One of the most common misconceptions we see as Realtors is the idea that a Tax Assessed Value is the same as the appraised value, also known as the Fair Market Value. This is not the case and often affects the offers we receive on listings. The truth is, the county assesses values on property based on a neighborhood or concentrated area and not an individual property. They also do not assess the value every year, but rather every 2-5 years because of the size of the area and the available team to make such assessments. Brewster County, for example, is the largest county in Texas and covers a wide range of territory. The option for the county appraiser to reach every single property to assess a value each year would be impossible. Most of the time, the properties are assessed at 80-90% of the Fair Market Value. Realtors and Licensed Appraisers actually visit the properties when they determine the Fair Market Value. After measuring the square footage and comparing the home to other sales and listings in the immediate area, a Fair Market Value is determined. This is the true value of a property because it is more specific. When buyers make an offer, instead of looking at the county’s assessed value, they should be asking their Realtor for comparable sales in the area of similar properties and make their offer based on that. It is very frustrating in our jobs when we have buyers telling us the value of the home is too low because the county has it $30,000 less than the list price. The facts are usually that the county hasn’t probably assessed the value in a few years, has never seen the inside of the home, they don’t know about improvements to the property or the neighborhood, and they do not have access to sales information since Texas is not a disclosure state. Sales in our area, and the state, are not reported to counties or taxing entities. Our advice is to ask for the comparables for nearby sales of similar property before making your offer. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Do not rely on the county assessment.
Spring has finally arrived here in west Texas after a hard winter of ice storms and cold weather. Flowers are in full bloom and trees are leafing out. The sweet smell of the agarita bushes in my yard fill the air each morning. Big Bend, Terlingua, and Study Butte have never been greener. Some parts along highway 118 look like a golf course with patches of bright yellow flowers and bluebonnets lining the road and fence lines. It's a great time of year to visit the area!
Wow! What a month seeing the critters and wildlife around here. I went to Fort Davis a few days ago and looked out to the Elk pasture on the right, before the incline out of the pass, and saw a huge bull elk. Luckily I had my camera with me so I turned around in the highway for the snapshot opportunity. As I was watching him I noticed he was walking in circles and bellowing and panting. His bones were very visible through his fur and he was very ill-looking. I watched him for a few minutes walk in circles and behave as if disoriented and then headed into Fort Davis to call a game warden. I figured he was either sick or about to die and needed help.
As I showed property in the Davis Mountains Resort that afternoon I drove up on a wild burro, cute as can be. I, again, had my camera with me and snapped a few shots.
Yesterday, Heath and I ventured to Terlingua to list some property and as we were driving down a ranch road in the middle of Solitario we had a mare and little colt walk toward us in the middle of the road, almost walking up to the hood of the truck. As I whistled out the window and jumped out of the truck with my camera they hurried off, the colt bucking and jumping around. Great pictures with the sun setting behind them.
I love west Texas!
One of the privileges of listing ranches I have discovered is having to hike or drive to amazing places. Heath, Hayden, and I drove down to Terlingua on Sunday to list Leon Mountain Ranch. 1250 acres near Study Butte. We've done lots of research on the property online with maps and Google Earth but never realized how beautiful it was until we hiked to the peak. It gave breathtaking a new meaning while I was either hauling a 30 pound camera box with a drone in it or a 2 year old boy. Boy, was I exhausted! But we took our final few steps up the peak and looked up to find we had reached the top of the world. We were not only above Study Butte but we were eye to eye with Bee Mountain and Hen Egg and could see past the Christmas Mountains and far into Mexico. It was stunning. Heath took a second to capture our experience on the drone camera before we slid down the mountain.
Then, when we thought our adventures were over for the day, we took a drive toward Solitario to find a new piece of property to list and photograph. For the past 8 days the area has had rain non-stop so us thinking we were going to get through Terlingua Creek really was a stupid moment. We drove 12 miles off highway 118 on North County Road and twisted and turned on the roads, going through mud pit after mud pit. There were several times when the rain had washed so much of the road away we only had a few feet to pass and had a mountain on one side and a 10 foot drop on the other. I was a nervous wreck! We reached the end when we hit Terlingua Creek. 60 foot wide creek full of water, and who knows how deep...normally a dry creek. God, it was beautiful though! The valley on the other side of the creek was green and the sun was setting and shining on the mountains and cliffs stretching up. We thanked God for getting us lost so we could experience that moment. Plus we had the opportunity to go mudding on the way back. I hadn't done that since high school. It was a great day.
