Housing Prices Still Plummeting

Via Atrios, the Geithner Plan to pretend "legacy assets" are not actually, um, toxic, will have to be a long term one:

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 19 percent in January from a year earlier, the fastest drop on record, as demand plummeted and foreclosures rose. . . . A glut of unsold properties may keep prices low, shrinking household wealth and damping spending. Still, sales of new and previously owned homes rose in February, indicating the housing slump, now in its fourth year, may ease as policy efforts to unclog credit and aid borrowers begin to take hold.

“There is still a lot of downward momentum,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York. “We don’t think we’ll see a bottom in home prices until the second half of next year. The decline in home prices will continue to depress household balance sheets.”

It will also depress the value of those "legacy assets" Geithner is so sure are underpriced.

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    And those mortgage backed securities (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:49:12 AM EST
    that Citi and BofA just bought on the secondary market were a great deal because they were undervalued :)  Houses aren't worth spit without stable middle class jobs, and mortgage streams are worth about as much as a urine stream without stable middle class jobs.  But my whining and b*tch*ng grows tiresome and for that I'm not sorry Obama and friends.

    Not tiresome to me, MT (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:54:15 AM EST
    as you have a way of cutting through the clutter to the concise points not always made elsewhere, with a useful perspective plus passion and panache!

    Thanks for dealing with my (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:56:21 AM EST
    daily and sometimes hourly yammering and ranting.

    You are absolutely right (5.00 / 5) (#59)
    by esmense on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 02:21:55 PM EST
    Unfortunately, the financial interest that most influence economic policy see good middle class wages as "inflationary." It is in their vested interest to believe that the cure for the economy -- the most necessary thing to get houses and cars selling again -- is mostly a matter of "getting credit flowing again," that is, more easy credit, more (for them, profitable) consumer debt, rather than more jobs at higher wages (and greater savings rates -- that is, money they will be asked to pay interest on rather than debt they will collect interest from).

    What is best for the financial markets is no longer aligned with what is best for average Americans and the economy overall.


    Good to see you back (none / 0) (#61)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 02:52:27 PM EST

    not tiresome to me either. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by cpinva on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:35:42 AM EST
    low housing prices and ample, low rate credit mean nothing, if no one is employed. zero income still means zero ability to buy and support a house.

    apparently, the blatantly obvious seems to still escape our titans of financial intellect.


    Since our housing "bubble"... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:52:15 AM EST
    ...did not inflate as much as other places, the downside isn't as bad as some are experiencing.  

    From the Governor's Office...

    Our home foreclosure rate is stabilizing and is lower than many other states. Our home values have declined a little, but they haven't plummeted as in many other states.

    The report shows, re Denver (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:58:06 AM EST
    that "faring the best" -- of 20 metros in the study -- "were Dallas, Denver and Cleveland with annual price declines around 5 percent in January."  

    But every region showed decline from last year, and when those "faring the best" are down 5 percent, it shows how different our worldview is this year.


    here too (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CST on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:46:44 AM EST
    to be honest, I think you see the difference where there was a big building boom.  For example, the suburbs have been hit harder than the city, since there was more building in the burbs.  Here in the city, prices went up, but we don't really have a lot of space to build tons of new houses.  So the total supply didn't change as drasticly as it did in places like San Diego and Florida where people were building tons of houses - that no one wants now.

    hm (none / 0) (#31)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:58:32 AM EST
    I read an article today forecasting that the new exurbs would become tommorrow's low-income housing.  That many would revert to rental properties, similar to what happened when the cities died.

    The article suggested that HOAs were already starting to welcome the idea of renters as its better than vacants.


    wouldn't be surprised (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:27:53 PM EST
    especially since this generation coming up seems more inclined to live in the city, and rising gas costs make it harder to live outside viable transit options.

    The housing market here didn't inflate much (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:03:40 AM EST
    either because of all the three piece camo suits running around here.  The military moves so much we buy houses reluctantly, and the only home prices I saw inflated were some fresh McMansion builds around here coming already attached to mortgage companies offering A.R.M.s.  Likewise because the camouflaged are paid the same unexciting amount every 1st and 15th with boring predictability, the only houses that obviously slid into freefall were those same fresh builds I mentioned earlier.

