The Gift Where You Keep Giving

The first batch of appraisals arrived in time for the holidays and you talked about it here. Now there’s more. From the Star Ledger

“Shock. Terror. Horror,” James Abraham of Wildwood Avenue said of his reaction to his new assessment, the product of Montclair’s first property revaluation since 1989.
Last week, numerous residents turned up at Montclair’s main library for informal meetings with Appraisal Systems appraisers acting as hearing officers.
At the library, the company set up displays bearing the pictures of homes and their pricetags from sales going back to the dawn of 2005. The examples were eye-opening.
88gordonhurst.jpg On Gordonhurst Avenue, a 1925 Colonial with 4 bedrooms and 1,959 square feet of living space (left) sold for $770,000 in May 2006.
On nearby Waterbury Road, a 1927 Colonial with 5 bedrooms and 3,223 square feet of living space sold for $1.1 million a year earlier, in May 2005.
They were but two of many examples from “neighborhood 18,” a region bounded by Grove Street and Valley Road to the east and west and Bellevue and Watchung avenues to the north and south.

Still, no answers as to what these letters actually mean in monthly payments…

Montclair’s tax rate is now $5.36 per $100 assessed valuation. The average Montclair homeowner, whose house is now assessed at $250,000, is paying $13,400 in property taxes this year.
As a rule of thumb, experts say, a revaluation can result in a third of the property owners paying more, a third paying less and a third staying the same as the new values iron out inequities in the tax burden, the reason the Essex County Tax Board ordered the revaluation in the first place.
But until the new tax rate is set later this year, it’s considered guesswork. “Never. Never,” Joan Durkin, the Essex County tax administrator, said when asked if she could venture an estimate of a new tax rate.
During an October hearing, though, Rick Del Guercio, a principal of Appraisal Systems, did offer up a hypothetical. If the assessments are doubled to bring them up to market value, he said, then the tax rate would be cut in half, to $2.68 per $100 assessed valuation.

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94 COMMENTS

  1. This area is close to grocery, post office, etc., in two directions (Watchung and Bellevue). Does anyone think the rapid appreciation might have to do with the ability to walk to services? One literally can do away with the car in this neighborhood.
    This is no small consideration if you’ve seen “The End of Suburbia.”
    Cher

  2. Just bought my house three months ago and found the reval for my house and the others on my street to be very, very fair. Spot on, actually.
    The folks who are going to get killed are the ones living in vastly improved houses that have been underpaying relative to their value. You won’t be over-paying from now on, you’ve been underpaying up until now.

  3. Not one complaint while the value of property skyrocketed in this town over the last 10 years (summer of ’96 on).
    You celebrated your diversity on the way to the bank, no it bites you in da ass and your cryin’
    Time to sell

  4. SELL SELL SELL………………Montclair is changing fast and not for better and taxes’s will always go up. When was last reassessment? Did I hear 20 years.? They should go up with prices’s of homes. 40% actually sounds fair if not low.
    Happy New Year

  5. mike g- your taxes will soar- multiply your new revalassessment by 3% that’s what they’re gonna be….

  6. did anybody else find factual errors on their property records at the “informal hearings”? my square footage was overstated by 20% plus other problems. i’ve sent off the documenting letter but wonder what the chance is of ASI actually fixing the facts and adjusting my reval…..

  7. Some of this so far is absolutely bizarre. I know of 2 properties, both now assessed at the same almost one-million dollar price– one has 3-4 times the land as the other, a completely refurbished carriage house, and is in much better condition.
    My mother’s town was just assessed by the same company. They gave her house a very high number, based on it being in almost perfect condition– meanwhile it needs a TON of work and they themselves rated the outside as “poor”. Of course she went to talk to the appraiser, and he agreed that it made no sense.
    Judging from the clueless young man they sent to our house, who wanted to rate our 70s-era kitchen as “average”, and then admitted he was new to assessing in Montclair, they are supplying incompetent people to do this work.

  8. We had a similar situation, although the young man they sent to our house was very, very nice.
    We have an 1890’s vintage house with a 1960’s kitchen and he too wanted to rate the kitchen average.
    Homeowners like us have typically sunk $250K into kitchen re-designs, but we are proud of having sunk ZERO into it (we think it’s quaint).
    We suggested he go to any of the houses around ours to see what “average” truly was.

