Hot Properties

High-end properties have more wiggle room in value

JORDAN FAMILY GIFT TRUST: $4.57 MILLION

By Dave Yochum.  Residential property values in Mecklenburg County have soared, and the tax assessor has the numbers to prove it. But that’s true only up to a point, especially for high-end and luxury real estate. The experts are saying there is room to appeal if your new assessment is about 40 percent above your old assessment.

Some multimillion-dollar properties are up considerably more. A home on Capstan Greens in The Peninsula owned by the Jordan Family Gift Trust—yes, that Jordan, as in Michael—has been valued at $4.57 million, up 57 percent from the 2011 valuation. The valuation of Hornets star Nick Batum’s home on Nantz Road in Cornelius rose only 9 percent to $4.1 million.

Tarte

“The higher the percentage increase your revaluation was and the more expensive the property is creates more opportunity to bring it back in line,” says former NC Sen. Jeff Tarte.

The Cornelius resident and former mayor authored the bill that fixed the flawed 2011 Mecklenburg County property revaluations.

“Everybody assumes that the appraised value is the end-all, be-all and it’s not because there are a boat load of factors that go into determining the value of a property,” he said, pointing out that small changes here and there add up fast on a high-dollar property.

Robert McIntosh, founder of The McIntosh Law Firm, Tarte and attorney Larry Shaheen Jr., Tarte’s frequent campaign manager, have formed Carolina Revaluation Services to assist commercial and residential property owners with their property revaluation appeals. [The joint venture is an advertiser in Business Today.]

We did an informal survey of about 96 people, some of them couples, about valuation changes at the Business Today Newsmakers Breakfast on the Revaluation and came up with this:

—0-20 percent, fewer than five people

—20-40 percent, about 25 people

—40-75 percent, about 15 people

—75-100 percent, about four

—120 percent, one person.

Joyner

The average residential increase in Mecklenburg County was 44 percent, said Ken Joyner, Mecklenburg County tax assessor. He was the speaker at the Newsmakers Breakfast along with Jackie Huffman, assistant town manager in Huntersville and an acknowledged municipal finance expert.

Total assessed value in Huntersville and Cornelius increased about 32 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Nationally, home prices have risen 53 percent from February 2012 to September 2018, said Jason Gentry, broker in charge at Sotheby’s in Cornelius. Housing affordability reached a 10-year low, he said.

Consumer optimism fueled by stock market strength and higher wages helped drive higher prices.

Data from MLS show actual sale prices were up considerably in 2018 compared to 2017, underpinning increases in property values almost

Gentry

across the board.

But million-dollar properties can be more different than they are alike. Luxury properties, whether they’re in Cabarrus, The Point, River Run or The Peninsula, are often unique and values can’t be strictly determined by comps as per the tax assessor’s office Tarte said.

Lakefront property values vary by size and view, as well as neighborhood. Values were once viewed in a more collective sense, Joyner said, but they’re now broken into many segments and then examined according to attributes such as views and how they’re positioned in a cove, perhaps, or on a point lot.

In Cornelius there have been literally dozens of high-dollar tear-downs creating suddenly higher values even for older surrounding properties a half mile away.

“The land is the driving force in value,” Joyner said, explaining that the appeals process is something of a negotiation.

Homeowners can search for their new value at https://property.spatialest.com/nc/mecklenburg/#/ and click on “Comper” button below the parcel map to view which homes were used to compare to theirs to reach the new assessed value.

But Pat Riley, CEO of Allen Tate Cos., said homeowners should not appeal if a move is upcoming.

“You don’t want to go on public record fighting the value of your home for future buyers and buyer agents to see,” he said.

RILEY

“If you are not moving and plan on staying in your home for a long time, you might consider an appeal,” Riley said.

Get comps from a Realtor or get an appraisal with values as of 2018, not 2019.

“You need facts to support your cause like any other appeal,” Riley said.

Nevertheless, real estate experts gave Joyner high marks for the 2019 revaluation, especially compared to the 2011 revaluation which was profoundly flawed.

Local municipal budget experts are planning on a 3 percent variation in property tax revenue, based on appeals.

COTHAM

“We turned the corner when we hired Ken,” said Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham. “He has made a difference, and he cares about people.”   Attorney McIntosh agreed. “It’s night and day between 2011 and now,” he said.

Most smaller municipalities get more than half their revenue from property taxes—Charlotte Douglas International Airport throws off the mix in Charlotte.

To appeal, call the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s office at 980-314-4226 or go to the county website www.meckreval.com.

It’s apparently not too late for an informal review of your property revaluation.

“The Assessor’s Office would prefer to take care of any obvious revaluation discrepancies informally rather than take them to the BEO,”  said Shaheen, co-founder of Carolina Revaluation.

For informal reviews, there was a 30 day recommended deadline. It turns out this was not a required deadline. The only statutory deadline is for formal appeals which is May 20.

In short, Joyner says you can still file an informal appeal.

If you have questions, contact the Assessor Office at MeckReval.com, by phone 980-314-4226 or in person – 3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 3500, Charlotte, NC 28208.

You can also email Assessorquestions@MeckNC.gov.

 

What’s the outlook for home prices this year?

Price appreciation is definitely leveling off, but Charlotte will remain a growth market.

“If the truth of a positive economic outlook coupled with responsible lending practices and more available homes for sale captures the collective American psyche, the most likely outcome for 2019 is market balance,” Sotheby’s Gentry said.

 

The 2018-2019 Mecklenburg County property-tax rates per $100 of assessed value, followed by the percentage of revenue each entity draws from property taxes.

0.8232 Mecklenburg County – 60%

0.4887 Charlotte – 33%

0.255 Cornelius – 56%

0.35 Davidson – 54%

0.305 Huntersville – 54%

0.3550 Matthews – 59%

0.27 Mint Hill – 52%

0.38 Pineville – 52%

                                          –Source: NC Association of County Commissioners.

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