    The prices will fall... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:10:29 AM EST
    ...until, in those places they are crashing, prices more closely (MUCH more closely) come in line with wages.  You think average joe or joanne, in the next quarter century or so, even with half a brain cell and only one shoe on, is going to let themselves be sucked into another magic sounding mortgage deal for a giant dreamhouse?  Home houses will simply be homes again, not mercenary objects of quick financial lust.  As my friend in coastal North San Diego county told me recently, lamenting the diminishing spirits in his neighborhood, there is a big difference, BIG, between someone asking you 'how long have you lived in the neighborhood?' and 'when did you buy?'

    Yes, our homes will become homes again (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:13:57 AM EST
    Getting there is going to suck though

    Yes (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:57:33 PM EST
    You think average joe or joanne, in the next quarter century or so, even with half a brain cell and only one shoe on, is going to let themselves be sucked into another magic sounding mortgage deal for a giant dreamhouse?

    No question about it in my mind.


    Agree (none / 0) (#48)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:01:43 PM EST
    if they learned anything from this it is to watch the market signals and bail earlier.

    they might, sure (none / 0) (#49)
    by Dadler on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:04:21 PM EST
    but for the same kind of numbers to do it again, assuming the same kind of schemes and junk mortgages and delusions come around again even marginally soon, we still need another generation of births and aging and loss of memory to get there.  but, i could be wrong, and the collective stupidity could be much greater than i am presuming.  i look for another bubble.  we had tech.  houses.  what's next?  bananas?  somthing, somewhere, will become the next great financial disaster, that we can agree on.

    I've been watching an area in (none / 0) (#50)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:07:13 PM EST
    AZ for the past year. It gives all appearances of trying to get the same scheme going and appealing to the investors to buy up the foreclosed properties.

    In a generation or so (none / 0) (#63)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:07:28 PM EST
    expect the same stupid mistakes unless there is real reform.  Real reform came in the 30s but the stupid seeped in again starting in the 80s and continued unabated for three decades.

    Now, with evidence of stupidity in hand, the administration has decided to extend the stupidity.

    Galbraith was right about the generational rhythm of stupidity but didn't live long enough to see another generation immediately discard the lessons finally learned and decide to continue the madness.


    I tend to agree (none / 0) (#66)
    by esmense on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:21:02 PM EST
    waiting for the next bubble to save your deep in debt ass is so much easier, and safer, than standing up and sticking your neck out for better wages a genuine economic safety net, etc. Why rock the boat when you have a one in a zillion chance of winning the lottery or making a killing in the next ponzi scheme floated by your betters?

    Homes "Rose" In February (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by BDB on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:41:49 AM EST
    is at best spin and at worst intentional misinformation designed to mislead people into believing Feb. home sales showed improvement.

    While the sales were higher than sales were in January, that's always the case because home sales are cyclical (Jan. is always the worst month of the year).  The spin fails to acknowledge this yearly occurence, merely comparing Feb. sales to January sales as if a rise from Jan. to Feb. is meaningful when it is not (happens every year and does not mean anything in terms of the overall health of the housing market).  The correct comparison, which takes into account the cyclical nature of home sales, is year to year.

    When the correct comparison is used, the alleged "rise" is sales becomes a fall in sales.  For example, new home sales fell 41% in February when compared to a year ago (horrific is the adjective Ritholtz uses to describe the fall).

    Yet, as Ritholtz points out, that's not how the media reported it or refers to it.  

    Saw a similar article last week (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:49:46 AM EST
    but the message was new home construction was up. Same scenario....against January numbers, but way down from Feb 2008.

    One really needs to learn how to follow their own instincts and question every single word published in the media these days.


    funny (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:51:54 AM EST
    Good point,  reminds me of the global warming skeptics who tout the ice returning to the poles...every december.  It's a miracle!

    Do you ever wonder who decides to do (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:45:30 AM EST
    these spins and where and why?  I never bought wag the dog much but this is too pathetic to entertain the notion that someone thought that was a story line.

    The storyline (none / 0) (#64)
    by cal1942 on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:11:58 PM EST
    is that Obama is wonderful and gee, look an improvement already.

    Were in a death spiral (2.00 / 1) (#32)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:59:43 AM EST
    Taxpayers are bailing out Ford and GM and now Ford and GM are going to make car payments for the newly unemployed?

    Good thing so many people have been (none / 0) (#38)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:25:37 PM EST
    relieved of their mortgage payments so they can give all the rest of their money to the bailouts of the really, really big companies who behaved irresponsibly.

