Remember when I was talking about protesting the property taxes for the flip?  We were victorious!!


That’s right, we got the overall value of the house reduced by just over 30%, which will give us a corresponding 30% discount in property taxes.  Woohoo!!

Here’s a little background on how it all went down.

In Dallas County (and maybe in your county, too), property owners are allowed to protest the appraised value of their homes within a certain time frame after the new values come out for the year.  We were able to sneak in our protest for the flip just under the wire.  A hearing date was set (June 24th), and on that date we would present evidence to a panel of 3 members of the Appraisal Review Board as to why we thought our house was worth less than they said it was – basically, tell them all of the stuff that they don’t know about our house.  However, before June 24th we could come in to meet with an adjuster for an “informal” meeting and present the same evidence.  We opted to go this route since we could still have the formal hearing if the informal meeting didn’t turn out how we thought it should.

In a nutshell, we weren’t as prepared for the informal meeting as we should have been.  We brought in our closing statement and figured that should do the trick.  Nope!  They thought that it was an “atypical sale” based on other sales in the neighborhood – but of course, these people had never seen the house and had no idea the condition that it was in, they were just looking at statistical data.  So, our adjuster offered to bring the appraised value down a decent amount, but not to where we thought it should be.  We said no thanks.  He was lovely and said that we could come back with more evidence before our hearing date, which was exactly what we did.

We came back with more evidence than you could shake a stick at, all arranged in a neat little binder with flagged pages and highlighted areas for easy reference.  In addition to the closing statement, we had the inspection report indicating that we needed a new electrical panel and HVAC; bids for a new roof, foundation work, and new windows; and pictures of everything, from the foundation work to the roof being replaced.

Based on all of this evidence, we were able to get the condition of the house reduced from average to poor (the lowest condition level).  Of course, once the house is all spruced and renovated it will no longer be in poor condition, but that will be reflected when the taxes come out for the next year.  In the meantime, we will be taxed based on the actual value of the home!

Have you ever protested your property taxes?

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  1. Irene says:

    Aww man, this is something we should have done when we first bought Casa Ugly last year. We could have saved some dough. The house was in such disrepair.

  2. Nice work!!!! I’m impressed!

  3. You go guys! I’ve never had to protest taxes before, but I will definitely keep this in mind when working with investors on properties in less-than-stellar condition. Congrats on the discount! :)
    Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont´s last blog post post ..Wrapped Wire Word Art

  4. this is so interesting! not allowed where we are from, but so cool that you can!

  5. christy says:

    I am so happy for you guys! That is a huge percentage change – goooo you guys! I’ve never attempted to fight the system like that, but it’s great to see that it can (and should!) work when needed!

  6. Good for you. Wanna hear how I’m an idiot. We had our house reappraised when we bought it. We had a one-month window to appeal it, and our tax assessor said it’d go down a lot. Well, you can guess where this is going. We were busy with renovations and I forgot to request the forms when they were available. That cost us several thousand dollars. Still kicking myself over this.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      NOOO!!! Kim, that sucks! (And it totally sounds like something I would do.) Ugh, I’m sorry. :(

  7. Rebecca says:

    i feel like i just learned a valuable life lesson without listening to a lecture from a parent. loves it. mental note officially made.

  8. lily says:

    That’s great…especially great that you avoided the panel. I hear they’re grumpy retired people who gives everyone a very hard time. My friend just went to face the panel down here in Harris County and didn’t even get $1 off his appraised value.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Wow, that does sound grumpy! Although if it makes your friend feel any better, when I was a lowly associate at my old law firm I had to protest my boss’s taxes and the appraisal review board ruled against me and I had to appeal their decision to district court – yikes! But it worked!

  9. Jennifer says:

    No, but we had plans to. I am sure we are past the deadline though- I didn’t know there was a deadline, I thought this was available any time! eek.

  10. Hillary says:

    I protested ours and won, too. We live in Colorado Springs and the process is much simpler here. There is an online form that you fill out, identifying three comps and why your house is worth less than those. We’re adding a bathroom to our house right now when I’m assuming will raise our value at the next assessment (if we get the final inspection done…), and I will protest it again if I need to.

    The good news is that here our property taxes are **so incredibly cheap** (around 0.6%) that even if I don’t win the next round I’ll only be out a hundred bucks or so.
    Hillary´s last blog post post ..A month out.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      That’s awesome, great job! And I’m drooling over your tax rate – ours is about 2.2% but we don’t have a state income tax, so it probably evens out.

  11. Katrina says:

    Yay!! Glad that worked out! Here in Cali – they’ve been keeping our property taxes LOW – thankfully they havn’t noticed the updates we’ve been doing around our Casa – and I hope it stays that way!

  12. Aimee says:

    WOW! Can you please be my guardian angel? Even a part-time situation would be fine. You rock!!!

  13. jaimee says:

    Glad to know about this one! Thanks so much for sharing this one. I bet a lot of people should be able to learn this one because this is indeed inspiring and very much of help especially to those people who do not know much about this kind of stuffs so thanks again for posting this one!
    jaimee´s last blog post post ..DATING ADVICE

  14. We recently attempted to lower our property tax values, but didn’t have near as positive of an experience. We closed on our home on April 24th, and even though we called the tax office prior to the closing to make sure we could contest the value, they neglected to mention that the final date to contest was April 15th! Which means our taxes were not only set for the 2011 year, but 2012 as well! We called, we went in, we basically stalked the city property tax office trying to plead our case- “How can we be forced to pay based on an incorrect value for 20 months?” Unfortunately, no one within reason seems to work there. We now have to get a lawyer and argue our case in tax court. :(
    Erin @ One Project at a Time´s last blog post post ..You Want Me to Put My TV Where?

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Noooo!!! That is terrible! I’m so sorry, I hope it gets resolved quickly and cheaply!