As Mecklenburg County residents weigh the option of appealing their recent home revaluations, residents in other Lake Norman counties are facing the same question: How much is my home worth?
All four Lake Norman counties are entrenched in home revaluations now. While some counties are hearing appeals, others are preparing to send out notifications to home owners.
Counties are required by state law to revalue properties every eight years to bring them to fair market values.
Here's a look at where the four counties are in their revaluation processes and what trends have emerged.
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Catawba County sent out revaluation notices on its 77,000 residential, 5,000 commercial and 2,300 industrial buildings in November.
The county is now conducting its informal appeal process. So far, Mark Logan, county tax administrator, said his office has received 4,460 residential, 397 commercial and 273 industrial valuation appeals. That's about six percent of all revaluation notices.
Catawba County sends out revaluations every four years, with the last effective date being Jan. 1, 2007, Logan said.
On average, values increased by about 1.9 percent, and about 30 percent of properties saw a reduction in value.
Logan said this is atypical of what he's seen during his 23 years of working for the county.
During the 2007 revaluation, values increased by 11.4 percent on average, and in 2003, values increased by 13.7 percent, he said.
The county anticipates sending out the results of valuation appeals in March, Logan said. From there - as with all counties - residents can appeal to the county Board of Equalization and Review, and then the N.C. property tax commission if they're still not satisfied.
Iredell County sent revaluation notices on its 87,000 residential, commercial and industrial parcels Friday.
Since the last county revaluation in 2007, values fell by 1.5 percent on average, said county tax assessor Steve Irvin. Manufactured homes fell 16 percent and single-family homes fell by 2 percent on average.
And unlike lakefront properties in Mecklenburg County that rose in value, those in the Davidson township of Iredell County fell by 3.22 percent on average, Irvin said.
Value on rural acreage bucked the countywide trend by rising 6 percent on average, Irvin said.
Irvin said Iredell County didn't see as much of a rise in foreclosures as Mecklenburg County did. In 2006, 0.8 percent of all real estate transactions were foreclosures. By 2010, that figure was 1 percent. Consequently, the county only adjusted values in about 8 percent of its neighborhoods because of foreclosures.
Although Lincoln County had a 2008 revaluation, the county moved their 2012 revaluation up by one year.
"Shortly after the effective date of the revaluation, a lot of the values started going down and sales dropped off," said Madge Huffman, the county's tax administrator. "So commissioners decided to advance instead of postpone."
Lincoln County sent valuation notices on its residential, commercial and industrial properties on Feb. 11.
Jon Stephens, chief appraiser, said properties in the eastern part of the county saw an overall decrease in property values of about 5 percent, while properties in the more rural western part of the county saw an overall increase in value of 7 to 10 percent.
Lakefront properties in the eastern part of the county saw drops in value of 15 to 20 percent on average, said Stephens.
"The more expensive homes on the eastern side were hit the hardest," he said. As of Thursday, Stephens said the county had received 168 appeals.
Since Mecklenburg County sent out its 250,000 single-family and townhome revaluations a couple of weeks ago, county real property appraiser manager Chuck Hicks said his office has received 4,500 appeals.
Hicks expects that there will be a steady flow of appeals up until the March 10 deadline.
"A lot of people are trying to get appraisals ordered from private appraisers," he said. "But as I've indicated before, it's not necessary to get a full-blown appraisal to make an appeal."
Hicks said private appraisals might not be cost effective, since the value for the appraisal might exceed the increased value on property taxes.
The county expects to send revaluations on its 70,000 commercial parcels in early March, Hicks said.