    Citation, please (none / 0) (#52)
    by Farmboy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    Could you enlighten me as to the source of your "Taxpayers are bailing out Ford" information?  Thanks in advance.

    SOS hasn't paid close enough attention (none / 0) (#53)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:22:07 PM EST
    or cited Ford in error, I'm sure.

    If you can't see it (2.00 / 1) (#55)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:37:59 PM EST
    it's probably to late.

    Can't see what? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 02:03:25 PM EST
    Ford didn't take any bailout money from the gov't. They didn't like the terms attached to the help, so they are trying to recover on their own.

    Thought as much, (none / 0) (#54)
    by Farmboy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:35:21 PM EST
    but these days you never know.  

    I wouldn't be surprised to wake up tomorrow to the news that Ford needed gov't help simply because of GM/Chrysler going under and taking the auto infrastructure with them.

    My fingers are crossed that Ford stock will be worth something again someday.


    I question whether securitized assets (none / 0) (#1)
    by gtesta on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:15:23 AM EST
    like mortgage-backed securities have any value at all if any part of the mortgages on which they are based go into default.
    Has anyone seen any valuation models or formulas that offer any kind of correlation between mortgage note amounts, default rates and (I presume) the par value of the mortage-backed securites?
    I also question whether my mortgage note is still valid if my bank sold it to create a securitized asset.  I know they squandered the proceeds of the sale, got bailed out (some) for their irresponsibility, but by what authority can they still collect on a note that they sold?

    this is such a mess (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:22:09 AM EST
    Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio made a splash week ago when she questioned the paper trail:

    Amy Goodman writes

    She criticizes the bailout's failure to protect homeowners facing foreclosure. Her advice to "squat" cleverly exploits a legal technicality within the subprime-mortgage crisis. These mortgages were made, then bundled into securities and sold and resold repeatedly, by the very Wall Street banks that are now benefiting from TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program). The banks foreclosing on families very often can't locate the actual loan note that binds the homeowner to the bad loan. "Produce the note," Kaptur recommends those facing foreclosure demands of the banks.

    There is more about how a sqautter should protect oneself, with legal help etc.


    That sounds like good advice (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by gtesta on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:36:45 AM EST
    to anyone with a mortgage whether they are in default or not.  I think we really need to push for more transparency in this whole mess.  I'm going to ask my bank (which is now S*ittybank - used to be ABN AMRO - the note got sold early on, not that I wanted it to) to produce my note.

    Additionally I have noticed articles in the (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:46:56 AM EST
    newspaper about banks not even bothering to take the title or go through with a sheriff's auctions for foreclosed properties. They are just abandoning them, leaving the title with the previous owner. In some case. the people had already moved out at some expense etc. in preparation for the sale. In other cases, the owners are now stuck with taxes, property managemnt fees, anti-vandalism fees on properties they thought they no longer held the title to, and therefore the responsibility for.

    check newspapers from the last three days...I'm citing from memory here.


    I read something about how banks (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:57:24 AM EST
    were walking away from properties.  Just saw the headline though and didn't read the detail mostly because it wasn't that surprising in a way.  They've been so wasteful and irresponsible in their business practices so far that it just seemed logical that some would walk away from the properties.

    This is happening in my building ... (none / 0) (#51)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:10:24 PM EST
    ... which is in an OK area.  The resident of one unit in particular was on a reverse mortgage, but now that he's moved out the bank is refusing to take possession.  That unit is not in great shape, and yes, squatters have trashed it (and that's a whole other story).

    If it's the NYTimes article you read (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by jnicola on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:07:11 AM EST
    it's here.

    God that's crazy (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:12:44 AM EST
    and there will be a lot more.

    What's really crazy is that (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:27:14 AM EST
    the people initiating these foreclosures are still resisting mortgage cram downs and other loan restructuring options to keep the proptery occupied and thus maintain value.  That's the "irresponsible" part of this equation.  The sherriff's sale is clearly not the best way to recoup what they could, so why not try other approaches that might preserve some equity?

    All they want to do is bleed the turnips (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:42:42 AM EST
    but nobody among them wants to put in an honest day's work.  It seems to be about being able to bully a living out of the peon or they'll move on to an easier peon to bully.  Looks like this is all going to get real puke worthy to watch.

