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Homo news [Jul. 25th, 2004|11:52 am]
Just me.
The Seattle Weekly recently had a cover story on the Housing market (see this and this for details) in Seattle, the basic thesis of which appeared to be "Since mortgage rates went down, everyone is trying to buy, and even small starter homes are going for insane prices".

I didn't quite believe this, since I bought in May 2003, after the rates had been low a while, and I got a house for a price I thought was fair. I figured all this recent whining was along the lines of "in 1970 you could get a house for $80K in Capitol Hill, and now $80K won't buy you a condo!". Well, I now have anecdotal evidence that things have indeed changed in a year:

I got my "official property value notice" in the mail, telling me what my property is "worth" in 2005 for property tax purposes. Keep in mind this is only based on what "comperable" houses in my hood have sold for, and not based on anyone actually coming and looking at my house and doing a "real" appraisal, so this doesn't include the garage improvements (or negatives like the boat planter).

According to the government, in one year, my house has increased in value by $16,000. ONE YEAR. I'm a little flabbergasted. It's like the dot-com stock thing all over again- "wheee, look at all this fake money I theoretically have all of a sudden that I can't actually spend unless I sold the house." But I guess in the long run it's good news.

In the short run, I guess that's more property tax I'll be paying. But the good side of that is that maybe the city will get enough of an influx of cash from property taxes that they won't have to close the library system 2 weeks a year (like they've done for the last 2-4 years to deal with budget cuts).

In other news, it was crazy hot here in the last few days. Unfortunately, this is also the weekend 2 sets of friends chose to have barbeques. Today's BBQ is still pending, but yesterday's was beastly (the weather, I mean, not the company). I came home dehydrated and hot (even after drinking water all damn day) and took a nap around 8 or 9 pm with the idea of waking up at 10:30pm and going to the Space Virgin Party. I woke up at 1am and decided that even if the party was going after 2am (which I wasn't sure of, due to a last minute venue change), I was staying put in bed. I suspect other people avoided the party for similar heat-related reasons, which is kinda ironic for a Burning Man party, but you know how these things go.

It must be cooling down, because 1) I am feeling human this morning 2) the cat wants to sit in my lap rather than stretching out near the window in her "porno cat" pose. So maybe today's BBQ will actually be fun and not merely an exercise in outdoor endurance.

[User Picture]From: rwx
2004-07-25 11:53 am (UTC)
a lot of people did -- the catwalk is famously poorly ventilated. it had cooled off a lot by midnight, though.

Housing in Seattle is insane. My evaluation has gone up in value by $15-20K each of the last five years. It's also *much less* than the house will sell for.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2004-07-25 12:25 pm (UTC)

should I contest it?

Is it worth fighting/appealing? have you ever done it? Any idea how much $15K adds to your yearly tax bill?

I have PMI, which I would LOVE to cancel, so maybe another insane evaluation would help me. but if the Mortgage people require an actual appraisal, I doubt I'd make it. But then I might have cause to contest the county's assessment. still mulling it over.
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[User Picture]From: rwx
2004-07-25 09:14 pm (UTC)

Re: should I contest it?

you could probably sell your house for more than $20K more than your appraisal at the moment so i'd wait until after the rates go back up, if at all.
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[User Picture]From: rimrunner
2004-07-25 12:05 pm (UTC)
You and me both. I'm stunned by what they're claiming my house is worth. In my case I'm sure that at least part of this is all the new construction going on in my neck of the woods.

To sell for what the notice says my house is worth, though, I'd need to take care of some overdue maintenance and make some improvements (which I was planning to do anyway, so, y'know).

Cat is running around now that the heat has broken. He likes the heat, but I think yesterday was a bit much for him.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2004-07-25 12:27 pm (UTC)

see above comment to rwx..

Have you ever appealed/contested? I'm willing to take an insane evaluation if it means I can cancel my PMI, but $16K won't do it. however, I wonder if a "real" appraisal would either 1) give me a high enough value to cancel PMI or 2) allow me to knock down my property tax bill.
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[User Picture]From: drexle
2004-07-26 11:51 pm (UTC)
The heat really was intense this weekend, all over the place. Atlanta is normally hotter than Asheville, so I was expecting something more than what I'm used to when I paied my friends a visit, but jeez!!! I was having my very life force sucked out by the heat down there. There's a reason we all spent about half our "waking" hours napping, and it had nothing to do with drugs. I called my dad and he said that it was hotter than normal by far, which is already hotter than I'm used to.
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