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Unfair Assessments for Low Income Housing

Harris County appraisal District has historically excessively valued low income homes. For the purposes of this analysis, low income properties are those with a market value of less than $100,000.

A good example of this is ZIP Codes 77033 where the South Park neighborhood is located. In this neighborhood are typically valued at 160 to 180 percent of market value.

The during 2013 and 2014 to address this information with the Harris County appraisal District staff. Today they had not been receptive to discussing the information or discussing how to make changes to thoroughly assess homeowners in low income areas.

The basis for the substantial errors in the low income areas is that many of the sales in these areas are of problems previously owned by actual institutions. This is partly the result of these subprime loans made during the period during 2003 through 2008. Unfortunately, many of the homes were not properly underwritten and were subsequently foreclosed.

The number of foreclosure sales in these neighborhoods substantially exceeds the number of armlength sales between individual owners. However, the appraisal district does not consider the sales of homes previously owned by financial institutions. There is a bimodal distribution with the sales of homes by financial institutions typically been fed a substantially lower level than sales made by individual owners. By not considering the sales of homes by financial institutions, the Harris County appraisal District is currently assessing homeowners in low income areas.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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