    I think there is some turnip bleeding (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:23:42 PM EST
    attempts being made, but I also think that the banking industry is suffering from a lack of imagination and long-term strategic thinking.

    If auctions aren't worth the cost because the housing market is anemic right now, then they should be finding creative ways of preserving the equity which may include forgiving a portion of the debt in order to keep the "homeowner" in the house.


    I couldn't agree more (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:19:55 PM EST
    It is just so hard for me to fathom such a lack of imagination.  I live around the do more with less people, which is a military slogan handed out freely to whiners.  I can't grasp how anyone can become so lazy and weak  minded that they would end up where the banks are going to end up on the road they are determined to stay on at all costs.

    Jnicola..thanks, that's the one (none / 0) (#26)
    by DFLer on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:46:53 AM EST
    Bet You (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:01:23 PM EST
    That note is nowhere to be found. I had a home equity with city or chase a while ago and when I refinanced they couldn't come up with the note, same with WAMU, a few years later.

    45% of sales in Feb (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:20:03 AM EST
    were "distressed" sales.  You can expect distressed sales to average about that for the rest of this year and next year.  Housing sales went up from Jan to Feb alright but they do EVERY year, but nearly half are being sold to investors for pennies on the dollar.

    Or houses being sold for a dollar (none / 0) (#6)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:43:59 AM EST
    I noted in a comment yesterday that I got a message from a family member about a colleague in his office who is retiring, moving out of the country, and is ready to sell his home for a dollar -- plus picking up the mortgage.  Now, I want to see what the bank says about that . . . but we're getting more info.

    And this home is in a prized burb for its location (burban but just blocks from the city) and schools.  And this home is an income property, a duplex.  Rent is or at least was pricey there, with demand owing to both proximity to downtown and campuses.  But apparently the rental market is hit hard by declines in employment and enrollment, too.

    Perhaps also worrisome is that this colleague is retiring from employment with the federal government, in which he apparently has no faith.


    If his current mortgage is more than (none / 0) (#30)
    by coast on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:55:36 AM EST
    the value of the home, I doubt he is going to be able to sell...even for a dollar.  Banks will not let a mortgagee transfer the mortgage to another individual, or at least I have never heard of one doing such a thing.  The buyer will have to get a new mortgage, which will require an appraisal.  Since the appraised value can not be less than the mortgage, I think he is out of luck.  Although I do think that I heard about one company trying to do this sort of thing framed around the concept of each home owner trading houses.  I'm not sure how successful it has been.

    yeah (none / 0) (#33)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:02:23 PM EST
    they do it, its an assumed mortgage.   I dont know if the banks would even care about the $1 as the mortage would still be paid. Dunno.

    But if he couldnt find someone to assume and just tried to sell it for $1, the bank likely wouldnt approve.  Banks have their own internal formula for how much they are willing to write off on a short-sale.

    Also, the seller is taxed for the amount that the bank forgives.  So if the home was valued at 200k and he sold for $1 (and the bank agreed), then he just agreed to pay taxes on $200k of income. Assuming there was no assumed mortgage.


    Assumable mortgages must be determined (none / 0) (#36)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:23:55 PM EST
    at the time the original mortgage is taken out.

    You either have one that can be assumed, or you don't, and your lender made that determination when you took out the loan.


    Assumption is sometimes available but (none / 0) (#37)
    by coast on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:24:14 PM EST
    is typically only a good idea in time of rising interest rates, which isn't occuring.  Also, I think most banks will only allow you to assume a conventional mortgage up to the FMV of the house at the time the loan is assumed.  This would mean the seller would likely have to come up with the difference.

    On short sales and foreclosures, based on currently amended tax code, if the home is a personal residence and not an investment property, the home owner can actually receive up to $2M in debt forgiveness and not owe any tax.  I think this goes through 2012.


    Not even an option if your original loan wasn't (none / 0) (#40)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:28:23 PM EST
    set up as assumable. Before anyone tries to get a buyer using that selling point, they need to call their lender to see if their loan can be assumed.

    This is the lender's decision.


    PLUS, terms of an assumable mortgage (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:31:49 PM EST
    are that the person taking on the responsibility of the loan must qualify for the terms of the loan. IF THEY DEFAULT on the loan, the property defaults back to the original owner who must take on the financial, etc. responsibilities of the house. Just like the person featured in the NYTimes article when the bank walked away from the foreclosure.

