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Home sales, price of construction contribute to property value increase in Chatham Co.

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 4:16 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Property values are up by 4.9 percent across Chatham County with some areas seeing larger increases.

The City of Bloomingdale saw the largest collective increase in property values with 8.56 percent. It’s where much of the growth has been in the county. The City of Savannah saw a 6.56 percent increase in values, but none of those values are final - just yet.

Within the past week, many property owners received a property assessment notice in the mail from the Chatham County Board of Assessors. The notice is a first look at the proposed property values for the year. The values, once final, will become the baseline for how much property owners will owe in taxes for 2021.

“We’ve seen a significant amount of growth in residential, a little bit in commercial and however a slight difference in industrial - going down just a tad,” said Roderick Conley, chief appraiser for Chatham County Board of Assessors.

One major factor is the cost of construction.

“When we look at what may impact the digest, well, just look at the cost to construct. The price of lumber is not what it was a year ago or even two years ago,” Conley said.

Another contributing factor is the market, in general. The Board of Assessors uses recent property sales to adjust property values. Home renovations in your neighborhood and recent sales, if comparable, are contributing factors, Conley said.

But the values being adjusted now are based on last year’s activity from Jan. 1 to Dec 31.

So, what if you disagree with the property value assigned by the board of assessor?

The property owner can appeal it, but the time to do so is limited. An appeal must be filed within 45 days from the notice was received.

“The hearings are heard through the board of equalization,” Conley said. “So, they make the determination of the value and from that point if either party disagrees they can appeal further through superior court if they so choose.”

Conley also mentioned property value forecasts for Chatham County are expected to continue to climb in the future.

In other words, the hot seller’s market right now in residential real estate eventually will become a factor in property values for next year.

If you plan to appeal your property assessment notice, Conley advises to double check the assessment notice to make sure the address is correct and the property characteristics are accurate. Next, research the recent sales and renovations of comparable properties to help prove the value. An independent appraisal of the property is also something to consider.

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