Update, 4:09 pm: there IS a good, well, a very bad reason why John Ames had such a low appraisal: his home burned down! Details coming up.
I love our Dallas County Tax Assessor John R. Ames, I really do. I’ve met him, I voted for him, just love the guy. I think he’s doing a great job down at the tax office. Plus I think he’d be really fun at a party.
But I want to know, what’s in the secret appraisal sauce down there? John lives in DeSoto, in a darling circa mid 80’s house on a cul de sac. It’s 30 years old, 5199 square feet, and in very poor condition.
(Let’s face it: all our homes are in very poor condition, right? My dishwashers just broke, and I just found rotted wood from all this rain. This house is going to hell in a Louis Vuitton handbag.)
Last year his house was appraised at $254,380.
This year it’s appraised at $177,270.
In 2015 his land was $36,000, improvement was $218,380. Proposed for 2016 is land at $36,000 holding steady there but improvement is down at $141,270.
I mean Zillow, a real estate gawking site that is always off — wait — did you see where Zillow founder Spencer Rascoff’s former home sold for way less than the Zestimate?
On February 29, Rascoff sold a Seattle home for $1.05 million, 40 percent less than the Zestimate of $1.75 million shown on its property page a day later.
The gap between the Zestimate of Rascoff’s former property and its sales price has decreased only modestly since then.
Zillow readily acknowledges that Zestimates can be inaccurate, but some consumers can still take them at face value, causing headaches for agents.
Thank God because Zillow has John’s house “zestimated” at $298,373.
That’s completely ridiculous but let me tell you: I think DeSoto is John’s secret sauce — DeSoto here I come!