  9. From what I’ve been hearing, people are thinking that they are going to get out of this. A lot of folks are planning to appeal to the city and cite their non updated bathrooms and kitchens etc…. evidently hiring specialists to represent them.
    I guess in Montclair, as usual. it will all boil down to who you know…as to how much to end of paying.
    sad, sad, sad
    I hope the town realizes this…
    We should all get screwed equally.

  10. ” proud of having sunk ZERO into it”.
    -Thus average rating.
    “Sunk $250K into kitchen re-designs”
    -Thus above average rating.
    Crock pot and bathroom sink
    -Below average

  11. Maybe this was the same young fellow who came to assess our home. Very pleasant. Though, he said that to rate “poor”, the kitchen or bath would have to be unusable. He did mark our basement toilet as poor but kitchen, complete with splitting wood cabinets and laminate floor that’s cracked and peeling, was rated average.

  12. EVERY town goes through the SAME revaluation process as Montclair. Somehow it’s so much more unfair here than elsewhere. Simpletons, if you are not happy with your appraisal then appeal! If you’re not happy after the appeal then you simply want to pay less than you are rightfully obligated to. It’s not rocket science people, stop whining!

  13. The problem in Montclair is that since it hasn’t been done in such a long time, the current appraisals are out of whack so some owners are going to get hit hard when they get the new ones.
    Is it possiple to schedule evaluations on a regular basisi? How often do other towns do evaluations? If it were done periodicly, not only would the tax burden be spread more fairly, but people wouldn’t have such unpleasant supprises

  14. Hey, “ithowitworks”, you have just interrupted a meeting of the Piss and Moan Society– leave us alone!
    To resume–it makes no sense that the designations of “average”, “poor” and so on are absolutely arbitrary. “Average” compared to what? The mansion on the hill? The falling-down shack across town? The pleasant $600K Colonial a couple of blocks away? My old kitchen seems to be far inferior to that of almost any Montclair home I’ve visited, yet the appraiser wanted to call it “average”. (Although he was easily talked into downgrading it to “poor”– even though, “hatetoshop”, it is certainly useable. )
    There are so many gradations in this town that you need at LEAST a a scale of 1-10 to rate with any degree of accuracy.

  15. Bitpusher,
    Appraisal systems would be quite happy if it was done every year- do you know how much Montclair (YOU) paid to have it done this year?

  16. I say we should take up collection for latebloomers kitchen.
    How much to resurface those cabinet and replace the linoleum. Maybe you can get some new(er) appliances on Freecycle or Craigslist.
    Would that bring it up to Average?

  17. what, you don’t like your reassessment? take ’em to court. just because you townfolk haven’t had to deal with this for 20 years doesn’t mean you have to be idiots about it. expect to get shafted. court, not the letter, is the place to have your decisions made.

  18. what, you don’t like your reassessment? take ’em to court. just because you townfolk haven’t had to deal with this for 20 years doesn’t mean you have to be idiots about it. expect to get shafted. court, not the letter, is the place to have your decisions made.

  19. yes, friendship7…and that’s where the majority of Montclair is planning to be…
    clogging up the court system with their assessment complaints…fighting for their “rights” (cough, cough)
    Even more taxpayer money down the drain.

  20. “Average” compared to what? The mansion on the hill? The falling-down shack across town? ”
    According to the State of NJ Division of taxation website
    https://tinyurl.com/j22t
    “Property shall be assessed under general law and by uniform rules.”
    So I would assume that the designation of “average” for your kitchen is based on some statewide standard.

  21. “The folks who are going to get killed are the ones living in vastly improved houses that have been underpaying relative to their value.”
    According to the Star Ledger article that came out a couple of years ago, the real estate values in different neighborhoods have risen at different rates. The result was that two houses which paid identical taxes that were located in different neighborhoods would sell for considerably different prices. Whether or not you get “killed” may have more to do with your location than any improvements that may have been made to the property.

  22. Any improvements that required getting a permit from the town since the last reassesment should have already been factored into your old assesment.

  23. “Any improvements that required getting a permit from the town since the last reassesment should have already been factored into your old assesment.”
    an addendum
    Or the TOWN was not doing it’s job

  24. Will anyone in the Town’s governmental departments (permits) do any checking to see who has income properties who never had a permit or approval to do so? Seems to me that anyone who made a major improvement and didn’t pull a legitimate permit ought to get HAMMERED!!!
    Will Appraisal Systems’ report be read and checked by anyone to see if this is the case? I would think that they will be overwhelmed and would never be able to hold accountable those who’ve broken the town’s ordinance(s).
    As far as the taxes go vis-a-vis the revaluation–the operative word is “arbitrary”.

