Watch for A Notice of Appraised Value in Your Mail

4 Important Things to Know About What This Notice Means –
The reminder

  1. Find Your Notice of Appraised Value Letter” that you should have received in your mail this month notifying you of your new proposed 2014 market value for your property.
  2. Ask This: Once you have reviewed this market value, ask yourself, “Is this more than I can get in a sales price if listed my house for sale today?”  Or in other words, if I sold my home today, what could I reasonably get for it?
  3. Don’t Wait: The Protest Deadline this year is June 2nd 2014 for all major North Texas counties in Dallas and Ft. Worth. So if you don’t agree with the notice, you only have a short time to get your paperwork ready and file a protest prior to this date.
  4. We Can Help You Do this: Call our office or go to our website for more information. or to sign up for representation services. It can save you money.

Sales Prices Are Up:  Median Sales Price Up: Dallas area median sales price up from 2012 to end of 2013 rose 9.7%. This comparison is below the national average climbing to 13.6%. Our increase of 10% in a sales price was the largest growth we have ever experienced since we started keeping records.A person holding a miniature house and some dollar bills

The Latest Numbers: Dallas home prices are up 10.2 percent in the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Overall Summary is Good. 

  • Positive Overall: Overall we should feel good about our rebound from downturns in other markets.
  • More Jobs, Higher Incomes: Texas has more jobs and higher incomes, which contribute to a healthy real estate market.
  • Low Supply of Homes For Sale: We are experiencing the lowest amount of inventory of homes for sale in several years.
  • Home Values Up: The Case-Shiller Index says Dallas homes are up about 5% from the recession and Core Logic stated home prices have been appreciating the last 2 years.

The largest gains in a median sales price were in Las Vegas and San Francisco at 27% and 24% respectively.  Typically these markets are volatile and will show big swings in value.

Click Here to Learn or to sign up online for representation services at the Appraisal District.



5 Helpful Things Every Dallas/Ft. Worth Commercial Property Owner Should Know:


  1. Pay Attention on May 1st for a letter coming to your mailroom that says “Notice of Appraised Value” on it.  These letters will be sent by the appraisal districts to the commercial property owner’s mailing address.  The appraisal districts will be revaluing commercial properties this 2014 tax year due to the uptick in market conditions.
  2. Look for Information:  If your market value is raised by the county appraisal district, look for this information to gather.
  3. Find What You Claimed: From your IRS tax filing, make a copy of the income and expenses claimed for the 2013 tax year.  The appraisal district will need this only if the property is leased to a tenant(s).
  4. Obtain Sales Comparable Information of similar type properties in your area from brokers or online services.
  5. Find Current asking prices for leases of similar type properties by using and  These are free and both easy to use.  From the information gathered, determine what do you think a listing price for your property might be and compare this to the total market value from the appraisal district.  This should be received each year around May 1st.


Visit my website to learn more about real estate taxes and how we can help you.    

Finding Apartment Space in Dallas Challenging for Renters

Prospective tenants may have a difficult time finding a new apartment this year.   With new project completions and a strong Texas economy, increased demand for apartment leasing rose 40% from 2012 to 2013. The DFW market experienced its highest fourth quarter of total units leased in the past 14 years and our market has continued to outperform expectations. Apartment for Rent

Reasons Why?:
Upsurge in Demand: There has also been an upsurge in demand for newer luxury type apartments (with 25,000 new apartments were under construction at the end of 2013.)

  • Vacancy Rates: Last year’s vacancy rates were recorded at only 5% and rents up about 3% – 4%.
  • Strong Rental Rates: Our hot market increased 6% in rents from a year ago. Having strong rental rates and lower vacancy has dictated 3 straight years of continual growth.

A Few Resources That May Help With Your Search:

Are You Up To Speed? (On Exemptions You May Qualify For)

Exemptions You May Qualify For

property tax exemptions Dallas, property tax exemptions Collin County, property tax exemptions Tarrant County, property tax exemptions TexasYou may be missing out on certain exemptions the State of Texas allows on your homestead.  To qualify, check with your local county  appraisal district (most have websites) for the forms you will need to fill out.  Dallas County residents, for example would go to the Dallas County Appraisal District’s website, to check eligibility.   Tax exempt status may provide a potential taxpayer complete relief from taxes or at a reduced tax rate, depending on your exemption status. It’s something every property owner should check into and it is completely within your rights.


