Slightly OT: Neighborhood foreclosures and my home repairs

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{Sorry if this topic was explored here before}
As I understand the local rumors, my neighborhood has just had its 4th home sold by way of foreclosure at about $50,000 USD below what I owe on my mortgage; comparable homes as the real estate folks say. There are several other foreclosed homes vacant. A few up for sale, but remain unsold.
Now, my local real-estate property tax authority now and then sends me a letter stating the estimated "fair market value" and the legally binding "Tax Assessment Property Value" on my home. My understanding is the Tax Assessment value to be some percentage of the estimated fair market value, call it 55% for purposes of this thread but it could be higher.
Obviously my property taxes are going to go down. But the schools are going to be without needed money to operate. The local city and county governments are going be hurting also. I live where I do because I want full time fire-fighters, emergency services, full time police patrols, fully funded schools with computer technology (read $$$$), plus curb side trash pickup. If I didn't want those services, I could have purchased a home elsewhere.
Now my question: since the buyers of the aforementioned homes are rental agencies fronting for property investment corporation(s), plus the down grading of city and community services because of lower tax revenues, where is the breaking point for me to cut back on exterior up keep of my home?
If the only buyers of the foreclosed homes is rental property investors, does that mean my neighborhood is a working-to-middle income slum?
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Phil Again wrote: ...

Not necessarily, but it does mean the homes are overvalued in the current market.
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 16:08:53 -0500, dpb wrote:

Oh, so, so true. The bubble was pretty while it lasted. All things come to and end I guess.
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Phil Again wrote:

It was a very different bubble this time. Earlier bubbles were driven solely by inflation in the house values, and when the values fell back down, people started buying again. This bubble was driven by people taking out ridiculous loans, then home equity loans, spending that money, then being unable to repay either the mortgage or the equity loan.
Who's going to buy these foreclosed houses at the new lower values, and with what? The non-insane people already have homes and aren't buying more or moving. The people that were foreclosed on don't have the money to buy another house and can't get a loan.
We're looking at _years_ of continued decline in values.
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Wow. You're lucky. We're assessed at 100% of "full value", although only the county gets to decide what that is. Assessments keep rising even though most people are getting less than the assessment value when they sell.
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Here, assessments are based on the previous year. You should see a significant change NEXT year if you lost money on your home THIS year.
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Only if you sell. I've been here 23 years and intend to leave in a meat wagon. The county is who decides what my home is worth, since I don't plan to ever sell. My house is nearly 200 years old and I live in the boonies. There aren't exactly a lot of "comps" to which I can compare the assessed value. The new McMansion about a mile down the road is assessed at $500K while the tiny log cabin on 100 acres down the dirt road is assessed at $200K. In the 23 years I've been here the property/school taxes have never gone up less than 5% a year. Most years is double digits. When I bought the place the combined taxes were $1,200. Now they are over $5K. The house has barely doubled in value. It's just sick.
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You can always come to my neighborhood where property went down and tax went up, and yes we have all those goodies you want. Tony

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If I were you, I would not worry about your taxes going down. It will not happen.
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Frank wrote:

In California it's happening a lot. Those that bought at the peak, paying say $600K for a house that now has a market value of $300K will see their taxes fall by half. The tax rate is fixed by propostion 13 at 1% (plus any county assessments passed by voters) of the purchase price plus a maximum of 2% per year increase _OR_ the fair market value, whichever is lower.
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Great joke!
Your taxes are not going down. They never do. Forced sales are not considered "normal transactions".
The leeches set the tax rate base on "normal transactions".
Colbyt
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Phil Again wrote:

I think you need to have a couple of "normal" sales for you to get reassessed downward.
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 16:06:08 -0500, Phil Again

If your county is like mine your taxes won't go down, the percentage of market value they tax on will go up. They will point out that could be 100% of market but they have been giving you a break because they know the prices were silly. (or they wanted that buffer when they went down.) You just said, their costs are the same or higher. That money has to come from the people paying the taxes.
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Buzzzzz, "Awwww Phil. I'm sorry. That's not correct. But thanks for playing!"
My understanding (not Gospel).
Budget is voted on and eventually passes. That becomes fixed.
The budget is distributed over the grand list and tax rate is set. Higher grand list, lower tax rate. Lower grand list, higher tax rate. Six to one, half a dozen to another but the budget must be paid.
The tax value for their appraisal only tells you what you pay in taxes relative to your neighbor. You actual sale appraisal is driven by the RE Comps. Tax value is usually a percentage of actual. In some areas if the tax appraisal is not within say 90% of actual value, the city/town is penalized.
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 21:51:41 -0500, Red Green wrote:

That is true is some places, but not others. Where I live, by law the taxable value of real estate must be the fair market value of the property.
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Tony Sivori
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wrote:

They don't have to raise your appraisal to raise taxes, they just bump up the millage rate.
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On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:20:14 -0400, gfretwell wrote:

Quite right.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

I believe that's what I said...in an extrapolated way.
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Still a percentage. In your case, 100%. Without doing every year, not sure how they can keep it at 100%.
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Red Green wrote: ...

Same way they keep it at any other percentage every year, think????
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