  25. My bad on the last post…it should’ve read that the factors used to determine the value of each home in a given neighborhood as it relates to the tax due to be paid is arbitrary. Our house was said to have four bedrooms when in fact the fourth would never receieve a CO. The roof would have had to been raised. All we have is a finished attic from which we can comfortably retrieve our crap.

  26. In a way, this issue is similar to the impact rent control had on NY aparment building rents. I lived in a building where the market value of an apartment was $2,000 but there were tennants that were paying $200 because they had lived there for fifty years. Their rents didn’t even cover the costs of their heat and maaintenance.
    While I certainly don’t want to chase out older citizens, I also don’t want to pay to subsidize someone else’s expenses.
    Same situation here. Houses are assets. We get taxed on the fair value of these assets. Very basic system… the complainers are those who are used to paying a lower rate on their asset’s value than their neighbors.

  27. Bitpusher wrote-“Property shall be assessed under general law and by uniform rules.”
    So I would assume that the designation of “average” for your kitchen is based on some statewide standard.”
    I’d LOVE to know what “standard” that is, and how and where that is defined. To me it seems totally subjective. And the appraiser fellow was quite amenable to downgrading our kitchen and bathrooms when we told him they were NOT “average”– thank goddess for that.

  28. but bloomer it won’t have any impact on your assessment. it’s a red herring to get you focussed on something other than the $$$$

  29. Would you panic stricken misinformed posters please stop with the nonsense about average kitchens and baths. Do you think that whether a kitchen or bath needs a few thousand dollars to make it a showplace has any significant impact on a total assessment of $600,000 ?? ?? You are grasping at relatively insignificant straws. Your house is either saleable for what they assess it for or not. If not, appeal and show comparable sales transactions. Otherwise please shut up.

  30. We are bringing this up because, AFAIK, the way they are assessing our houses is by their sizes, size of lots, the conditions of the exteriors, the kitchens and the baths. Nothing else that I know of. I would like to know how they arrive at their conclusions, especially because the assessments that I know of have been utterly divergent and arbitrary. If you have some more useful information to add to this, I await your response. If not, I wonder why, if this conversation annoys you so much, you are you bothering to read it?

  31. And while we are at it, let’s stop bleating about not knowing what tax rate will be applied to the new assessments. We won’t know what the tax rate is until the County, the Town and the Board of Ed all decide how much of our money they are going to spend for 2007. Based on what they spent last year the tax rate to be applied to the new assessments is going to be around 2 per cent, i.e. %2 oer $100 of assessed valuation – according to seemingly intelligent posters who have run some rough numbers. Having said all that, Happy New Year to all.

  32. You’re right latebloomer,
    size of lot, size of house, useable space, neighborhood will be principal factor. Condition has very small impact on total value – provided the space is useable. Doesn’t matter if needs coat of paint or new fixtures etc etc. Actually neighborhood is an important factor – indeed one of the most important factors is the land and its location. You know in real estate its location, location, location.

  33. As to why I read this string – I do so because some of the posters are quite knowledgeable and have useful information to contribute – also some are quite witty.

  34. Where I live, when we got reassessed a year ago, the house represented roughly 1/3 of the total value of a property. The real value lies in the land.
    Are things that different in Montclair?

  35. as a recent home buyer, you can get a far more reasonable understanding of your home’s value by going to realtor.com and looking at what is for sale (and what has sold). After all, market value is determined by, well, the market…

  36. Latebloomer,
    We might be able to suggest some explanations if you would please provide an example of an “utterly divergent and arbitrary” assessments.

  37. I printed out the Neighborhood 18 assessments and toured my neighborhood. I noticed some glaring mistakes in lot size – eg 137 Gordonhurst is listed at 8400 or so sq ft which would be comparable to my narrow and deep lot and was assessed at $688K. That lot is probably closer to 12,000 sq ft, 50% larger than quoted. Other lots further north on North Fullerton were listed at 6600 sq ft – no way! I certainly don’t want to share a greater tax burden due to errors such as above.

