Why Property Taxes are so BAD

Last weekend, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) awarded this series discussing state and local property taxes “Bronze” in their Best Series category.  While originally published in May 2016, a year later nothing has alleviated our property tax increases. 

Several weeks ago I wrote a pair of columns (here and here) about how the core math of Texas property taxes is fundamentally broken (and always has been).  While, A+B=C, if “A” is patently wrong, how can “B” and “C” be accurate?

In this case, “A” is assessed property value, “B” is property tax rate and “C” is the revenue required to run the city and state.  In Texas, without real estate transaction disclosure, “A” is always a bit of a crapshoot as DCAD pulls assessed values out of thin air.  Now I’m sure there’s some enormous algorithm they use to calculate values (a bottle of Jack, a blindfold and a dart board?) but in the end, not having access to the actual selling prices of real estate in Texas hamstrings a meaningful conversation about taxation rates.

As it is, property tax assessment districts in Texas have higher rates (“B”) than are actually needed because they have no visibility into “A” valuations.  Texas rates are high because the underlying assessed values are inaccurate.

Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News outlined how this year’s rate increases hit middle-income homes harder than higher income homes.  Color me shocked!  And yet, the middle class are just as vocal about keeping Texas’ system of non-disclosure in place.

(more…)

southlakehome (1 of 55)

There really is something for everyone at 300 W. Highland Street in Southlake. It’s a large, beautiful property that has it where it counts!

The original home was built in 1998, and the sellers completed a full remodel this year. It welcomes family and friends with a richness of hand-scraped hardwood floors and crown molding. The open concept formal living and dining room will dazzle those who love entertaining.

And this home is unique as it’s really two homes in one.

(more…)

Why Property Taxes are so BAD

Why Property Taxes are so BAD

Several weeks ago I wrote a pair of columns (here and here) about how the core math of Texas property taxes is fundamentally broken (and always has been).  While, A+B=C, if “A” is patently wrong, how can “B” and “C” be accurate?

In this case, “A” is assessed property value, “B” is property tax rate and “C” is the revenue required to run the city and state.  In Texas, without real estate transaction disclosure, “A” is always a bit of a crapshoot as DCAD pulls assessed values out of thin air.  Now I’m sure there’s some enormous algorithm they use to calculate values (a bottle of Jack, a blindfold and a dart board?) but in the end, not having access to the actual selling prices of real estate in Texas hamstrings a meaningful conversation about taxation rates.

As it is, property tax assessment districts in Texas have higher rates (“B”) than are actually needed because they have no visibility into “A” valuations.  Texas rates are high because the underlying assessed values are inaccurate.

Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News outlined how this year’s rate increases hit middle-income homes harder than higher income homes.  Color me shocked!  And yet, the middle class are just as vocal about keeping Texas’ system of non-disclosure in place.

For me, this is the most salient paragraph …

“Local officials say they are hamstrung by state law in trying to accurately assess commercial and high-end residential properties. Texas, unlike most other states, doesn’t require real estate sales prices to be publicly disclosed. Property owners who can afford pricey Realtors often demand nondisclosure agreements. State law also permits property owners who successfully challenge their appraisals to collect attorneys’ fees from the county.”

If non-disclosure died, here’s what would happen…

First, the state would take 3 to 5 years to change the system.  During that time, the state taxation districts would rebuild their databases of assessed values based on transactions occurring during that window.  From there, the state would reverse engineer the taxation rate.  If the state needs $X and property is worth $X, what rate gets us to that level?  Hint … it’s a rate a HELL of lot lower than it is today.

For example …

A $200,000 home taxed at today’s homestead rate of ~2.3 percent equated to $4,600 per year in property taxes.  But let’s say that home is really worth $310,000 … then the tax rate would only need to be 1.5 percent to reach the same $4,600 in annual property taxes.

I hear you saying … “If, after this exercise homeowners still pay about the same, what’s the point?”

(more…)

Swananoah IHOTW

Bluffview is home to so many gorgeous homes. It’s one of the hotbeds of high-end real estate and high-style architecture. Truly, to have a home in this neighborhood is a feather in the cap of any residential architect. And some of these homes, well, they take on a life of their own.

This design by architect Bentley Tibbs is a stunning take on the glass house, with modern lines and floor-to-ceiling windows, it feels like a conservatory or a greenhouse in which you cultivate not flowers and plants, but a well-curated art collection.

 

8403 Swananoah Front 2

High-caliber homes like this come around only once in a lifetime, and when you see the open spaces and perfect views from this Becky Frey listing, you’ll want to put in your highest and best offer. To make sure you sail through your transaction from bid to closing, call Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans today. With her expertise, your dream home can become a reality.

Jump to see inside this masterful creation, brought to life by builder Mark Siepiela of DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT.