    You are correct sir... (none / 0) (#42)
    by coast on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:32:06 PM EST
    however, if anyone would like to assume my payments I won't tell the bank a thing.

    Then, the "buyer" can't take the (none / 0) (#43)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:36:06 PM EST
    interest credit on his taxes, can't have their name on the deed, and you would be the legal owner at payoff. You may find someone unaware of that to go along, but the IRS will eventually notify them of all the back taxes they owe since they took deductions they weren't entitled to.

    I'm only looking for someone to take the (none / 0) (#44)
    by coast on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:40:35 PM EST
    payment....I'm going to keep the deduction.  I'm sure the same guy who thought that those CDSs actually had value to them would surely think this was a good deal.

    yeah (none / 0) (#46)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 12:59:27 PM EST
    Whether or not its a good deal depends on the rate he got back when.

    That's interesting that short sales can be forgiven for all or part of the tax debt.  It makes sense given that the bank only forgave the debt because you established hardship.


    Thanks, all, who replied (none / 0) (#58)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 02:08:12 PM EST
    on this -- yes, these are the answers we await to figure out what the heck on this home (which would be for younguns getting married soon and looking, so the family member -- a lawyer -- thought of us).

    But as the homeowner also is a lawyer, I would hope that these questions would not come as a shock to him.  Then again, as the saying goes, half of the lawyers in this country graduated in the bottom half of their law school classes. . . .


    also (none / 0) (#60)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 02:28:56 PM EST
    If you have the address you can plug it into zillow.com  and get some basic information, like how much he paid, and when, the taxes, and its estimated market value.  You can also see some of the current comps, the local sales that help determine the fair value.

    It also could be a very good deal depending on how much equity he is giving up for that $1.   If you are assuming a mortgage that is almost paid off for $1 + future payments, then it could be a very good deal.  It all depends on how desperate he is to move on.

    If he's currently underwater, that should be good for a laugh.


    Thanks, yes, we await the address (none / 0) (#62)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 03:06:18 PM EST
    although I have a general description, and it's such a small burb (which I know well) that I have a good idea of the location -- and it is, in general, a good location, location, location.  And I also know how to look up all this info online -- my city does it, so it's a favorite annual pastime when we get our assessment and I get to compare it to others around us to decide whether to appeal.  

    So the exact address will give us interesting info.  And yes, even more interesting will be getting an answer as to his equity in the home.  And believe me, we will get another good friend on it, a real estate lawyer, before going any farther.:-)  But it's just amazing to hear that anyone in that prized burb is even thinking of this, rather than delaying his planned departure to another country -- and a fed employee, at that.


    yeah (none / 0) (#5)
    by connecticut yankee on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:41:20 AM EST
    People in our area who bought in 06-07 are underwater by around 80k to 120k.   There are lis pendens all over the place and an auction every few blocks.

    And (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:55:54 AM EST
    lose your job and have to move away to find another and what choice do you have but to walk away?

    Figure you'll be worth half of what you (none / 0) (#20)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:21:07 AM EST
    thought you were worth on Jan 1, 2001. If even that much consider yourself VERY lucky.

    The next round of 'jingle mail' (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:54:57 AM EST
    will be the banks walking away from the government loans they got to buy the toxic assets.  

    Maybe then we will get the low cost public housing many communities need.

    We're writing off our losses (none / 0) (#56)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:41:55 PM EST
    They are not coming back.

    Too bad that property taxes (none / 0) (#67)
    by joanneleon on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:55:06 PM EST
    aren't based on a "mark to market" assessed value.  

    That's going to be the next big problem -- people appealing their tax assessment values.  Our town was 100% reassessed a few years ago.

    I also wonder how the heck the appraisers are doing their job right now.

    We're about to find out (none / 0) (#69)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 11:12:15 AM EST
    with a refi underway, and after years of soaring assessments, every year -- so years of appeals, too, for all the good that we rarely got from that.  The process is designed to be difficult and dragged out to get homeowners to give up.

    There have been hardly any sales in our neighborhood for eons now, and with oddities about our property, it will be even more interesting to see the appraiser try to find "comparables."  But I expect that the report may provide evidence for another appeal, if our fair city continues to hit hardest at our area (as we fully expect after losing our longtime alderman, who did help fight off even worse hits here, so our new guy is lowest on the list, which will mean even more reason to hit us hard).