  38. I urge the editors of Baristanet to close this thread down at once. I am the owner of an historic estate in upper Montclair, with the means to actually pay the taxes on my property. Having said that, I find it irritating to have to read the complaints of those hanging on by their fingernails to maintain a lifestyle they feel they’re entitled to here in our fine town.
    It is depressing to read the posts of these dreary people, who insist on boring us with neurotic tales of square footage, lot sizes, and the like. One imagines them frantically running about their meager plot of land with a calculator and a tape measure.
    Simply put: you simply cannot afford to live in our town, so please leave. There are plenty of garden apartments available for you in outlying communities.

  39. Dear Badassessment,
    Lot sizes are part of existing tax records and appear on every tax bill as “land dimension”. Therefore possibilities are:
    l. existing tax records are wrong
    2. the new assessors misread or mistranscribed the figure.
    3. you may not know what the actual metes and bounds of each property is.
    You can visit the tax office and look at the prior assessments and see what dimensions were for each property. It’s possible there might be a long standing errors.

  40. considering that the Assessment company mislabeled the columns from 2006 and 2007 I would check every number.

  41. For the 685 homes in neighborhood 18, the average increase in assessment is a factor of 2.7
    Actual increases in assessment vary from 4.37 to 2.02

  42. sorry…..the last post was in error.
    450 out of 685 are more than +/- 5% from the neighborhood average of a 2.7 factor
    263 are more than +/- 10% from the average of a 2.7 factor
    66 are more than +/- 20%
    of course, we don’t know what the town-wide average will be but this will calibrate you versus your immediate neighbors.

  43. I am completely appalled and offended by Hiding in Baristaville’s rude posting asking people who can’t afford this town to leave. How dare you be so ignorant? Just because you obviously can afford this, why should others who have lived here, suddenly be unable to afford their own home. Some of us have kids in school here and family and would like to stay in Montclair.
    You need to think before you write.

  44. I am completely appalled and offended by Hiding in Baristaville’s rude posting asking people who can’t afford this town to leave. How dare you be so ignorant? Just because you obviously can afford the tax increase, why should others who have lived here, suddenly be unable to afford their own home? Some of us have kids in school here and family and would like to stay in Montclair.
    It’s pretty clear your not the kind of person who thinks of others!

  45. Dear “Deborah”:
    The recommendation that “people who can’t afford this town [should] leave” came from me, not an anonymous poster. Please read the board more carefully before posting further shrill rebuttals.
    Apparently, something as basic as property tax sends many struggling residents like yourself into a collective apoplexy. Sadly, your desire to live in our town is irrelevant. What matters is your ability to afford the lifestyle to which you aspire, and if you cannot afford to live in our fine town you must accept this reality and move on (and out).
    There are plenty of rental units throughout the state where you and your family can relocate. I suggest you peruse a local newspaper for more details.

  46. We bought our house 12/05 and it was assessed for 13.7% higher than we paid for it.
    Other houses in the same neighborhood that sold around the same time were assessed, for the most part at or below their sale price.
    How can my assessment possibly be correct, if our house and the others were “priced by the open market” at the same time?
    Would those with insight into the appeal process please comment if my argument will hold water?

  47. Too Busy,
    Your analysis of just one neighborhood indicates that either this assessment was badly needed or that the new assessments are off the wall.
    It will certainly be interresting to see how the whole town compares, and to see if it is true that certain sections of town were way overassesed prior to the re-eval.
    BTW, How do you extract the data from the table? I tried copy and paste but it does not seem to work.

  48. I don’t know who “Jamie Lipner” (a/k/a “Joey Ramone”) is, or why he or she would deign my comments a joke. Sadly, they are not.
    I hope Mr. or Ms. Lipner will refrain from qualifying my statements to others on this thread, and instead try to generate an original thought of his (or her) own.

  49. Proud Monty, it’s “deem” you’re looking for, not “deign.” Give up the shtick if you can’t make it work.

  50. Joey Ramone,
    Assuming your house was bought a year ago in an arms length transaction and has not been improved since, you have a very good appeal case.

  51. That’s true but there are often factors that drive people to sell for less than market value… And that’s why you particular purchase price doesn’t relate directly to your eval.
    You need comparable sales to show market value… Not just your purchase price.

