Over the last 20 years, more often than not tax assessment values of Outer Banks properties are not equal to their market value. When properties were reassessed in 2013 many tax assessment values went down over 20%. In some cases the average was over 40%. That’s a huge change in value from one assessment to another!
Did local property values dropped that much over that onet year? The simple answer is no. The reason for the large change in tax assessments is that neither Dare County nor Currituck County had re-assessed property since 2005. This was the end of the last up cycle in local real estate. North Carolina state law requires that counties reassess all property within their borders just once every eight years. Both OBX (Dare and Currituck), counties waited until the last possible moment.
Another difference in local tax assessments compared to many areas is the tax assessment for all properties within the county is based on market value on one specific day for the whole county. That day does not change until the next assessment is completed. Tax assessments will not change based on a new sale or a current appraisal. The tax assessment value you see today could be close to eight years old.
Unfortunately having so much time between assessments hurts the value of that information. In many areas across the United States buyers rely on the tax assessment value when making an offer. Relying heavily on this information when buying or selling Outer Banks real estate could cost you thousands of dollars
You can see a current tax assessed value on the county’s web site and is easily obtained by your Realtor. Your Realtor will also know the date of which that tax value is for. When determining market value on an Outer Banks property, don’t just rely on the tax value information. Allow your local Realtor to provide you with the information on similar recent sales. If you use tax values at all, make sure you see how the tax values of the similar sales compare to the property you are considering.