Mar 1 – Mar 31 Jr/Sr Art Class
March 1 through Tuesday, March 31 at the Chinati Foundation, 1 Cavalry Rd in
Using Carl Andre's permanent installation at Chinati as an entry point, area
students enrolled in the school's junior and senior art classes will create
their own poems and artwork to be exhibited at Chinati's annual Community Day
on Sunday, April 19.
Mon, Wed, Fri Senior Circle Stretch & Flex
Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 208 E
Sul Ross Ave. Admission is free.
For more information call (432) 837-0254
Mon, Wed, Fri Tae
Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays at 1:30
PM at the Alpine Public Library or 6:30 PM at Crossroads Baptist
Fellowship. Admission is free. For more information call (432) 294-5034
Mar 3 Alpine City Council Meeting
Tuesday, March 3rd at 5:30 PM in
Council Chambers at 803 W. Holland Ave.
Mar 3 Bingo
Every other Tuesday at 6:30 PM at
the American Legion Hall located at 306 W. Sul Ross Ave.
Mar 3 – Mar 4 Mammos
on the Move Mammography Screening
Tuesday, March 3 and Wednesday,
March 4 from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM at Big Bend Regional Medical Center, 2600
Please bring identification card and insurance card. $129 if not insured. For more information call (915) 577-0100
Mar 3 Tri-Community
Tuesday, March 3 from 8:30 AM until
4:00 PM at Hotel Paisano Ballroomm, 207 N. Highland Street in Marfa. Garden Protection and Pests, Tomato 101, Ice
Storm Tree Damage and Repair, and more. $10
RSVP by Thursday, February 26 at (432) 729-4746 or (432) 837-6207
Every Tuesday Library
Tuesdays from 4:30 PM until 5:30 PM
in the Community Room at Alpine Public Library, 805 W. Avenue E.
First- and second-graders
Every Tuesday Basic
Tuesdays from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
at the Alpine Public Library, 805 W. Avenue E.
Instructor is Gerardo Gonzalez. For
more information call (432) 837-2621.
Admission is free.
Every Wednesday Family
Family Story Time each Wednesday
from 4:00 PM until 4:45 PM in the AEP Multipurpose Room at Alpine Public
Library, 805 W Avenue E
Every Thursday Hike
with a Homeless Dog
Hike With a Homeless Dog every Thursday
from 9:00 AM until 10:30 AM at Davis Mountain State Park in Fort Davis. Grand Companions animal shelter brings dogs
for visitors to walk on a park trail.
Mar 5 – Apr 21 Our
Thursday, March 5 until Tuesday,
April 21. Artist's Reception on Friday,
March 13 2015 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM.
Gallery On The Square
The Big Bend Arts Council and Gallery On The Square welcomes new member,
Theresa Wallace, to the Art Coopertative. Theresa is an accomplished artist in
oil, pastel, and photography. She is planning an exhibit of her photography,
"Our Beautiful Desert", which opens on Thursday, March 5. You can
view Theresa's oil and pastel artwork at Gallery On The Square and get an
invitation to her upcoming artist's reception.
For more information call (432) 837-7203
Mar 6 Knights
of Columbus Fish Fry
Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, Friday,
March 6 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at Our Lady of the Peace Catholic Church,
406 S 6th Street. $7 per
Mar 11 – 14 Electronics Recycling
Wednesday, March 11 through Friday,
March 13 from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM and Saturday, March 14 9:00 AM until 3:00
Old Fire Station (corner of 8th Street and W. Avenue E). For a list of acceptable items call (432)
294-3183 or email email@example.com
Mar 16 – 21 Cactus
and Succulent Sale
Monday, March 16 through Saturday,
March 21, Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center 43869 Highway 118 in Fort Davis.
For more information call (432) 364-2499
Mar 21 Doggie Flea
Saturday, March 21 from 12:00 PM
until 4:00 PM at the Alpine Visitor Center, 106 N. 3rd Street. Bring your doggies by for a bath and flea
dip. Proceeds go to Alpine Humane
Society. For more information call (432)
Feb 3 Bingo
Every other Tuesday at
6:30 PM at the American Legion Hall located at 306 W. Sul Ross
Feb 3 Alpine
City Council Meeting
Alpine City Council
Meeting, Tuesday February 3rd at 5:30 PM located at the Council
Chambers at 803 W. Holland Ave.
