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Home Owners FAQ
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The following are a list of Commonly Asked Questions.
What is a revaluation?
What is the assessorís role?
How does the assessor determine a property's assessed value?
What is market value?
How will changes in assessed value affect my taxes?
How do I know if the assessed value of my property is correct?
What will happen to my assessed value if I improve my property?
Can the assessment on my property be changed even if the assessor has not seen the inside of my property?
Do all assessments change at the same rate?
Will I be penalized if I do not allow the assessor access to the inside of my property?
I have recently built a new home. Will the construction costs be considered?
Could the assessed value change even though I've made no changes to my property?
Will my assessment go up if I repair my property?
Will I be notified if there is a change in my propertyís assessed value?
Everything I read and hear in the news media tells me housing values have dropped over the past year so why hasnít my assessment dropped?
Wouldnít my property taxes go down if the assessor lowered home values in our community?
Iíve just refinanced my home and the appraisal used by the bank indicates a lower value than my assessed value.
The family across the street was foreclosed on by the bank who sold their home for a lot less than the assessed value.


The family across the street was foreclosed on by the bank who sold their home for a lot less than the assessed value.

Isnít that proof that my assessment should be lowered?

Usually not. Foreclosed properties are being
marketed under duress and frequently sell at
discount prices. While there have been more
foreclosure-related sales during 2008 and 2009
than any time during the past 20 years,
foreclosure sales have always been part of the

market. In this downturn, Wisconsin has fared
better than most states as real estate values
adjust to the economic climate. Just as
foreclosure-related sales are frequently not an
indicator of market value when values are rising,
they are not necessarily an indicator of value in a
declining market and are not normally considered
by the assessor when determining the market
value of property in a community. In fact,
Wisconsin law, appraisal standards, and
Wisconsin courts, require very specific criteria for
a sale to be considered as a reliable indicator of
market value. Two of the most important of these
criteria are whether the sale occurred under
duress (such as a forced sale) and whether the
property had adequate market exposure. For
example, a property that sells two weeks after itís
listed may have sold quickly because it was
under-priced. This may be an indication of a
duress situation, requiring closer review by the
assessor, to verify whether is was an arms length
transaction. In most cases, looking at non-
foreclosure sales is the most reliable way to
gauge what is actually happening with
neighborhood values.

There are times when the majority of homes that
are selling in your neighborhood tend to be
around the same price as foreclosure-related
sales. In this case, they may represent a
reasonable picture of market value.



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