Recently, we received the latest tax assessment for our house in Hanover Heights, an aging Wilmington neighborhood (our house was built in 1958) of mostly small ranch houses that used to be in a highly sought-after price range. But those prices are going up, up and up, even for the smallest of houses.
New Hanover County’s website explains the reassessment process in-depth, saying, “North Carolina law requires each county to conduct a revaluation at least once every eight years. New Hanover County has implemented a four-year plan for its revaluation programs to better reflect changes in market conditions that exist in the county. This process will help ensure that taxpayers are paying appropriate taxes for property, based on the changing property values that occur during periods of growth or economic downturn.”
But what does it all mean for prices if someone wants to sell their house?
Tony Harrington, a broker and appraiser who owns Wilmington-based The Property Shop International Realty, said tax assessments don’t necessarily correlate with the market value of the properties in the region.
“Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.
For those who don’t believe their assessment is correct, there’s an appeal process outlined on the county’s website.
“I’ve had several people call me recently saying they want to use an older appraisal within six months to support what they feel like, from a homeowner’s perspective, their house is worth,” Harrington said. “Old appraisals are not going to work; you’re going to have to have a more current appraisal to be able to counter the county on a reassessment.”
The value of a house can be an emotional one. My house only has one bathroom for four people and could use a lot of work, but the memories that have been made here are priceless. Not to mention the fact that even if I sold my house, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find something in my price range. That challenge is noted in an article on affordable housing
in this year’s real estate magazine and in an article on the influx of new residents in the area
With the pandemic keeping some people at home for so many months, I can see how residents might get tired of the houses they have. For me, though, for now, my house isn’t perfect, but it’s home.