In case you missed it, the Boston Globe just covered a troubling trend among many communities in and around Boston: Rising property taxes and decreasing property values going hand-in-hand.
"Tax bills throughout the Greater Boston suburbs keep rising, even though the assessed value of homes has diminished. A Globe review of state Department of Revenue data found that between fiscal 2007 and 2013, average assessed values on single-family homes fell in more than 90 percent of cities and towns as the national economy swooned into recession."
This has become increasingly baffling (and frustrating) for many people who have had to shell out more money in taxes while watching the value of their homes decrease.
Luckily, for homeowners in town, Arlington has been a bright spot amid this trend:
"Only six Greater Boston communities -- Arlington, Cohasset, Needham, Winchester, Weston, and Wellesley -- showed an increase in average value, with most posting modest gains ranging from 2 to 4 percent."
Why was Arlington able to buck this trend? It's not luck. On the contrary, it's all of the reasons that make Arlington a great place to live:
· Reputable schools
· A wide variety of restaurants and shops
· Access to public transportation
· Proximity to Boston and Cambridge
· Parks and open space
· Minuteman Bikeway and walkability
The good news is that home values have begun their ascent, and according to Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr., "...single-family home sales in Massachusetts rose 18 percent in 2012, marking 12 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains and the best year on record since 2006."
Since the assessed value of a home is based on the sale prices of comparable properties in the area from the previous calendar year, less discrepancy should be seen as next year's assessments will reflect the improving real estate market we have been experiencing.
Also, don't confuse 'assessment' with 'true market value.' In most cases, the assessment does not reflect the real market value of your home. To understand what the real market value of your home is, you should contact a real estate agent for an analysis.