Shelby County Alabama Property Values Decline

shelby-county-average-value-chart

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Shelby County tax assessors recently released their latest reassessments for 2009 and the results revealed that property values have declined for the first time in many years.  Both ends of the value spectrum have been affected.  From starter home subdivisions like Ironwood to upscale neighborhoods like Greystone and Highland Lakes.  According to the report 80% of the homes reassessed have declined in value.  Some of the neighborhoods like Greystone Legacy and Habersham have decreased in value by as much as 20%.  Real estate analyst Tom Brander feels the decreases in value are even more than the county has reported.  I have been seeing this myself as I appraise Shelby County property.  It is almost impossible to do work in this area and not see foreclosures or short sales in the neighborhoods I am working in.  I have written about this in previous posts so I will not repeat that here.

These new assessments will no doubt make homeowners rethink how they view their most expensive asset.  With some areas declining in value, and others seeing increases, the real estate market can be confusing, however it can be simplified by considering the following points:

1) If your property assessment decreased then your taxes will go down which is good, however if it did not you might want to consider getting an appraisal to verify the counties information.  Keeping up with local neighborhood sales can give you an idea of what is happening in your subdivision and provide support for your decreased assessment.  If the houses are selling for less than they have in the past, your assessment may be wrong.

2) If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t guess at its value, get a current appraisal.  I have seen folks list their home for what it appraised at several years ago.  The market is not what it use to be.  A great example is in the article I have referenced.  One couple had their home appraised last year for $297,000 but was told the value would be more in the $230-$240,000 range, yet they listed it at $267,900.  I’m sure it will sit on the market awhile before it sells unless they lower the price to reflect the current market.  An appraisal will allow you to set a price that is competitive with other homes for sale.

Those homeowners that have further questions can reach me at 205-243-9304.

Comments

  1. Declining markets makes it tough all around, especially when falling after periods of significant market appreciation. Keep us informed on the homeowners appeal process.

    • While the county has experienced a decline I think we have not seen it as bad as other areas, especially on the Florida coast where you are Wendell.

  2. My area has been seeing declines for a number of years (and some very big ones too). Do you think the Assessor in your area tends to get assessed values right?

    • We had a pretty stable market to start. Never had the really high appreciation rates so for the most part they were probably on target. Tom Brander, who is a local market analyst, seems to think that they are still a little low on the amount of depreciation. We may have a lot of people contesting their values and hopefully I can help some of these folks out.

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