Property Tax Code Exemptions


Texas offers residents property value protection known as a homestead exemption. Tax exempt status may provide a potential taxpayer complete relief from tax, at a reduced tax rate, or tax on only a portion of the items subject to tax. A homestead exemption legally protects your home’s value from certain real estate taxes. Texas has certain enrollment requirements that are listed directly on the State of Texas Comptroller website in you would like to see the exemptions chart it is available at: (

Homestead Exemption – homestead exemptions (sometimes called deductions) are a type of property tax relief.  Homestead exemptions are typically allowed for homeowners who use their home as their primary residence.  These exemptions reduce the assessed value of the home on which property tax bills are based.  Homestead exemptions are typically equal to a percentage of assessed value and are limited to a set dollar amount.   For example, a homestead exemption might be equal to 10% of assessed value or $45,000 whichever is less. 

 Residence Homestead Exemption

 To qualify for a homestead exemption on your home residence, you must own and reside in your home on January 1 (of the tax year the application is made and cannot claim a homestead exemption on any other property.)   If you temporarily move away from your home, you still can qualify for this exemption, if you do not establish another principal residence and you intend to return within two years, or if you are a resident of a health facility, or in the military.  If the person who qualifies for an exemption is not the sole owner of the property to which the exemption applies, an application for a residence homestead exemption must be completed by each owner of the residence.  Exemptions are allocated according to percent of ownership interest the applicant has in the property.

65 or Older Exemption

If you qualify for the 65 or Older Exemption, there is a property tax “ceiling” that automatically limits school taxes to the amount you paid in the year that you qualified for the homestead and the 65 or Older exemption. Tax ceiling amounts can increase if you add improvements to your home (i.e., adding a garage, room or pool).  In addition, 65 or Older homeowners who purchase or move into a different home in Texas may also transfer the percentage of school taxes paid, based on the former home’s school tax ceiling. This is commonly referred to as a Ceiling Transfer. To transfer your tax ceiling however, you must move to another home within the same taxing unit and you must request a certificate from the Appraisal District for the former home (and take it to the Appraisal District for the new home, if it is in a different district.) 

Disability Homestead Exemption

Persons with disabilities may qualify for this exemption if they 1) qualify for disability benefits under the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration or 2) have a physician’s statement indicating the date the disability began and that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful work for a period which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or that can be expected to result in death.

Tax Deferral for Age 65 or Older or Disabled Homeowner

If you are a homeowner who qualifies for the Age 65 or Older or the Disability exemption, you may also defer or postpone paying any property taxes   on your home for as long as you own and live in it. It is important to note that this deferral only postpones your taxes and does not cancel them. It also accrues eight (8) percent interest annually until the deferral is removed. When the property is sold or the ownership is transferred to the estate/heirs, the taxes and accrued interest become payable.

Surviving Spouse of a Person who received the Disability Exemption

There may be additional benefits for the Age 55 or Older Surviving Spouse of a person who was receiving the Disability exemption before their death.

Residence Homestead Exemption for Disabled Veteran with 100% Disability

You qualify for this exemption if you are a disabled veteran who receives benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor 100 percent disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100 percent disability or of individual unemployability. Beginning 2009, this entitles you to an exemption of the total appraised value of your residence homestead.An exemption application must be completed and accompanied with a copy of your V.A. award letter or other document from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showing 100 percent disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100 percent disabled or individual unemployability. A surviving spouse does qualify for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption, but surviving child does not qualify.

Benefits of Exemptions

All school districts in Texas grant a reduction of $15,000 from your market value for a General Residence Homestead exemption. Some taxing units also offer     additional optional reductions for the homestead exemption. In addition, each school     district will grant a minimum reduction of $10,000 from the market value for the 65 or older exemption. For optional exemptions, the governing body of each taxing entity decides whether it will offer the exemption and at what percentage or amount.



Dallas Don’t Give Up The Fight Just Yet to Lower Your Property Taxes (May 31)


Don’t Give Up The Fight Yet to Lower Your Property Taxes

Property Tax Dallas, Property Taxes, Dallas Property Tax, Highland Park Property Taxes, Real Estate, Texas Property Taxes

If you’re like most homeowners you probably don’t look forward to receiving your property tax notice in the mail.  When the dreaded notice arrives in one’s mailbox it has a way of giving a person that gut punching feeling in the pit of their stomach.  Well, it might sound a bit dramatic, but it’s likely that you won’t be jumping for joy at the occasion. You know what they say about death and taxes, right?  They are inevitable, but as we know, there are plenty of options available to make the process easier and improve your odds (or at least lessen the burden).  Yes, it’s still true you have to pay your property taxes, but there are things you can do to now (especially prior to May 31st) to change the course of your outcome.

