I got our property assessment from our county today in the mail, and it is official, according to them we owe more on the property than it is currently worth. Not too much more, comparing the assessed value with the current principal amount on our mortgage we only owe about $500 more than this assessment. But still, it is kind of irritating. But that is not the most irritating part of this letter, to me.
The thing that really irks me is that on top of that, apparently we were idiots and paid more for it than it was worth when we bought it, too. The last assessment was done in 2004, according to this letter. This current assessment is based on sales data between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. We bought the house in January 2007. So, really, we shouldn’t have paid any more than this assessment value shows, because it is basically the value of our house at the time we bought it. Yet, we originally paid $2000 more than the county’s new assessed value. We did get $1500 back from the sellers at closing towards closing costs, so I guess, net, we only paid $500 more than this assessed value. But we thought we were actually getting a deal – it was originally listed for $6400 above what we ended up paying, and was in better condition and in a nicer neighborhood than most of the other houses we looked at that were listed for the same price. Apparently everything was being listed for much higher than it should have been, and we are sheep. Well, we tried. The assessment our loan company did for the mortgage came back at $1600 more than we ended up paying, which we thought was kind of low but still meant we did an acceptable job on the price front. Live and learn.
It is our first house (and honestly, we don’t plan to move until we retire unless something very unexpected happens) so I guess we didn’t do that badly, all things considered. Well, except the whole 100% financing thing. We’ll start targeting that when our other debt is completely gone. I don’t expect to pay PMI for the whole ten years the bank thinks we will.
The bright side to all this is that the house only came back at $900 more than the last assessment, so our property taxes shouldn’t go up too much. Always a silver lining!