A Living Nightmare??? Home Values Down OVER 90%
For less than the price of a decent used car, you can buy a home in Atlanta today.
Actually, real estate agents list a dozen choices for $10,000 or less.
Step up in price to $20,000 and your choices expand 10 fold.
The prices seem absurd but they are part of a real estate market suffering with rampant foreclosures, mortgage fraud, abandoned investor properties, a collapsing mortgage industry and other ills. The market is unlike anything seen in metro Atlanta in years and it has local tax assessors and appraisers as confused as anyone.
What is the value of a lot if no one can get a loan to buy it? How should you value a home that sits on the market for a year with no offers? When a neighborhood has several foreclosures, short sales and abandoned properties, do they set the market?
Therein lies the problem for tax assessors.
As Fulton's chief appraiser, Burt Manning finds it hard to believe any parcel in Fulton is worth less than $10,000.
Still, real estate listings prove they are.
"We are trying to understand all these things," said Manning. "What's the right answer? We don't know. It's tough. I've got entire neighborhoods where all I've got is distressed sales. I don't have any good sales."
In fact, seven of Atlanta's least-expensive homes are listed on average for $8,800 but taxed at an average value of nearly $93,000.
The cheapest, at 336 Adelle Street in the Lakewood area, comes in at $5,900. Tax records list its value at $101,700.
The problems are pronounced in areas like West End, Lakewood and Vine City.
Wayne Flanagan, a RE/MAX agent who sells bank-owned properties, said in zip codes like 30310 and 30315 values have taken a nosedive faster than public officials can account for.
"There are some price ranges like $20,000-$80,000 where 90 percent of the properties on the market are foreclosures," Flanagan said. "You've got one bank competing against another. It's a spiraling situation, downward."
The agent said when tax values and true values are way apart, it can keep properties from selling and further depress values. Flanagan said he'd had a $95,000 deal on a duplex fall through recently because it was being taxed at $300,000. The buyer didn't want to be saddled with taxes at that level.
The fallout will be incredible. Forclosures skyrocketing. Bankruptcies Skyrocketing. Tax revenues evaporating. Jobs and services lost. All for what? The American Dream turning into a living nightmare.
And they tell us the credit crisis is behind us? Enjoy the eye of the strom while it lasts, the fun part is about to start.
And this is Atlanta....Not Michigan or Ohio.....You think 30% price reductions were a big deal? Just wait for CA(13% of America's economy), FL, AZ, and NV. Now add in TX and Carolina's deterioration, you have potentially about 50% of the new home market in America about to implode.
Sorry, I forgot the experts tell us those markets already imploded. Keep listening to the "experts."