Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby viva la ben on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:24 pm

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/01/ ... ssessment/
Toss those assesments and use the 2002 ones
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby cheesesteakwithegg on Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:44 pm

So here is a question....

Last year we refinanced our house, therefore we had to have it re-assessed by the bank. We were very happy with what it was assessed at because if you take what we bought it for + the money we put into it, the house was assessed at $20K more. IIRC, my taxes built into the mortgage payment were adjusted based on the re-assessed value of the house (which was much greater than what the county had it assessed at in 2002).

So, now that Allegheny County is doing this whole re-assessment thing, I was wondering how this is going to affect my mortgage. Right now, the new assessment value that came out today for my house is greater than the 2002 value, but still much less than what the bank assessed it at last year. Like I said, I am 99% sure the taxes built into my mortgage payment are based on the re-assessment I got when I did my re-finance, so I am thinking that since the 2013 assessment is less than what the bank said last year, my payments should go down? Does this make sense?
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Ben Klingston on Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:21 pm

I didn't want to make a new thread for this, and this isn't a city-of-pittsburgh reassessment thing, but here's my question/scenario:

Bought a house earlier this year in Bethel Park. The assessed value (as of 2011) is significantly less than what I bought the place for. The mortgage and taxes/escrow are based off the assessed value. I kind of expected to get re-assessed after the sale, and it took them 6 months, but finally got notice that the school board is filing a re-assessment. Sucks, but I assumed it would happen, and therefore figured the sales price of the house into my budget when assuming property taxes.

So, a couple things for anyone in-the-know about these types of things:

1) Got the notice for the assessment 'hearing' downtown in a few weeks - a Tuesday (workday) morning. Same day I got a mailer from a local law firm advertising their services for re-assessment purposes. Should I even hire representation, or even show up myself, at this hearing? I mean, it's tough for me to argue the home is worth any less than what I paid for it.... is it likely the new assessed price will just be what I paid, or should I be going/hiring a lawyer in case the board tries to argue the value is even more than the sold price?

2) Anyone know whether this is retro-active at all? i.e. I've been paying into escrow for property taxes based on the existing assessed value so far this year - if the assessed value increases, is it on an only go-forward basis, or am I responsible to pay additional retroactive taxes on the higher value going back to some earlier point (this year)?

3) Will my mortgage and what I'm paying into escrow automatically adjust, or do I need to contact my mortgage handler?
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:44 pm

I don't know the answer to one or two but for 3 the county should send the information to your mortgage company and they should adjust it. You shouldn't need to contact them.
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Ben Klingston on Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:05 pm

Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I don't know the answer to one or two but for 3 the county should send the information to your mortgage company and they should adjust it. You shouldn't need to contact them.


Thanks. Complicating things is that my mortgage was just sold to another company.... im sure it will all go seamlessly...
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby jimjom on Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:14 pm

@Ben Klingston, same here -- same boro and everything. I had an appeal on a Tuesday morning in April and went by myself with no lawyer. I came prepared with photographic evidence of why my house should be assessed at a lower value including photos of the busy road I live on, photos of all of my supposed comparables that ALL have more square footage and living space than mine, and I got turned down via a letter in the mail.

I didn't appeal it, it's just a waste of time IMO, the reassessment people were hired to be adversarial to home owners and are nothing more than hatchet men and women.

The escrow will automatically go up, you don't have to tell your mortgage people anything. Sucks that we didn't make the three mile move into Washington County when we were looking at houses.
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Ben Klingston on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:20 pm

jimjom wrote:@Ben Klingston, same here -- same boro and everything. I had an appeal on a Tuesday morning in April and went by myself with no lawyer. I came prepared with photographic evidence of why my house should be assessed at a lower value including photos of the busy road I live on, photos of all of my supposed comparables that ALL have more square footage and living space than mine, and I got turned down via a letter in the mail.

I didn't appeal it, it's just a waste of time IMO, the reassessment people were hired to be adversarial to home owners and are nothing more than hatchet men and women.

The escrow will automatically go up, you don't have to tell your mortgage people anything. Sucks that we didn't make the three mile move into Washington County when we were looking at houses.


