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2024 appraisals signal 'a return to the usual' changes in property values, HCAD says

  • May 2, 2024

If your appraised value decreases, one property tax consultant company still encourages homeowners to file a protest.

Author: Troy KlessPublished: 6:30 PM CDT May 1, 2024Updated: 6:30 PM CDT May 1, 2024

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — It’s that time of year again: if you own a home, you’ll be getting the home appraisal notice in the mail.

On Wednesday, the Harris Central Appraisal District said appraisal values mean the housing market appears to be normalizing.

But, if you’re someone who saw a big jump in your appraisal, or even a decrease, you might think about protesting.

Now that those notices are in the mail, you only have days to act and potentially save money.

“If your property lowered, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protest,” Sylvie Novotny, VP of Novotny & Company, said.

Novotny has worked as a property tax consultant for more than 30 years in the Houston area.

She said it’s important to look at a few key things as you’re preparing to protest.

[Read the article on KHOU's website]

“[HCAD] will have five comparables they think are most comparable to your property. You can bring in arguments to see whether those properties are or are not comparable," Novotny said. "Something else you can bring in outside of that evidence is any issues with your property that have not been fixed as of January 1."

When filing a protest, Novotny suggests checking multiple boxes as reasons for protesting your home's assessed value.

“Make sure when protesting, you’re selecting all the options applicable to your property so when you go in you’re not limiting the types of things you can speak about,” she said.

According to HCAD, residential properties have increased an average of 2.5% of the appraised value, while commercial properties increased an average of 8%.

HCAD said homes in lower price ranges saw minimal value increases while homes valued above $450,000 had value increases of roughly 4 to 8%.

Jack Barnett, Chief Communications Officer for HCAD, also offers advice to homeowners.

“Check with a local realtor, what are properties in my area are selling for. If they still don't think the value we put on the property is correct, we by all means encourage them to file the protest,” Barnett said.

Hearings typically allow 15 minutes for homeowners to present their facts to an appraiser, which can be done virtually or in person. There are other steps including appeals as well.

But experts said whether or not it's your first time protesting, the time spent can save you money in the end.

“If you get it below your appraised value, you're looking at tax savings,” Novotny said.