All property tax appraisals are not created equally!

This is an important point if you or your clients are thinking about challenging your property taxes, and using an appraisal to support your value.  Many times homeowners filing a Tax Grievance on their own behalf will use an appraisal that they obtained during a refinance. This may be fine, but keep in mind that appraisals are performed for specific purposes.  The result is that some appraisals will be more conservative and some more aggressive depending on the situation.  For example, if a homeower owns a house worth $500,000 with no mortgage and is looking to refi and take $50,000 out there is a lot of room to work with and the appraisal may come in lower than the $500,000 value.  Where as if the same house is being purchased for $500,000 it is more likely to appraise for the full $500,000, assuming it is actually worth $500,000.

The point is appraisals are performed for different purposes, some are performed more conservatively than others.  As a result, if you are using an appraisal to demonstrate Fair Market Value then, in my opinion, that should be the purpose of the appraisal.  Often times homeowners will go before the assessor with their appraisal performed for the purposes of a refi and find out that the Assessor has a whole list of comparables that support a higher value.  So if you are not going to use an appraisal specifically perfomed for the purposes of determining Fair Market Value of the property, as of the specified valuation date for the specific town, make sure that you are at least familiar with the other comparables that are available as of that date.  Please feel free to contact me at