Category Archives: Valuation

Need Tax information in Monroe County, NY?

Here is a great property link brought to our attention by a retired Realtor that allows you to type in your address and get public information like true taxes (required for any real estate listing), assessment information, previous sale information etc….This information was once available to only licensed individuals.

It is call the Monroe County Real Property Portal and if you are buying or selling real estate in Rochester NY or Monroe County this utility is a must.  It allows you to “do your homework.”  If you want, you can try it out on any of Rochester, NY’s Flat Fee Listings.

New York Property Sales information

You can go to this link (click on the logo)  and research the last sales on your street or any street in NY.

This database contains information about the real estate transactions that occurred in New York state since 1993. Data for Monroe County is supplied by the Monroe County Clerk’s office and is updated weekly. Data for other counties is obtained from the New York State Office of Real Property Services and is updated quarterly.

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Another source to look at when pricing your home

Find your Assesser in New York State

If you are looking for assessment information check out this link below.

Lake Front Property in a Recession?

As of today, there are 46 lake front properties for sale on Canandaigua Lake ranging from $3,750,000 down to $199,000.

Only two properties have sold since January 1, 2009.  Five properties are under contract but that is no match compared to last year.  This time last year there were 16 lake front properties that had closed/sold on Canandaigua lake.

The Golisano Property Tax Assessment Battle

Guilty until Proven Innocent 

Months back Tom Golisano took out a full page ad in the Rochester Business Journal documenting property taxes in New York State as compared to other areas in the country.  I remember wondering what this was all about. I assumed that Tom might be gearing up for a Presidential run or something of that sort. 

Fortunately, I had a chance to talk with Tom on Friday and finally get the story.  It is a good story, but sad at the same time.  

The disclosure 

First, I must admit that I don’t know Mr. Golisano.  I have never done business with him.   Now that I have disclosed my association, let’s do what I love doing and get down to business! 

The setting

A guy walks in this bar, oh..sorry… that was me this past Friday looking for my buddy Dave Bast, a Marine who recently got back from the Middle East.  Once we got past all the hugs and kisses,  Dave brings me back a really strong drink as we wait for our table… Orange Goose and something on an empty stomach, you know the deal.

I looked up at the bar and there was Tom Golisano talking to one of the guys in our party.  Naturally, I wanted to get his take on the ad he placed months ago.  So I waited for my chance, but the sports talk continued, and continued… and continued…  so I did exactly what I was taught not to do as a kid…I butted in. 

I was surprised that he was surprised that I had even seen the ad but I had his attention and I could tell he was passionate about his motive for placing it.  He told us about his property being reassessed for 5 million dollars and how he thought that number was way off.  He told me that his property had been on the market for a long time and is priced below assessment, but that it still isn’t good enough for the assessor.  This sounded to me like a great real estate case study.  So….

The questions that remain… 

  • Is the Assessor butting heads to make a name for him/herself? 

  • Can this be for real?

  • Did Tom strike oil on the land?

  • What the heck is going on here?

Stay tuned !  This is going to be good.

NYS Property Tax Assessment = Guilty until Proven Innocent

Guilty until proven innocent!  That is exactly what is happening here in NY and it ain’t right !

Personal story: I have four properties in Fairport, NY. I received, like everyone else, new higher assessments for all of them. Having the advantage of being a licensed real estate broker, I was able to objectively looked them over and check the comps.  I found that two properties were out of whack on the assessment, so for the first time ever, I decided take the appropriate steps to meet with the assessor and state my case.

I made the appointment and when I got there I was quickly shuffled into another room where they had little tables lined up so they could meet with multiple tax payers at once.  I thought it must be a busy place and I remember thinking how industrial the set up was, but I kept my focus.

  • We are in the worst real estate slow down in the history of our country.

  • The banks are tightening up everything, so that it is harder for a buyer to purchase.

  • The Federal Reserve is fighting off recession.

  • We haven’t raised rents in the Rochester area in years.

  • The population is actually leaving Monroe County and NYS.

  • Industry and Jobs are being sucked out of Upstate.

  • When we sat down I asked the assessor to show me some justification for the assessment hike. He told me that he had nothing, except a formula or a number from Albany.  I was amazed because basically, what he was telling me, was that the town was upping my assessment by  13%  with little to no proof that such a hike was indeed warranted.  Instead, he told me to prove that it wasn’t worth the amount of the new assessment!  So there it was. The local tax assessor comes up with a number based on little more than a few stats from a city 300 miles away and if I do not like it – too bad.  The burden of proof lies with the tax payer – not the assessor paid by the taxpayer!

  • my case, and a few weeks later I was thrown a bone on my personal residence but not a dime on my rental property.  I took the bone and walked.  My next step would have been going to grievance day, and eventually to court but when you look at the cost benefit analysis, you just keep on moving. 

I learned that you have to have multiple sources of value, the more the better.  Comps are good from a real estate agent, but they don’t weigh as much as a licensed appraisal (even though appraisers get their information from the same MLS)  Automated Value Reports like the one featured on the front page, and even the free sources of value help your case.

 If you are fighting assessment for rental property, have your rents available (bring current leases)  because the assessor will most likely apply one of the income approaches to value and compare it to what they believe to be “market value.”

Assessors assess value to land and improvements separately, so try to keep your ratios in line.  An example would look like this….

Land $20,000  + Improvements $80,000 =Total Value $100,000. 

   20%                    +                              80%        = 100%

Here you would see that land is 20% of  the total value and the house or the improvements are 80% of total value.    In other words don’t say my house is worth $90,000 when your land is valued at 20%  or your new assessment would be $120,500.

Another Free Source of Value

These computer models are popping up everywhere. Check for more sources under our “Valuation” category.  We will continue to post them as we find them..  If you find one before us please let us know….

At the bottom of the page “How much is my home worth”

Rochester, NY Average Listing Price

Rochester Real EstateTrulia

Pittsford NY Average List Price

Pittsford Real EstateTrulia