Business & Finance Taxes

What Makes Property Value Decrease?

    Condition of Your Property

    • The value of your property can decrease if it is poorly maintained compared with others in the neighborhood. This would likely hurt its sale price. Types of neglect that would be likeliest to have a negative impact include damaged exterior features (like windows or doors), outdated or poorly functioning interior features (like plumbing or wiring), and overgrown, unsightly landscaping. Structural deterioration or defects that are invisible can also depress property value if detected during a professional inspection.

    Condition of the Neighborhood

    • Even when your property is carefully maintained and regularly refurbished, its value and sales price can be hurt by conditions in the surrounding area. For example, a residential property will be less valuable if other homes on the block look neglected or abandoned, or if there are high numbers of "For Sale" signs or foreclosure notices. Factors in the community, like a decline in the quality of schools or upkeep of parks, may also have an adverse effect.

      Likewise, the value of a commercial property can decline when many nearby establishments are closed, or infrastructure, like streets or sidewalks, is in disrepair.

    Decisions of an Assessor

    • The job of a local assessor is to periodically judge whether the value of your property has increased or decreased relative to others in the same taxing district, usually a city or town. Across states and local governments, dozens of different formulas are used to arrive at an assessment.

      An assessment is simply a professional opinion. However, most assessors rely heavily on objective factors like your property's size and the condition of your lot.

    The Impact of Your Assessment on Property Taxes

    • Your assessed value is used to determine your fair share of a local tax burden, not to assign a specific amount of tax. If your assessed value decreases, your property taxes may also go down -- but this will depend on changes in the value of other properties in the same taxing district, as well as on how the local tax rate is calculated and applied.

    How You Can Influence Property Value

    • You can enhance your property's value for sales purposes by making sure it is attractive and structurally sound. You can also advocate at City Hall for good upkeep of public assets and investment in the neighborhood.

      If you disagree with the assessment of your property value for tax purposes, you can file a tax appeal. While the right to an appeal exists all over the country, you will need to check the rules specific to your community.

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