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Cobb County Property Tax Valuations

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If you are considering purchasing a home or refinancingyou can go to or along with local mortgage lenders in your areato determine what loan will best suit youand your family.  You can compare closing costs, APR's and Par rates to determine what loan will best serve yourand your family's long-term interests.

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Distressed Home Sales continue to lead to falling home values in many parts of Atlanta, including Cobb County!

The recession of the past few years has caused falling home prices in many areas of Cobb County.

In Cobb County, the typical residential property appraisal is 13% too high despite the County Assessors cutting values by nearly 6%—according to the AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution-12/19/11).

That 13% figure is in the middle of the pack according to the AJC—as Douglas County’s typical residential property is 37% too high at one end of the spectrum, while Cherokee County’s values are 3% overvalued at the other end.

It is important that you understand that even though many Counties have made big cuts to home values, they are still not in line with the value based on recent sales in the Atlanta Metro area—and this has caused an increase in appeals throughout the Atlanta Metro area.

Keep in mind that there is usually a lag time of about 1 year from when the County values your property and the tax bill goes out.

This process can cause disagreements in the value of your home’s value. Let’s say, you own your home and in your subdivision homes sold for $170,000 on average in 2010.

In 2011 homes sold for an average of $140,000 in your subdivision.

Your 2011 tax bill would be based on the $170,000 average from 2010—not what properties are currently selling for ($140,000) in 2011.

On your 2012 property valuations the average price of $140,000 would be utilized.

If you plan on appealing, keep the above knowledge in mind—as many county appraisers will not bulge on valuations—if the recent sale is from the current tax year.

These disagreements that are a result of the above and other factors are leading to an increase in appeals in some metro area counties.

Keep in mind that residential appraisals that are overvalued are an average—with some being overvalued, some being properly valued, and some being undervalued in any given area.

It is important that you keep in mind that a falling or reduced residential appraisal and tax bill is not necessarily a good thing. In essence, it means that your property value has declined—and that will make refinancing or selling—difficult or impractical.

The current high volume and mixture of foreclosures, short sales, bank sales and fair market value—or traditional sales makes properly valuing residential properties a difficult task—especially when you have that volatile mixture in one subdivision—or area.

Georgia law requires that the values of distressed properties be considered in the valuation process and that can cause hardship for current homeowners—and create great opportunities for investors and savvy home buyers.

As of 2011 Georgia law also requires that all property owners must receive a notice, estimating their taxes.

Many metro area counties have been sending these notices out for years as a part of their property tax procedure, so depending on where you live you may have alrady begun receiving these annual notices.

You must always realize that Counties in Georgia use what is called a “Residential Tax Digest” which local governments use as a key factor in determining how much tax revenue they will have to spend.

A decline in revenues, generally mean—the possibility of an increased tax rate—or budget cuts.

Cobb County (4th largest County in Georgia and located in the northwest quadrant)) is one area of metro Atlanta that has had an impressive run of low taxes—and quality schools—which is an exception to the general rule in metro Atlanta.

However, with falling revenues—they increased their tax rate by 5.7% in 2011 to make up for the shortfall.

Even though falling values can be found throughout many areas of Cobb County they have in many respects fared better than other areas.

A large business community along with a number of years where they had a strong Tax Digest (surplus) has cushioned the fall some.

In certain areas of Cobb (East Cobb) housing prices are even holding steady—relatively speaking.

If you plan on purchasing in Cobb or Douglas County be sure you are aware of the areas that were hit by the historic flood of 2009—as that area may not be in your best interest to purchase a home. In Cobb the flooding affected the southwest portion of the County for the most part.

Even if you purchase a home that was not involved in the flood of 2009—if you purchase in that area, your current and future value may be negatively affected.

Look for housing values in Cobb and other areas of metropolitan Atlanta to rise slowly over the next few years—as the current inventory of homes and the number of qualified buyers are not at an optimal mix—and won’t be for a number of years—in our opinion. 

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Thomas (TJ) Underwood has been providing financial advice as a tax practitioner since the mid 1980’s and began his financial planning career (while earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration/Finance/Marketing), in Detroit at Wayne State University.  From 2010 up to the present he continues to provide visitors timely personal finance and wealth building advice and articles—including real estate advice—on 3 sites that he has created since 2010. 

Even though he is an active real estate Broker in the Atlanta Metropolitan area, he continues to blog consistently to help visitors and those who desire lasting financial and life changing success the opportunity to change their life for the better in a more efficient way. 

You can learn more about him and gain access to all three sites that he has created by going to Who is the creator of page.

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