Most people have been paying attention to recent news reports about the economy and how the housing industry is experiencing a turnaround.  It comes as good news since the market has been in a slump for so long.  By all indications and industry expert opinion so far, the upward trend is likely to continue.  How does this affect you if you own your home? This means your property value can or will likely go up.  If your property value goes up it affects your property tax amount as well, (which means the taxes you must pay on your homestead). On one hand, its great to know the market is improving and that your property is appreciating, but it is not much of a relief coming to realization that your property taxes will be affected and you could start owing more.  There are actions you can take though. 

What Can You Do About It At This Point?

Property Tax Dallas, Property Taxes, Dallas Property Tax, Highland Park Property Taxes, Real Estate, Texas Property Taxes Most people think there is nothing they can really do about an increase in their property taxes and that it’s just too much trouble to bother with, or they believe it’s too expensive to hire someone to help, so they give in and just pay their tax bill year after year (with a few expletives).

But what most people don’t know is, that (even though you are required to pay your property taxes, (on time and before the delinquency date), you can still do something about it now.  What they don’t tell you (because maybe there would be a mad rush down at the counties, who knows?) Is that you can still file a protest with the appraisal district if you do it before May 31st of the same year.  Still, many taxpayers don’t take this opportunity.  Another option they may not realize is that they can just hire a representative like property tax consultant, to make the whole process a lot easier.  If you hire a property tax consultant, usually all of this can be handled online or over the phone.  It takes maybe 10 or 15 minutes usually.  You fill out AOA (Appointment of Agent) form, sign an agreement allowing the consultant to handle your property protest, fill out an online questionnaire about your property, submit payment and you’re done.  You will get notified of the outcome in writing by mail.  It worth your time to check it out.

Who Can File A Property Tax Protest?

Property Tax Dallas, Property Taxes, Dallas Property Tax, Highland Park Property Taxes, Real Estate, Texas Property Taxes

You can file a Prost as a taxpayer if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You are the person who owned the property as of Jan 1;
  • If you claim an interest in the property (even if you are not shown as the owner on the appraisal district records);
  • If you are a lessee who is contractually obligated to reimburse the property owner for the property taxes, then you are also allowed to protest the appraised value to the Appraisal Review Board
  • If you are the previous or current property owner
  • You may also appoint (or hire) an agent to file the protest for you on your behalf; by completing a standard Appointment of Agent form.  (e.g. if Carlson Property Tax represents you, the form is available on our website with instructions at or you may find additional info on the State of Texas Comptroller’s site

What Are Grounds for Protesting Your Property Taxes?

Property Tax Dallas, Property Taxes, Dallas Property Tax, Highland Park Property Taxes, Real Estate, Texas Property Taxes

Property owners have right to protest their property taxes for any of the following reasons:  

  1. Appraisal that exceeds the appraised or market value of the property
  2. Unequal appraisal of the owner’s property
  3. Inclusion of the owner’s property on the appraisal records
  4. Denial to the property owner in whole or in part of a partial exemption
  5. Determination that the owner’s land does not qualify for appraisal
  6. Identification of the taxing units in which the property is taxable
  7. Determination of the property’s ownership
  8. Determination that the use of land agricultural or timber land has changed
  9. Any other action of the chief appraiser, appraisal district, or appraisal review board that applies to and adversely affects the property owner.

*Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Publication #96-308

  What Are My Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

Property Tax, Dallas Property Tax, Ft. Worth Property Tax, Tarrant County Property Tax, Colin County Property Tax, Rockwall county property Tax

  • You have the right to equal and uniform taxation.
    • You have the right to ensure that your property is appraised uniformly with similar property in your county.
    • You have the right to have your property appraised according to generally accepted appraisal techniques and other requirements of law.
    • You have the right to receive exemptions or other tax relief for which you qualify and apply timely.
    • You have the right to receive notice of property value increases, exemption changes and estimated tax amounts.
    • You have the right to inspect non-confidential information used to appraise your property.
    • You have the right to protest your property’s value and other appraisal matters to an appraisal review board composed of an impartial group of citizens in your community.
    • You have the right to appeal the appraisal review board’s decision to district court in the county where the property is located.
    • You have the right to fair treatment by the appraisal district, the appraisal review board and the tax assessor-collector.
    • You have the right to voice your opinions at open public meetings about proposed tax rates and to ask questions of the governing body responsible for setting tax rates.
    • You have the right to petition a local government to call an election to limit a tax increase in certain circumstances.
    • You have the right to receive a free copy of the pamphlet entitled Property Taxpayer Remedies published by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Downtown Dallas Get An Update


Dozens of Projects Developing in Downtown Dallas

Dallas real estate developers are hard at work with at least two dozen projects underway in downtown Dallas.   Of course , the developers are ‘diggin’ the new development opportunities, which include expansion of the Joule Hotel and several apartments plus newly remodeled office space in some of the area’s cool skyscrapers.

