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Those who have answered before have offered some good advice. From a property assessment standpoint I would: 1. Call the local assessor and ask, even anonymously, if correcting the property characteristics would affect the assessment. As others have commented finished area in the basement does not contribute to overall value the way that above-grade living area does. Some states allow the assessor to correct errors such as what you may have, but in practice they usually correct the assessment for the upcoming year and will consider that fact that you are the new owner.2. To Dan's comments that "[t]he key is not your tax bill. The key is salability," I would add that it is also about honesty. The way the property tax works is based on everyone who has a taxable property paying their fair share. The essential component required for spreading that fair share around is for all properties to reflect, as accurately as possible, what is true and correct. Property owners who are trying to hide information from assessors are not causing any real harm to the assessor or taxing jurisdiction (they can raise the tax rate in most cases) but increasing the tax burden for all others who are being truthful about what their properties included.Keep in mind that in these modern times appraisers, review appraisers, and auditors that exam lender records will (and do) compare assessment records to appraisals for original mortgages and refinancing or loan modifications. As an assessor I have been called many times to explain why assessment records differ from recent appraisals.
Getting a home appraised for refinancing is done by an appraiser that works with the bank. This is different than an assessor from the county who does an appraisal for tax value. Therefore, having your home refinanced is unlikely to trigger any change in your county assessed value or your property taxes.Also, if you move you can list the home with the correct square footage. There would be no reason to get it reappraised before selling as this plays no role in the market value of your home. The home will sell at a market value of the 2000 square foot home as that's how it will be listed in MLS and that's how potential buyers will value it.Hope that helped,Bill Wallace, RE/MAX Results - Apple Valley
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