Finding the "full and fair cash value" or "market value" of a property involves discovering what similar properties are selling for, what the property would cost today to replace and what financial factors, such as interest rates, may be affecting the real estate market.
Valuation techniques for commercial and industrial properties also include analysis from an investment point of view, since the purchase price the buyer is willing to pay depends in part on the return he expects to receive.
A property's value can change for many reasons. The most obvious is that the property changes. A bedroom, garage, or swimming pool is added, or part of the property is destroyed by flood or fire. The most frequent cause of a change in value is a change in the market. If a town's major industry leaves, property values can collapse. As decaying neighborhoods with good housing stock are discovered by young homebuyers, prices gradually rise, and then may soar as the neighborhood becomes fashionable. A shortage of detached houses in a desirable city neighborhood can send prices to ridiculous levels. In a recession, larger homes may stay on the market for a long time, but more affordable homes are in demand, so their prices rise. In a stable neighborhood, with no extraordinary pressure from the market, inflation may increase property value.
If you believe the estimated value of your property is incorrect, you will want to know:
- How the assessor values property
- How to gather information about your property and similar properties.
- How the appeals process works and what the deadlines are
You also have a responsibility to furnish good information about your property to the assessor.