We pay higher taxes, are being compared to houses in undesirable locations and the location cannot be valued?

Q: we recently had our 2-family in north jersey appraised for refinancing. the only other 2-fam in the area are 2-3 miles away and not in desirable locations. we live across(50 ft) from a historic park and pond that can never be developed and pay higher taxes because of that . the appraiser said there is no avail calculation for appraisers to consider this type of issue. this cannot be right. we pay higher taxes, are being compared to houses in undesirable locations and the location cannot be valued in what do you think please advise thank you?

A: If it is accurate to say you are paying higher taxes because of your location across from the street an historic park, then that means the location was likely valued by the town assessor with a higher assessed value because of the location across from the park – ultimately resulting in your higher taxes. The statement “the appraiser said there is no avail calculation for appraisers to consider this type of issue” contradicts their role as an appraiser to provide an opinion of current market value to the bank. If it is reasonable to assume that a buyer of your home would recognize the premium for the location, then this should be considered in the appraisal. The appraiser’s response could suggest that they were not familiar with your market, a common problem in the mortgage appraisal industry today.

But always keep an open mind – I am not saying that the appraiser was wrong. In fact the appraiser could have been right about their value and your higher taxes might have nothing to do with the location near the park.

Hiring your own appraiser is not effective in these matters because the bank cannot consider appraisals for mortgages where the bank did not engage the appraiser directly, no matter how competent the appraiser may be.

Banks are now very reluctant to challenge the initial appraisal results. One suggestion might be to let the bank know that you were concerned that the appraiser did not have “local market knowledge” and you want them to engage an appraiser with local experience. I believe the use of this phrase is more effective because their regulators use it, but it is not a guarantee that the bank will reconsider your appraisal by ordering another.

Hope that helps!

Filed Under: Appraisal, Selling