  52. Joey… did you make any improvements to your house over the past year? That is, did you make any improvements that you wouldn’t take with you? paint, air conditioning, floors redone, etc…

  53. Some interesting comparisons on new assessments. This was just totally random, but I compared 4 recent sales listed on Baristanet from Oct thru Dec 2006 and compared to recent “fair market values” issued by ASI on the recently posted neighborhood lists. The results showed some glaring discrepancies:
    157 Alexander is valued by ASI at $615K but sold for $487K in Nov.
    102 Gordonhurst is valued at $783K by ASI but sold for $759K in Nov.
    474 Park St is valued at $1,753K by ASI but sold in Dec for $2,225K!
    72 Wildwood valued at $522K by ASI sold for $491K in Oct.
    Seems the “modest” priced homes were assessed more than sale price, but the “higher end” home on Park St gets a tax break with a significantly lower “fair market value” than it sold for (I assume it was in contract when ASI “reviewed” the comps??
    I’d like to see ASI explain these discrepancies.

  54. Firstly, 102 Gordonhurst sold for 782,500, pretty much spot on with the ASI reval assessment. Also 72 Wildwood is not a great example of a recent sale, as the owners were very unlucky in that the sale kept falling through for various reasons, unforeseen circumstances etc, and they had already bought and moved into their new home by the time their sale went through, which maybe meant they settled for a lower price just to get the sale finally sewn up. Also it is a large plot, even by Wildwood standards..and generally houses on Wildwood Avenue have sold for well over list prices in the last couple of years.
    I think “Hiding” may have a point – maybe Joey Ramone paid below list price for his house (is this the case?) at a time when many other desirable properties in the same neighborhood were still selling over list price in bidding wars, albeit less aggressively than earlier in the year.
    We bought in the summer of 05, paid 12% over the list price for our house in a bidding war with 5 others, and have now had the house assessed at 10% over our purchase price. However, when I compare our house to other properties with the same square footage, accommodation (beds, baths) and lot size, the assessment would appear to be consistent and fair, especially as we have made some minor improvements to the house. Joey, have you made any improvements since buying? And how about square footage comparisons, and lot size? From what I’ve seen so far in terms of reval files of neighbors, there has been a relatively high price put on lot size.
    One other consideration, the assessments were based on market value as of October 1, 2006, not December 2005, so it’s almost impossible to know what someone would have paid for your house 10 months on from your purchase. The only way to even attempt to compare is to look at those sales in October, of houses of the same sq footage, on similar plot sizes, in the same neighborhood.

  55. Where can I go to get a good list of past home sale prices in the town? Would appreciate any advice. Thanks

  56. mike g: yes, between painting and a minor kitchen update, we put about 20K into the house since we moved in, however, the assessment is 94K aboove what we paid. if the assessment came in at 20-30K above what we paid, i wouldn’t be on this thread.
    caipu: list price is essentially arbitrary – it is very much based on the strategy the selling broker and the seller decide on – create a bidding war by under-listing, ask high and take something less, or ask for just about what you want. so “above or below list” cannot be used as a valid metric.
    my contention will be that the price i paid, by definition, IS the market price – the property was on the market a couple of months and we put in the highest bid. end of story. and yes, it was an “arm’s length transaction” – we didn’t buy it from dad for some phony price. the reference properties i point to were on the market too, for various lengths of time, and eventually obtained their market price. i think the economic term for this is an “efficient market” – where prices will find the correct level.

  57. Joey Ramone-If you have any quick questions, I have found the tax assessor Joan to be a valuable source on whether you have grounds for appeal or not. Go right to the horse’s mouth and don’t horse around! Joan can be a bit willful but she is dierct and she’ll give you the real scoop. From there, you can decide what you should do. People should honestly avoid suing the town; we don’t need an addiitonal tax burden from people who don’t do their homework!

  58. Joey, I would be a little wary about taking advice from the tax assessor as to whether or not to appeal an assessment. Remember, this project is being done under her nominal supervision and the reassessments are promulgated in her name, so one has to wonder whether she is in a position to repudiate the results.
    In any event, the first step costs you nothing. It’s just an informal discussion with the tax assessor (actually with her representatives who conducted the assessment). Suggest you arm yourself with all your supporting data for that discussion.

  59. Puzzled property owners should keep in mind that some people buy property for more than it’s really worth and some buy for less than real worth. So for comparison purposes it is necessary to look at the market as a whole and not one isolated transaction.

  60. Thanks Byron.
    Interestingly, I work for a major company whose job is to assess credit quality, and our criteria are well documented and distributed publicly for maximum transparency.
    Any hope that the assessors have documented and made available their criteria? How much of the assessment is based on non-market (house sf, lot sf, perceived conditions) vs. market (comparables) data?

