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Friday, June 28, 2019

Understanding Real Estate Assessments

Understanding Real Estate Assessments

It’s that time again - real estate assessments are here! St. Louis and St. Charles County property owners have recently received their bi-yearly real estate assessment.  The good part? Property values are up. That means homes are worth more and likely have more equity. The not-so-good part? Higher property values means your associated real estate assessments are higher too.

The assessment itself is not a bill. The Assessor doesn’t create value and set tax rates, they measure market values and create assessments. If sales go up in an area, market values and assessments will increase. It’s political subdivisions that determine the tax rate. These tax jurisdictions usually do this by dividing the total value of the properties in their boundaries by their budgetary needs. By the end of October these numbers are sent to the Collector of Revenue to calculate and issue property tax bills. 

What is a real estate assessment?

Property tax bills are usually figured into and paid with your mortgage payments. Those who have already paid off their home will want to be sure to budget for yearly property taxes. The property tax revenue pays for our towns to have quality roads, schools, and other public services. The real estate assessment process helps ensure the value of your home reflects current economic conditions and that property taxes are distributed fairly.
“There is a lot of information that is used to prepare the assessments,” says St. Charles County Assessor Scott Shipman. “Starting in July the year prior, we gather data concerning all facets of real estate value. This mass appraisal process includes measurements of all buildings, land descriptions, building permits, market information, and land sales and depreciation studies. Appraisers also conduct exterior reviews of properties to observe any differences not listed in the property data. All this information is entered and managed in our database, and we conduct statistical analysis tests as a final step before market values and assessments are produced.”
Most towns encourage property owners to research and confirm assessment data by either going to the assessor’s office or viewing the assessment data online. (View St. Charles County assessments here.) Fortunately counties like ours are transparent in their process and are available to answer any questions about your assessment.

home assessments explained

The Boehmer Team is here to help you understand all things involved with home ownership. Owning a home is a wonderful thing, especially when you understand assessments, property taxes and they way they directly benefit your community.  Need help buying or selling a St. Louis or St. Charles County area home? Contact us to setup a time to interview us to answer any questions and/or begin the process.

 *Charles County Assessor Scott Shipman quote pulled from St. Charles County Connection May 2019 Newsletter.