Thanks for the reply.... I have a bunch of questions, if you don't mind... you can PM me responses if you'd prefer, or just respond here (someone else on board may find useful):

1. So the sales price of your house was more than the assessed value it was at? If so, how did you argue that the house should be assessed at below the sales price? It just seems to me that's a losing battle - you (and I) obviously thought the sales price was what the house was worth... that's what I'm struggling with - I just don't see a logic path to arguing my assessed value should be anything but my sales price (in fact, the lender's assessment came in at about the same as the sales price, which I understand is not uncommon, and seems like a sham, but that's another story...)

2. What did the 'other side' (a law firm representing school board, I assume) present, and did they just argue that it should be assessed at your sales price, or did they argue (and win) that it should be higher than sales price? This is really my biggest fear/reason for even thinking of attending/hiring representation... Just like I don't think there's much of an argument of it being assessed for < my sales price, I can't imagine there is much of an argument for it being greater, either. The market showed what I paid was 'market value).

3. Was the new assessed value only going-forward, or did they make it retroactive to some point (which I'm assuming would have to be handled outside of monthly escrow part of the mortgage)?
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby cheesesteakwithegg on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:25 pm

I just moved to Bethel in May, so I guess that I should expect a letter saying that they area re-assessing my house?
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Ben Klingston on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:42 pm

cheesesteakwithegg wrote:I just moved to Bethel in May, so I guess that I should expect a letter saying that they area re-assessing my house?


If you paid more than the current assessed value, I'd say yes. Frankly, I don't know why it wouldn't happen to anyone who buys at greater than the assessed value... seems like a gimme for the govt/beneficiaries of higher taxes. I would think any county would automatically review house sales and do a comparison against assessed value, and if purchase price is greater than assessed... they'd file an automatic appeal...
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Spum on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:37 pm

In Allegheny County, If you pay more than over 110 percent the assessed value, expect to be reassessed by that school district. The only evidence that will matter to them at the hearing will be if you pay for your own professional assessment and bring that to the hearing. Anything else and expect to lose. Been through it.
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby jimjom on Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:13 am

@Ben:

The first thing you're (or at least what i was asked) asked after swearing in and having a camera filming the hearing turned on is "how much do you think your house is worth?" I gave a vague answer but assigned a dollar value that was in between what I paid & the original pre-2013 value. That was the best I could come up with on the spot.

The Bethel Park School Board didnt send representation or challenge my appeal, so I can't say for sure what happens when/if they do.

The new rate goes into effect in the monthly payment after you get the notification that your case was won/lost, usually 6 weeks after the hearing.

In your original post you talked about getting the letters from lawyers that were unsolicited, and I did too. It's weird.
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby Spum on Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:34 am

Oh and to answer your retroactive question, no it is not.
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby cheesesteakwithegg on Tue May 06, 2014 1:49 pm

So Bethel School District filed an appeal for my house. Hearing is next week. I am deciding whether I should go or not. Will the district argue that the assessed value be the purchase price, or just something higher than the current assessed value?
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby columbia on Tue May 06, 2014 2:01 pm

Speaking of Bethel Park..I grew up on this street:
http://www.homes.com/property/851-frede ... 022872531/

People really pay that much for houses in BP?
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby thehockeyguru on Tue May 06, 2014 2:09 pm

columbia wrote:Speaking of Bethel Park..I grew up on this street:
http://www.homes.com/property/851-frede ... 022872531/

People really pay that much for houses in BP?


That seems a bit high. There are plans where house can go for 300k+, but you can still find decent 3BR 2BA for 150k-180k. Problem is they just built a new high school and want to boost taxes again.
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Re: Pittsburgh Reassessment Mania!

Postby jimjom on Tue May 06, 2014 2:36 pm

That's way too steep. The house doesn't seem to be completely updated, which I would want if I'm dropping 300g's. Furthermore, that finished basement where the treadmill is is a joke. There's a dehumidifier in the basement too, a sign of moisture. Avoid.

We got one of those late 1940s colonials that you see everywhere in the South Hills in the 120s.
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