Concord, MA Real Estate Taxes Explained
My home’s assessed value is $750,000, is that what it is worth if I want to sell today? Welcome to understanding the Concord, MA taxes. This is a question that I have received daily over my 20-year real estate career.
I always knew that the Concord assessed value was relevant, but I did not understand it fully. That was until I decided to submit my Green Card to join the Concord Board of Assessors.
I just completed a five-year term, with the last three years serving as the Chairman. What I learned is that there are roughly 6,900 parcels in Concord. And your assessed value is determined based on open market real estate sales that were transferred two years prior.
What does that mean? I’ll explain.
Why do you use sales from 2 years ago?
The answer is the Town’s Levy (public domain for budget) is funded by taxes raised based on the assessed value. Also, the government’s budget year starts on July 1.
The values must be set by January 1. To make the magic work, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue decided that values from 2 years prior are relevant enough to set property values.
The parameter set forth is that your assessed value must fall between 90%-110% of the market range. That is established by open market sales.
Why do assessed values always seem to lag the value today?
This question is complicated, but I am going to try to break it down so that you have a better understanding of this value.
I do want to enter a quick sidebar – if you do not agree with the value set forth by Concord you have the right to file an abatement of your tax bill. This is due in January, and you will have an opportunity to apply to have your tax assessment reduced.
What makes the assessed value complicated is that you, as a homeowner, are not required to allow the assessor into your home. But know that a physical inspection is a major component of the valuation.
Many people are private and don’t want outsiders in their homes. That is ok, but in that scenario, we can have homes that sell for a significant difference from their assessed value. You might have a home that you purchased with the intention of fixing up but lost a job and feel embarrassed by the condition and don’t want to be judged so you don’t let the assessor into the home. In this case they likely would adjust the home value downward by changing the condition from good to fair or adjusting the grade.
The other scenario is that you have made a lot of improvements, but in your haste did not pull permits for all the work and don’t want your assessed value to be increased. These are real life scenarios I have heard both as a Realtor and as the Chair.
Interior Inspections are the Biggest Challenge to Accurate Assessments
Although the Department of Revenue wants towns to be in every home at least 1 time every 10 years everyone involved understands that this does not always happen.
If you are looking to purchase a home in Concord, you may want to visit the Town Assessors office on Bedford St to find out the last time a physical inspection was conducted.
What Happens During an Inspection?
During the inspection the assessors will measure the home and do their best to determine both the living area of the home and the effective square footage of the home. The differences are that the living area is defined as heated and cooled, so typically first and second levels, whereas effective square footage includes the attic, basement, porches, and garages.
Have you ever been in a home where someone added electric baseboard and now call it living space? That was a $250 dollar improvement that in a rising market like we are in now can change the market value by $10,000.
So What is the Value of My Concord Home?
This final piece brings me back to the opening question which is that Concord has my house assessed for $750,000 and is this what my house would sell for today?
If we were answering this question on June 14, 2022 then my resounding answer would be, no!
Our current assessed values are based on sales from 2020 and since that time the average sales price in Concord has increased by $400,000.00 dollars due to extremely low interest rates and high demand.
The exact market value would be determined based on the condition of your home and then doing a comparative market analysis reviewing relevant sales which transferred in the last 1-3 months. You need relevant data when establishing open market data for the sale of a home.
I hope that you enjoyed my breakdown of the Concord, MA real estate taxes. If you live in the Concord, MA area and would like to talk with Tom about your real estate questions or with assistance in selling your home, check out his profile and message him directly.