Feb 4 Senior
Stretch and Flex
Fridays at 10:00 AM. First United
Methodist Church located at 208 E. Sul Ross Ave. For more information, please call
432.837.0254. Admission is free.
Feb 4 Tae
Fridays at 1:30 PM at the Alpine Public Library or 6:15 PM at Crossroads Baptist
Fellowship. For more information please
call 432.294.5034. All fitness levels
welcome. Admission is free.
Feb 5 – 7 Micro-Cinema: Our Native American Experience
Three evenings of
screening and talk-back sessions featuring a collection of Independent Films
from Native American Filmmakers located at the Studio Theatre. For more information, please call
432.837.8218 or visit http://www.sulross.edu/theatre
Feb 5 Hike
with a Homeless Dog
Hike With a Homeless Dog,
each Thursday from 9:00 AM until 10:30 AM at Davis Mountain State Park. Grand Companions animal shelter brings dogs
for visitors to walk on a park trail.
Feb 5 Amateur
Radio Licensing Class
Amateur Radio Licensing
Class, Thursdays from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM for four Thursdays. Room 130, Turner Range Animal Science Center
at Sul Ross State University. Free class
but $25 manual required (available first meeting). For more information call Dave at (432)
837-2711 or Bob at (432) 386-3041.
Feb 6 No
No Dry Country, Friday,
February 6 at 10:00 PM, Railroad Blues 504 W. Holland Ave
Feb 7 Kolton
Moore and the Clever Few
Kolton Moore and the
Clever Few, Saturday, February 7 at 10:00 PM. Railroad Blues 504 W. Holland Ave
Feb 7 – 8 Vintage Makeover & Pin Up
Saturday, February 7 and Sunday,
February 8, A vintage-inspired hair and makeup session followed by a fun thirty
minute photo shoot at Mendias & Co, 903 W. Ave E. One 5X7 print or wall calendar (your choice)
will be ready for pick up on Friday, February 13- just in time for Valentine's
Day! To make an appointment call (432)
Feb 8 Sunset
Sunday, February 8 from 5:00 PM
until 6:30 PM. Experience Donald Judd's
two permanent installations, 100 works in mill aluminum and 15 outdoor works in
concrete, at dusk. Free of charge to museum members and tri-county residents. Chinati Foundation, 1 Cavalry Rd in Marfa
Feb 8 Paint
and Go Workshop
Paint and Go Workshop, Sunday,
February 8 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Womack
Education Center of the Museum of the Big Bend.
All materials included, $40 per
person. Register by Monday, February 2
by calling (432) 837-8143
Feb 10 Basic
Basic Computer Class, Tuesdays
from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM, Alpine Public Library 805 W. Ave E, instructor is
Gerardo Gonzalez. For more information call (432) 837-2621. Admission is free.
Feb 12 – 14 Chihuahuan Desert Bike Festival
Chihuahuan Desert Bike Festival, Thursday,
February 12 through Saturday, February 14.
For more information visit desertsportstx.com
Feb 14 Valentines
Valentine's in Valentine Hosted
by Big Bend Brewing, Saturday, February 14 at 3:00 PM. The Old Mercantile Building. Tickets are $20 presale and $25 at the door. For more information visit
Feb 14 Valentine’s
Day Party with Slow Down Summer
Valentine's Day Party with Slow
Down Summer, Saturday, February 14 at 10:00 PM at Railroad Blues, 504 W.
Feb 27 – 28 29th Annual Texas
Cowboy Poetry Gathering
29th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry
Gathering, Friday, February 27 through Saturday, February 28. The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering is a
two-day event celebrating the oral tradition of the working cowboy in poetry,
stories, and music. Enjoy more than 50 performers in the classroom and on
stages of Sul Ross State University.
For more information visit www.texascowboypoetry.com
Feb 28 Family Crisis Center Fundraiser Dance
Family Crisis Center Fundraiser
Dance, Saturday, February 28 from 8:30 PM until 11:55 PM at the Alpine Civic
Center. All proceeds benefit the Family
Crisis Center of the Big Bend. A silent auction will be held featuring
original artwork and handmade jewelry by our local artists. Tickets are $20.00 per person. Children 16
and under are free. Come enjoy our fun family event and help a worthy cause. For more information call Rhonda Cole at
(432) 294-0956 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org