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Homeowners Protest Rising Property Values

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COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Rising home prices are pushing more North Texas homeowners to fight property values. For example, Collin County has received close to 34,000 protests, which is 25 percent more than last year.

Many appraisers are working nights and weekends to determine property values.

For Collin County resident Cynthia Morse, her home’s appraisal was unbelievable. Her home’s value increased 18 percent in one year.

“It’s that kind of feeling like… ahh… a little bit of panic, a little bit of funny, a little but of no we really need to do something about it,” said Morse in reaction to the news.

After taking photos of the interior and exterior of her home, and protesting the findings, she settled with the county on a much lower number.

“It’s about explaining that I don’t have granite counter tops, explaining that I have builder grade carpet and not the high end everything,” said Morse.

A county’s appraisal may not always reflect what homeowners think their home would sell for.

For example, two houses in McKinney, located less a quarter mile apart are both on the market for $250,000.

But Collin County appraised one for $196,000 and the other home for $214,000.

“As an appraiser, I don’t have any control over what someone may choose to ask for the house,” said Bo Dafin, Collin County Chief Appraiser.

Daffin said by the time someone receives their appraisal it’s already six months old; an estimate of what their home was worth January 1, not today.

And the biggest factor is what similar houses in the same neighborhood are selling for. A home’s square footage and special features, such as a pool, may also hold big sway. But appraisers rarely see what’s inside the home.

“There’s no way we could put the staff in here to tour every house in Collin County every year because we do a re-appraisal every year,” said Daffin.

But people are protesting and finding success proving the county has overpriced their home.

“It worked and it was pretty easy,” said Morse laughingly.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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