Wednesday, July 27, 2011

...good news... and not-so-good news

Any homeowner has dealt with this situation... that your home, being in most cases the most expensive investment you'll ever make, will appreciate and depreciate in value, as the economy ebbs and flows. Since mid 2004, things have been unbelievably unpredictable. By the middle of 2005, my small house had a market value of over $400 K... I paid $85K for it in 1988... it is less than 1200 s.ft., but is in a "really good area". An area known for stable turnover and considered one of the "best" in Mudville. So I refinanced to get out from under an adjustable rate mortgage with a bank that has since gone broke. I was very conservative in my choice of mortgage[30 yr fixed, 6.87%, strong lender] and I didn't "max out" my value, 'cause it made me nervous.

Fast forward to the present,where I am in Chapter 13, discharging several credit cards and the home equity LOC at $84K & 8% over the next 32 months. I was able to keep my home by going the Chapter 13 route. Without it, I would have lost my home to foreclosure and eventually been forced into bankruptcy anyway. I had hoped to be able to modify my 1st mortgage, but I no longer qualify as I am not dead, totally disabled or in foreclosure. This has left me in a very tight financial situation with no savings to fall back on and making each property tax payment an obstacle to overcome, so the notice I received in the mail last week was "good news".

My property values had been
listed as $240K for the last
couple of years.
The only problem was that
at least a year ago, the
"market value" was $120K...

and due to the inflated value,
my property taxes were
about $750, two times a year...
and due to the fact the the state,
county and city are BROKE....
the chances for tax relief by way
of reassessment, seemed dim...

So when I received a new assessment for $120 K in the mail, it was Christmas in July.
Of course, I don't know how this affects my tax bill yet, but it should be lower.
My concern now is if I have to call the police or firemen to come to my home that I can now better afford to keep, will anyone show up in a timely manner... ?

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