way! I decided to roll up my sleeves and go for an appeal. It was late August. The deadline for filing an appeal was September 15. So I thought, if I'm going to do this, I better get started, the wheels of government grind slowly.
Here's how it went…
Friday, about 3:30 PM, I check out the Orange County Tax Assessor's online form for making an appeal. So far, so good. When I reviewed my tax assessment notice, it said if I wanted to appeal, to call and talk with a appraiser. Great! Talking with an appraiser, I am feeling comfortable with that notion. Hey, I talk with apprasier's all the time. We speak the same language. So, I called. Within a couple of minutes, I hear a friendly voice saying, "Hi, this is Wendy".
I told Wendy my story plus, I let Wendy know I am a real estate agent and could pull "Comps" for her. She said, "Great!"
I pulled the comps, faxed them in Friday about 5:30 PM. Monday, I called. Wendy was out of the office. Tuesday, Wendy called. She reduced the valuation! During our conversation I just start talking about some of the comps on the list and Wendy stops me and said, "Oh, I didn't realize the location of that one. I'll bring it down some more." Wow! And that was it. Over. Done with the process of getting the property valuation reduction. The overall reduction amounted to 32%!
I have to say, you hear a lot of people knocking "City Hall" and complaining about the Tax Assessor's Office, but I'm here to tell you, the experience exceeded my expectations. I could have not been happier. I thanked Wendy and told her how impressed I was about how easy this was. She said that my timing was right. Her work load eased up a little and she was able to fit me in just fine.
If you have tried or plan on trying to get a new valuation for your property, post a comment below and share your experience.