Home values may rise

By Vicki Hyatt | Feb 07, 2017
Waynesville —

Some Haywood homeowners could see their property has a higher tax value when the reappraisal notices are mailed out next week, but those who own land in the county are likely see its value plummet.

During a presentation on the county reappraisal process, County Tax Administrator David Francis told the Haywood County commissioners the overall property value in most municipalities — and the county — will decrease, largely because of the significant decrease in land prices.

Countywide, a value loss is expected in both commercial and residential dwellings.

That’s not to say that homes in many neighborhoods across the county won’t increase in value.

“A lot of the sales we’re seeing are remodeled houses, so people who bought over the past several years will see that reflected in the sales price,” Francis said. “But we did not take that remodeled price and apply to other houses in the neighborhood.”

Francis showed slide after slide of various neighborhoods in the county were prices were up in one area, down in another.

Specific data is still not ready to release, and the staff is working long hours to have the notices ready to mail by the Feb. 15 and 16.

Commission Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick, an attorney who handles home closings, said he’s observed that people are looking at the condition and quality of property as opposed to location and size of the home.

“Buyers don’t  want to fix anything,” he said. “They are investing in property that has been remodeled and improved, newer structures and are willing to pay a premium to not put any blood sweat into it.”

He urged homeowners to study the updated value, and contact the appraiser’s office with any questions.

There are numerous appeal avenues, Kirkpatrick said, inviting individuals to take photos of the inside of their home and bring them along when they come to discuss their revised property value.

The amount of taxes owed on a property is directly related to the value, but until county commissioners and town aldermen examine the budget, look at the total value of the newly appraised property and determine budget needs for the coming year, there is no way of knowing what the tax will be.

In years when property values rise, elected leaders typically drop the rate to generate about the same amount of taxes received the year before. This is called a “revenue neutral” rate which takes into account inflation, as well.

In years when property values drop overall, elected leaders often raise the rate to, again, generate about the same amount of revenue as the prior year.