Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that you can find out the city's assessed value of any home and the price the owner purchased the home for? If you are on the market to buy a home, looking at the city's deed book and tax parcels could tell you a lot about the house you're considering. 

For example, I did some research on one of the houses my mom and I visited at an open house this past Sunday. The owners of this home bought it as a new construction in 2003. There have been no substantial improvements since they bought the home. Yet, in little over five years, these buyers are now asking 50% more than what they paid for the home. That's a huge markup!  The house is not worth that much -- even though it's nice.  Now my suspicions as to why the house has been on the market awhile and is sitting empty are confirmed. 

If you're considering making an offer on a house, think of the bargaining chips you would have if you do your research: you would know that the city assessed the property at a much lower rate and the buyer purchased the house at a substantially lower cost. If you wanted to do more homework and be an even more informed buyer, you could find out the rate of increased cost for labor and supplies in the area which you are buying (for example, as of December 2008, the cost of lumber has gone down by 55% in the past two-three years). 

Bottom line: Do your homework. Be informed. And potentially save money!


Cbell said...

The downside of this is that you also get more junk mail! We just refinanced our home (for the lower interest rate) and are now getting tons of mail from different "organizations" who want to show us how much more money we can save with their group than our current mortgage holder. The drawback is that my elderly father thinks everything that comes through like this must be legitimate because they know how much our house has refinanced for. It can be a scary tool in the hands of those who would perpetuate fraud or set up a scam.

Ashli said...


You can use these websites to prevent some of that mess:


-opts you out of credit offers (including refinancing offers)



-will stem the flood of junk mail

I hope that helps!

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