Most people in Santa Clara County are aware that the residential real estate market is red hot.
Last week I got three calls from new clients that built new homes in Palo Alto who received notices from the County Assessor showing enormous values for the new structures.
For example, one property that was totally demolished and rebuilt had construction costs of $1,700,000 and the assessor valued these improvements at $3,900,000. Yikes!
I see this all the time – the homeowner became frustrated because the County appraiser would not listen to his argument that the value was far less than what the Assessor put on the tax roll. Santa Clara County allows for “informal” reviews for a certain number of days after notices are sent, but this particular County appraiser was non-responsive.
So the homeowner engaged us to file a formal appeal on his behalf. We will make an argument that suggests that the real appreciation in Palo Alto is not in the structures but in the land. And of course, the land value is protected from increase by proposition 13. Unfortunately, the formal appeals process can take 12 to 24 months, but we feel we have a very strong case, and the permanent reduction will be worth the effort. We may save our client in excess of $10,000 per year for as long as they own the property. Unfortunately, the formal appeals process can take 12 to 24 months, but we feel we have a very strong case.
If you’d like information on appealing new construction or any other property in California please contact us.