Along with downtown renovation and expansion, the Dallas Farmer’s Market (a local favorite for fresh produce and plants), will get additional living space for city dwellers – with an addition of townhomes and apartments in Farmer’s Market Square.  This is exciting news for those who like the convenience of living and working in downtown.  One thing that has been missing in Dallas is ability to get around by foot more easily – so hopefully developers will create living space which accommodates access to retail and dining for city dwellers who work and live in downtown.  Some of the expansions and updates in the area include Plaza of the Americas, Reunion Tower, Bank of America Plaza, Tower Petroleum Building and One Dallas Center, just to name a few.

In addition to down town, the  recent housing surge in North Texas has developers busy with Texas cities bouncing back like Austin, Corpus Christ, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio.  First quarter median home prices were higher than in the same period last year in 133 out of 150 U.S. markets.  Austin had the biggest gain with an increase of 8.7 percent.

In May, Dallas’s best neighborhoods were recently posted in the Dallas Morning News in a 13 part series that ranks areas based on 12 key livability factors.

Neighborhood Ranking Factors

The factors that played a part in the consideration of ranking include

      • Safety
      • Affordability
      • Schools
      • Quiet
      • Walkability
      • Property Appreciation
      • Friendly Neighbors
      • Shopping
      • Commute
      • Landscaping
      • Pet Friendliness
      • Parks

Top 10 Neighborhoods that made the list

  1. Prestonwood
  2. Northwood Hills
  3. Bent Tree
  4. Lake Highlands
  5. North Dallas
  6. White Rock Valley
  7. Preston Hollow
  8. Westhollow
  9. Lakewood
  10. Turtle Creek

Top Metropolitan* Areas for Affordable Housing

welcome mat
Top Metropolitan* Areas for Affordable Housing (*Populations of 1 million or greater)

The top metropolitan* areas right now to buy affordable housing (according to National Association of Realtors and the U.S. Census Bureau), are listed below. compares the areas with the smallest ratio of median single-family, existing-home prices to median household incomes to come up with the list.  One important thing CNN points out is – while painfully low housing prices can wreak havoc on a local economy, they also create incentive for buyers to clear the market of excess inventory, setting the scene for a stronger future market.

Cities with some of the highest foreclosure rates are also among the cities with the most affordable housing markets.

  • Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.
    Median Home Price: $137,000
    Median Household Income: $57,363
    Ratio: 2.39
  • St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.
    Median Home Price: $129,000
    Median Household Income: $54,386
    Ratio: 2.37
  • Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
    Median Home Price: $113,000
    Median Household Income: $48,199
    Ratio: 2.34 
  • Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.
    Median Home Price: $127,300
    Median Household Income: $54,354
    Ratio: 2.33 
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Median Home Price: $126,000
    Median Household Income: $55,548
    Ratio: 2.27 
  • Rochester, N.Y.
    Median Home Price: $118,900
    Median Household Income: $52,971
    Ratio: 2.24
  • Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
    Median Home Price: $126,200
    Median Household Income: $56,294
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.
    Median Home Price: $145,000
    Median Household Income: $66,404
    Ratio: 2.18
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
    Median Home Price: $102,100
    Median Household Income: $58,355
    Ratio: 1.75

Want to Know Where Your Neighborhood Ranks in Dallas?

Dallas Residents

If you’d like to see how your neighborhood is currently ranked among others in the metroplex, check out this link from the Dallas Morning News.  Its a handy  resource and easy to use.  Basically, enter your zip code and Voila!


Follow These Tips To Help Your Home Sell Fast

Sell your home quicker

Need some tips for selling your home quicker?

Great tips for selling your home quickly!

Home Improvement Tips & Tricks

There are a few things that you have to keep in mind about selling your home. While it may be tempting to just rush through the process so that it can be over with, you need to take your time and make sure all bases are covered to assure a smooth sale.

Staging your home for sale, especially if it is vacant, is a great way to get a higher asking price and to generate more interest in your home. Staging is when you have someone come in and arrange furniture, paint walls, and place accents that give your home a broad appeal and make it look nicer than it really is.

Give your home the best possible curb appeal when selling, by making sure that the lawn is watered and mowed, excess items are not left outside, and putting a couple of potted flowering plants by the front door…

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