Well I failed to tell you when Angie Barrett sold her 3200 ish square foot penthouse condo at One Arts Plaza last December 13. (Spank me!) The condo, which was beautifully decked out in a stunning contemporary style by Droese and Raney Architecture Inc. was listed for $2,575,000. It had been on the market for a bit. The place was and still is just a palace in the sky: Edelman-leather walls, Tully Weis, Muse Integration, Poliform, Miele and Sub-Zero throughout, there is also 673 square feet of terrace to enjoy, custom cabinetry and motorized window treatments.
The master suite is enormous: 18 by 14 with a study, custom closets ( OF COURSE!), a bathroom with a contemporary vessel tub and shower fed by ceiling-mounted spouts and multiple showerheads.
Joan Crawford, eat your heart out on this one.
So on December 13, the former Mayor of Denton, Texas, Mark Burroughs, and his wife, Dianna, snapped up Angie’s glorious pad for $2,175,000. At least that’s what it says in MLS. Which is interesting, because now Mark Burroughs is suing the Dallas County Appraisal District for putting that very same valuation on his property. His beef, according to Stephen Young at The Dallas Observer, is he “claims that the city of Dallas has unequally appraised his property by valuing it at more than 10 percent more than the median price of comparable Arts District properties and seeks an adjustment to that median of the taxable value of the condo.”
Well guess what: a lot of people sue the appraisal district over tax valuations. That’s the result of this screwy system we have whereby residential property owners get stiffed while the commercial properties get away with murder! Property owners do have the right to compare the appraised value of their property to that of other “comparable” properties if they believe their appraisal is too high.
I mean, Burroughs may have paid $2,175,000 but maybe there was something else included in that sales price aside from the property. Or maybe right after he bought the home, valuations plummeted! Only two One Arts Plaza units are available for sale right now: units 2004 and 1914.
Texas courts have only loosely defined what is considered comparable. Mike Collier, Democratic candidate for Texas Comptroller, nailed it when he said our property tax system is RIGGED!
Texas is one of four states that do not require disclosure of prices upon the sale of a property. Requiring this for commercial properties will address an asymmetry between residential and commercial property valuations that contributes to unfair treatment. For residential properties, determining prices for comparable transactions is possible thanks to the internet and multiple listing services. No such price discovery process exists for commercial properties. The resulting asymmetry is this: Residential property values are highly reliable and thus offer little scope for appeal, while commercial property valuations are highly unreliable and offer much opportunity for appeal.
Then, there’s the issue of the Vertigo: artist Teresita Fernandez’s 2007 piece, which was sold through the University of South Florida’s art museum for $175,000.
It’s not clear whether she left the painting by mistake or what. Or maybe it was installed and needed a professional to uninstall? In any case, Burroughs appears to have been holding it hostage:
In a February 13 letter to her attorney, Burroughs acknowledges that he bought the unit “as is,” but that he had to rely on Barrett’s check-marked, item-by-item assurances that everything was in working order because she refused to allow a formal inspection.
It was only after the deal was sealed that he began noticing all the things that were wrong: a scorched electrical outlet on the patio; a burned-out condenser on the air conditioner; a broken wine refrigerator; an expensive “Agate” rug that had been part of the deal but had been “bait-and-switched” for a smaller one.
Too bad about all the legal actions, well at least the one between Angie and Mark and Dianna. I once had a lot of surprises with a home we bought and thought about suing but instead just fixed everything. I hope they get this resolved, in fact, maybe they have. And it looks like Mark and Dianne Burrough are planning on being urban Dallas dwellers.