(more…)

A 3D showcase of a property allows potential buyers to "walk through" a home, even from the other side of the world. Photo: Worth3D

A 3D showcase of a property allows potential buyers to “walk through” a home and explore it in detail, even from the other side of the world. Photo: Worth3D

In the competitive business of luxury real estate, attracting attention to a listing and making it memorable are critical for Realtors hoping catch the eye of potential buyers and land big sales. This is particularly true of out-of-town or international buyers viewing multiple properties online, narrowing their selections, and making an offer before ever setting foot in town.

Worth3D is a new business in Fort Worth aiming to give Realtors an edge by creating an immersive, interactive, 3D showcase to enhance online listings. This allows buyers to “walk through” a house and and understand the context of the layout and amenities more completely than traditional real estate photography, says Worth3D co-owner Tim Sehnem, who founded the company with Mark Smith last year. Their product is designed to complement MLS photography, give buyers an additional resource when scouting properties online, and offer Realtors a “latest-and-greatest” tool to differentiate themselves from competition.

“This software works with Redfin, Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia, so Realtors can upload it with their listing and when buyers go to ‘virtual tour,’ it will launch the 3D viewer,” Sehnem said. “It allows buyers to refine their search, and they find it useful after seeing a property to help them remember details.”

He said a 3D showcase is particularly useful in marketing homes over 4,000 square feet, where it’s easy to forget what you saw where just because of the scale of the house. An online virtual tour allows buyers to revisit properties as many times as they want, and see specific details that might not be pictured in the MLS photos.

 

(more…)

3700 Euclid exterior 1All eyes have been on this stunning listing at 3700 Euclid, because almost every agent in town knew it was (a) beautiful, (b) stunning and (c) over $10 million. In fact, it was said that this sale could thrust Highland Park real estate into a whole new realm of Silicon-Valley like pricing. IF the purported buyer, Daniel Hunt, president of FC Dallas, son of the late Lamar Hunt  his brother Clark is listed as owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Hunt’s family’s sports holdings are split equally among Lamar’s four children — two from his first marriage, Lamar Jr., and Sharron, and Clark and Dan from his second — paid asking price of $14,900,000 (reduced a whole swallow from $15,995,000) or anywhere near that, we are talking $1,065.00 per square foot. Sweet.

We didn’t get that, but we got $13,600,000. Or almost $973 a square foot. How do you like that, Highland Park?3700 Euclid exterior

(more…)

3625 Bryn Mawr Front

There’s a reason that Tatum Brown Custom Homes are some of the most sought-after and prized new builds in the Park Cities. Not only is the finish-out of each contemporary and transitional masterpiece absolutely without equal, but they remain completely ageless, not showing the nicks and craters you’d often find from lesser-quality construction.

And when a Tatum Brown Custom Home comes on the market and is designed eye-poppingly well, you take notice. That’s why this home from one of our most popular CandysDirt.com Approved Builders is this week’s High Caliber home. When you come across a home like this one, don’t take any chances with financing. Contact Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans for expert service and the right loan for your dream home.

3625 Bryn Mawr Steps

Now jump to see the incredible interiors of this High Caliber Home.

(more…)

4311 Brookview Beltre House

Aidrian Beltre’s Bowling Greenwood home. (Photo: Google Maps)

Of all the things to take from Adrian Beltre’s Bowling Greenwood mansion, the burglars who burgled the Rangers third-baseman’s home took tickets to his Globe Life Ballpark suite and his American League Championship ring according to this SportsDay post.

No untraceable electronics. No silver. No artwork. And no one was caught.

Sounds kind of personal, doesn’t it?

According to City of Dallas police reports, Beltre’s home was burglarized last Thursday morning shortly after he left for the Rangers’ homestand finale against Oakland. Nobody was in the house at the time. Beltre’s family is still in Southern California.

The police report cites the theft of precious metals and jewelry. Beltre, who only briefly returned home before the Rangers’ flight to Toronto last Thursday evening, said among the items taken was his 2011 AL Championship ring. Beltre also said the thieves made off with tickets to his suite at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

“I’d like to see them show up there,” Beltre said. “I’m just glad nobody was home.”

Adrian Beltre (Photo: Wikipedia)

Adrian Beltre (Photo: Wikipedia)

I am truly baffled by this break-in, not just because of the items taken from Beltre’s stone-clad two-story at 4311 Brookview Drive, but over how someone could get away with such a crime. This area has so very little crime thanks to the off-duty Dallas Police patrols in the area and the overall watchfulness of neighbors, so I have to wonder if this doesn’t send some homeowners scrambling to update their security systems. Some say biometric security is becoming more common …

Adrian and Sandra Beltre’s 8,204-square-foot home has five bedrooms, five full and two half baths, three fireplaces, and a backyard pool all on a 3/4 of an acre. DCAD says it’s worth more than $3 million.