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!