Meridian Valuation can assist homeowners in appealing their current real estate
taxes by providing an accurate appraisal prepared by a licensed and certified
appraiser. This report can be used during the tax appeal process. The team at
Meridian Valuation has a successful track record in helping homeowners reduce
their current tax burden. Learn more about property taxes and property tax disputes.
In addition to tax appeals, homeowners often have many questions concerning
property appraisals. We will help answer some of those questions:
- Who might need a property appraisal done?
- Government Assessor
- Attorney at Law
- Certified Public Accountant
- Lender or Loan Specialist
- Real Estate Investor - buyer & seller
- Attorney-in-fact (power of attorney)
- When might I need a property appraisal done?
- Property tax disputes
- As a seller, to help determine an accurate asking price.
- As a buyer, to determine if an asking price is fair.
- Estate settlement
- Mortgage loan
- Short Sale or Foreclosure
- Insurance value
- Value of a donation
- Gift or inheritance taxes
- Divorce settlement
- Condemnation Proceedings
- PMI Removal
- What are the costs involved?
Let the experienced team at Meridian Valuation assist you in determining real estate fair market values. As a Seller we can assist you in determining the fair listing price for your property, and as a Buyer we can help you determine if an asking price
is reasonable for current market conditions.
Computerized home valuations offered on the Internet are not real appraisals. These are essentially computerized estimates that DO NOT take into account your property's current condition, additions and improvements.
Appraisers are licensed and educated, and have extensive experience in analyzing data and local markets. As good as computers are, no computer can replace the experience of a real human Licensed Appraiser.
This map defines our Primary and Secondary coverage regions in Northern Illinois. Appraisal assignments located in the Secondary region are accepted based an appraiser availability and are decided on a case by case basis.
Please feel free to call us if you have a property located in the Secondary region.
Generally, appraisal prices range between $300 and $500 depending on the type of appraisal report and the subject property. Please call us at 847.726.6033 to learn more or to get a quote.
NOTE: It is against the law in Illinois for a homeowner to directly order an appraisal for a mortgage transaction. Please contact your bank or loan officer.
Here’s how property taxes generally work
Your local assessor determines your home value by assessing your property. The assessed property value is then used to determine your tax burden. It is important to know that the assessor DOES NOT
determine your tax bill or levy a tax. You therefore cannot debate your tax bill by simply saying you're paying too much. The factors that determine your portion of the tax bill involve both the assessed value and the tax rate, which is made up from 200 or so taxing bodies. When taxing bodies have rising costs of services, spending may increase, and even though assessments remain the same or decrease, the tax rates may increase thus raising the overall property taxes you pay. You may also pay higher property taxes if the assessed value increases and the tax rate remains constant.
To determine the market value your home, must multiply the assessed value by 3.
$100,000 Equalized Assessed Value X 3 = $300,000.
Your tax bill is calculated by taking the Equalized Assessed Value (in this example, $100,000), minus any exemptions you may have, then multiplying that figure by the tax rate.
There are several situations when it may be prudent for you to debate your current assessment:
- Home values have declined recently
- You recently purchased or built the property
- Your neighbors may have a similar home and pay less than you do in taxes
- The assessor has inaccurate information on your home
If You Think You're Paying Too Much in Property Taxes
One of the most effective ways of supporting your property assessment complaint is by providing an appraisal done by a State Certified Residential Appraiser. This appraisal will provide recent comparable data to support your valuation claim.
An appraisal report is an extremely important tool in proving market value.
An appraisal is:
- Well organized and formatted, making it easily understood by all parties involved in the review process.
- A time saver for homeowners since countless hours do not have to be spent sifting through public records, filling out grid sheets and visiting the assessor offices.
- Well explained and contains a detailed discussion as to market trends and how and why the comparables were chosen.
An appraisal prepared for a tax appeal (ad valorem), has three main items which differ from other types of appraisals that you may be familiar with:
How Meridian Valuation Can Help You and What We Can Provide:
- First, the appraisal date is always the first of the year of the tax year that you are disputing. Therefore you do not have to wait until you receive your Assessment Notice in the mail; the appraisal is a retrospective appraisal. You do need to tell your appraiser about any work that you may have had done after the 1st of the year (such as a kitchen remodel or finishing a basement) as it will not be included in the appraisal until the following year. Remember, this is a “retrospective appraisal”, or in other words, as the house was on the first of the year.
- Secondly, comparables that are chosen will have a sale date closest to the 1st of the year. However, when your assessor determines your assessment, they are using the three prior years of sales based on the theory that fluctuations in the market are softened. Therefore, the appraiser must examine and select the homes most like yours that sold within this three year time frame focusing on the most similar homes that sold closest to the effective date of the appraisal (the 1st of the year of the tax year in dispute).
- Third and lastly, the appraisal done for tax purposes does not include actives or pending sales.
- An Appraisal Inspection - in which the appraiser will verify gross living area, lot size (please provide appraiser with a plat of survey), and other physical characteristics that are a basis of your tax bill. This step uncovers any inaccurate information. If inaccuracies are found they will be included in your appraisal. By carefully reviewing your property record and appraisal you should then file a ‘Certificate of Error’. Contact your local assessor for the proper procedure and forms as the may require an inspection of your property to verify the inaccuracy. They may also ask for a copy of the appraisal.
- An Appraisal Report - which includes physical characteristics of your house including a floor plan, measurements used to determine gross living area, color photos (email version only) of the exterior and interior of your house and the exterior of the comparables from the street, a location map of your house and comparables, a detailed discussion of market trends and an analysis and an explanation of the differences between your house and the comparables and the resulting value.
- Delivery – will occur within 5 business days of the inspection: the appraisal report (.pdf format) will be emailed to you and four black and white copies will be Priority mailed to the address you provide.
- Post Follow-up and Consultation - once you have received your report please review it and contact us with any factual errors or questions you may have. It is important to have any errors corrected before the report is circulated to the local assessor or county assessor. Since you are providing the County Board of Review with an appraisal, you are not required to complete the grid provided in the complaint package, however you must meet the other requirements such as filing your complaint within 30 days of the date the assessment was mailed.
- Board of Review Representation - additional fee applies with payment due no later than 2 days before hearing date) but typically fee ranges from $50-$100. The fee is based on whether it is phone or in person representation. If you know that you will be choosing our representation, you must provide the our company’s information on the Complaint Form which is mailed to the County’s Board of Review & Meridian Valuation MUST be notified of your hearing date ASAP, and no later than 14 business days from your hearing date. Also check with your county assessor as some counties (e.g. McHenry) require an additional form (called an Authorization to Represent Owners) to be filled out and mailed along with the complaint application.