  61. Joey,
    Based on experience with assessors in other town-wide assessments, and a look at their worksheets, they will have a fixed formula assigning certain per cent of the valuation to each of the measureable items you referred to as “non market”. But the determination of the value per square foot, etc. is determined by comparable very recent sales transactions in your neighborhood. So a square foot of land on Upper Mountain Ave is worth so much a square foot, which may differ from the square foot on Elm Street.

  62. May be a dumb question but… If you schedule one of those informal meetings with ASI, could it actually backfire? Can we trust ASI won’t actually raise your assessment after hearing you complain through the meeting? ASI encourages you to bring documentation to make your case. I would say be careful when handing anything over to them. You may have papers that you believe prove your assessment is too high. But what if those papers are further scrutinized by ASI and you actually end up arming them with more ammunition.

  63. May be a dumb question but… If you schedule one of those informal meetings with ASI, could it actually backfire? Can we trust ASI won’t actually raise your assessment after hearing you complain through the meeting? ASI encourages you to bring documentation to make your case. I would say be careful when handing anything over to them. You may have papers that you believe prove your assessment is too high. But what if those papers are further scrutinized by ASI and you actually end up arming them with more ammunition.

  64. May be a dumb question but… If you schedule one of those informal meetings with ASI, could it actually backfire? Can we trust ASI won’t actually raise your assessment after hearing you complain through the meeting? ASI encourages you to bring documentation to make your case. I would say be careful when handing anything over to them. You may have papers that you believe prove your assessment is too high. But what if those papers are further scrutinized by ASI and you actually end up arming them with more ammunition.

  65. but byron, are they comparing apples to apples? two homes, on the same street or in the same neighborhood (e.g. 18), with the same square footage of home and lot, in the same condition, can draw vastly different prices based on proximity to train station, business of that part of the street, charm/ layout of house (does it have an elegantly layed out master suite or is there a lame master or even no master) -and if comps are done just by neightbohood number and not street (i’m guessing), then WHICH street (in 18) really counts – a classic colonial home on cooper or summit fairly close to upper montclair center will fetch 20% more than the a house on wildwood that has a small original footprint but was blown out to the other house’s size. also, a 65 by 192 lot is a lot nicer than a 50 by 250 lot – the 15 extra feet of frontage (and extra 7.5 feet on each side away from your neighbor) more than makes up for the missing 50 feet in the back of the yard. etc.
    side question – if one’s house was actually purchased during the comp period and unchanged since, assuming an arm’s length transaction, how can they not just use the sales price as the assessment value. they’ve already established the fact that they trust recent sales prices by using them as comps for everyone else!

  66. Joey,
    You are right, all square feet are not of equal value, and the assessors’ formulae try to accommodate many of the differences. For example, square feet of frontage is valued at a different rate and square feet of finished basement is not the same as second floor bedrooms. Comparative value is done by immediate location, e.g.. same street, same vicinity of desireable or undesireable locations. True there is still a lot of room for difficult to quantify features (beautiful master suite layout) and those are some of the things you can refer to in your informal conference if you believe your assessment is significantly higher than what you could sell your property for.
    Re your side question: A very recent sale of the actual property is a powerful indication of market value, however it will be discounted if it is seriously out of wack with the value arrived at by the formulae used.

  67. Good Luck Joey – let us know how you get on. 92 Wildwood was an absolute steal at $735k.
    I don’t think I’m the only one to think so.

  68. sorry, but how could it be deemed an “absolute steal” if it was on the market for a month and didn’t generate a bidding war, like 38 Aubrey (smaller lot and house- went for 801K and assessed at 755K, or 18 Carolin, which went for 711K and was assessed for 635K, as opposed to my house which sold for 735K and was assessed for 828K) and others that went under contract within 30 days of each other, immediately before the “comp period” of this assessment? where were all the bids over ask for 92 wildwood? to determine market value, those bids would have been the only TRUE recognition that it was underpriced, as they would be coming from the ACTUAL market buy side, not you and the others you mention who offer opinions but were not involved in that market.
    real bids set the market price, not outsider opinions.

  69. Joey,
    you added some interesting new facts and your argument has some merit. I suppose the countervailing argument would be that the competitive bidding drove up the prices on the other two houses to levels that were not justified by the properties. One would have to see the detail specifications of all three properties to make a fair appraisal.

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