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New Shenandoah County real estate assesment shows large jump in fair market property values

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 7:24 PM EST
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STRASBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Over the past week, many residents of Shenandoah County have been surprised when they’ve received the updated real estate assessments for their home’s value in the mail.

Estimated fair market home values have risen substantially.

Every six years, properties in Shenandoah County are assessed to get tax values up to fair market value.

On Sunday, WHSV spoke with Strasburg real estate broker, Abby Walters who broke down what the real estate assessment means for Shenandoah County residents.

“It was a shock to me. It was a shock to realtors on my team when we got our reassessments in the mail, but they are doing their best to try to do fair market value, so that we’re all taxed appropriately,” said Walters, the principal broker and owner of Preslee Real Estate in Strasburg.

Residents have seen their home assessments increase some by over 40 percent. The jump in fair market value is linked to rising home prices in the county and across the U.S.

The average home sale price in Shenandoah County has gone up 22 percent since the last assessment in 2015 from $192,332 to $234,850. The median home sale price in the county is up 33 percent since 2015 from $167,950 to $224,000.

Homeowners in the county will pay more in real estate taxes in 2022 due to the assessment. The current real estate tax in Shenandoah County is $0.69 per hundred dollars of assessed value, up five cents from 2020.

“When you’re talking a 25 to 30 percent increase, and you’re talking an average priced home of $235,000, this is going to equal hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars if not more in taxes for a homeowner per year,” said Walters.

For example a house in Shenandoah County valued at $225,000 would pay roughly $1,500 in taxes for the year. If the reassessment bumped the home’s fair market value up to $285,000 it would increase the homeowner’s yearly tax payments to around $2,000.

The county does provide tax relief for the elderly and disabled if they reach out to the commissioner of revenue.

While residents will be paying more with the newly assessed values, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to sell their homes for that exact number.

“It makes me think of your personal property taxes on your car and your value on that. That doesn’t necessarily mean when you go trade that car in you’re going to get that value at the dealership,” said Walters.

The goal of the assessment is for tax revenue and county services to keep up with rising property values.

“I can feel how everybody felt when I got my reassessment in the mail and it was higher, and you’re going to have to budget for more money, but this money does help our county and our emergency services and our public education,” said Walters.

A homeowner who wants to challenge the newly assessed value of their home can appeal to county assessors, if they’ve had a home appraisal in the last six months.

“An appraiser can do a real detailed appraisal report. Us realtors do a market analysis. We’re going to come in your house, we’re going to look at your upgrades, we’re going to look at the condition and do a detailed report,” said Walters. “This assessment is not going be as accurate as an appraisal because they’re not entering the home.”

The new real estate assessment will begin impacting tax values on January 1, 2022.

Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.