Ask Your Appraiser

Ask the Appraiser: How Can I Fight My Georgia Property Taxes?

5 Ways to Fight Against Your Increased Property Tax

Did you know that fewer than 1 in 50 homeowners will appeal their increased property tax assessment, even though up to 60% of properties are overvalued by tax assessors? Most assessors are not even certified to accurately appraise real estate, yet they are the ones who are placing an assessment on your home. Having your home appraised by a certified real estate appraiser can save you thousands of dollars — and lock in those savings for up to three years.

If you've received an increase in your property tax assessment, the following steps may help bring down your bill.

1. Learn your system

Taxing authorities use different methods when calculating home values. Some look at recent sales of similar homes. In more rural areas where sales are few, they might estimate the cost to rebuild. Others may use a combination of these methods. Contact your local assessor's office and ask how they valuate properties in your area. In many areas, your tax liability is based on a percentage of your property's estimated value. You'll want to know what that percentage is so you can figure out if the value the assessor is assigning to your home is fair.

2. Get your assessor's evidence

Your assessor likely didn't pull their estimate out of a hat, even if it seems that way to you. Contact the assessor's office and ask for the evidence used to value your home. Get your home's property card, which lists basic details like lot size, square footage, and number of bathrooms.

3. Ensure the description is correct

When municipalities or counties re-assess property values, they typically hire an outside contractor who looks at hundreds, or even thousands of homes in an incredibly tight time period. Typically, the assessor is not a state-certified appraiser and often has to take shortcuts. Three vent stacks on the roof? That must mean three full baths — never mind that the upstairs laundry room could be the culprit. 

4. Build your case

Find an appraiser in your area to find out what your home is actually worth. An appraisal from a state-certified real estate appraiser (such as Appraisals By Michael) can stand as independent, third-party evidence of your home's true market value. 

You must file within 45-60 days from the time you received your tax assessment. You'll need to arm yourself with a recent appraisal detailing the exact layout of your home, comparable sales, and assessments that prove your home has been valued too high. 

5. File the report 

Appeals are very time consuming, so it is best to file as soon as you can within the appropriate window. Often, if you let them know that you already have an appraisal from a state-certified appraiser before filing the report, someone will meet with you to look over the report and make the corrections there at the desk.

We're Here to Help

Appraisals by Michael offers a number of appraisal services, but appraisals for property tax appeals is one of our specialties. We are here to provide you with the assurance that you are only paying your fair share of property taxes. While we are unable to guarantee the outcome of your appeal, an appraisal completed by one of our state-certified appraisers is your best chance of success. State-certified appraisers are largely considered to be the experts in real property valuation. We are familiar, experienced, and trained in the ins and outs of your neighborhood.


Airbnb, a site that allows users to rent their homes to interested lodgers, has been the topic of discussion for quite some time now. Whether you agree with the idea or not, there is no denying that the online platform is both innovative, lucrative and consequently, here to stay.

As it competes with hotel chains worldwide with its cheap prices and unique vacation options, Airbnb has completely transformed travel as we know it. Rather than staying in a subtly filthy hotel room with mediocre Wi-Fi and basic cable, you can pay less money while vacationing in a beach villa complete with Netflix and your own wireless router. Feeling at home while on vacation is a luxury nobody ever expected to have.

This worldwide phenomenon features a large variety of properties ranging from small apartments in a big city, to spacious mansions in the country. Even Beyoncé utilized the app for her stay in California during the Super Bowl. However, while you can stay in a simple third floor apartment, you can also search for some more unique locations.

The Treehouse

Apparently, the most requested Airbnb in the world is a property right here in Atlanta, Georgia. The listing boasts about being only minutes from downtown, which is surprising since it manages to remain a quaint and serene place to stay.

The property is a true-to-life treehouse in Buckhead. Found amidst a small piece of woods, it literally requires a trip up a wooden ladder to get through the front door. It is made from reclaimed materials, and resembles your favorite fantasy flick. Don’t be surprised if you see a prancing unicorn or a find a fairy sleeping in the corner of your windowsill. The entire location is something straight from a dream. 


Every review under The Treehouse’s listing revels in their relaxing stay, and the convenience offered by the owners. Many guests went for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays, and claim that the property far exceeded their expectations.

If you’re looking to stay in the quaint wonderland amongst the woods of Buckhead, make your plans in advanced because The Treehouse is booked for months. 

Posted in:Real Estate and tagged: atlantaairbnbbuckhead
Posted by on February 29th, 2016 9:10 AMLeave a Comment

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It’s no secret that Atlanta’s cost of living is rivaled by the rest of the nation. It only takes a couple pieces of pocket change to find an adequate roof in this bustling city. On the other end of the spectrum, it may be an even more common piece of knowledge that New York City is one of the most expensive places to reside. While Atlanta merely requires a decent-paying job and sufficient credit in order to be able to sign your name at the bottom of a lease agreement, NYC demands a full time job, a part time job, an organ, a loc of hair from your great grandmother on your father’s side, and the shoes you are currently wearing.

In an effort to visualize the drastic comparison, we did a bit of research in regards to this topic. What would happen if someone went to New York with the expectations based on the Atlanta cost of living? How much can one get in both cities with $2,000? $3,000? Check out what we found out during our investigation.

For under $1,000 in Atlanta:

The Auburn Glenn has apartments starting at $690 and reaching up to $868 in price. The roomy property comes complete with a gym, clubhouse, pool, and other fun amenities. 

For under $1,000 in New York City:

This two-bedroom apartment is currently renting out one of the rooms to the best candidate. With a good credit score, considerably high income, and $800 for monthly rent, you may be considered to share this apartment with the young female professional who lives there currently. 

For $2,000 in Atlanta:

Apparently at this price you have upgraded from renting apartments into the realm of house rentals. This subdivision offers a pool and quiet neighbors, perfect for a family.

For $2,000 in New York City:

We found a newly renovated 2 bedroom that boasts about its heat and hot water that are included in the monthly rate. The view makes it worth the price, however.


For $3,000 in Atlanta:

This telephone factory-turned-apartment complex has such a unique look and it's extremely spacious. The loft-styled apartment still slightly resembles an old factory, but that's what completes the overall look. 

For $3,000 in New York City:

For this, you can live in a nice three bedroom apartment that has been remodeled to fit six beds. Of course, space is tight. However, it's in a decent area and has central air conditioning. 

For $4,000 in Atlanta:

Located in the middle of Buckhead, this 4 bedroom/4 bathroom home is modernly designed and built with an abundance of space in every room. 

For $4,000 in New York City:

Unfortunately, for this amount of money we still haven't upgraded to anything more than a Harlem apartment. While it fits a small family, the bedrooms are still relatively small. However, for the New Yorker, this is the norm.

Posted by Michael A. Nix, AGREA-CR on February 15th, 2016 12:12 PMLeave a Comment

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