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For reappraisals, it’s all in the details


Published: Sat, September 17, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m.

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Eloisa Luminiello of Austintown consults with Ken Jones, an appraiser with Integrity Appraisal Services Inc. of Niles, concerning the tentative valuation of her property at Mahoning County’s reappraisal information center at Oakhill Renaissance Place, Youngstown. The consultations continue through Oct. 7.

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Face-to-face consultations between Mahoning County homeowners and appraisers concerning tentative new property values were thorough and sometimes lengthy.

Depending on the extent and complexity of the inquiry, the free consultations with one of two appraisers on duty in the Oakhill Renaissance Place auditorium Friday, ranged from 10 minutes to one hour each.

Among those who met with an appraiser Friday were Atty. Alden B. Chevlen, who inquired about his 2004-vintage villa on Nashua Drive in Austintown, and Jeffrey M. Hedrich, who inquired about his 1943-vintage home on Mill Creek Drive in the historic Newport Glen neighborhood of Boardman.

Chevlen’s condominium unit was listed as having a current worth of $192,900 and a tentative new value of $176,090. “I wasn’t happy about my value dropping,” Chevlen said after his consultation.

Chevlen met with Ken Jones, an appraiser with Integrity Appraisal Services Inc. of Niles, which performed the countywide property reappraisal, and he called Jones’ attention to what Chevlen said were some errors in the property description.

Chevlen, who bought his freestanding condo for $155,000 in a 2008 sheriff’s sale, said the size of his unit is actually 2,160 square feet. The auditor’s records describe it as being only 1,832 square feet.

Chevlen said he wanted the square footage to be corrected, “so the value goes back up to where it was,” and that Jones agreed to correct the square footage.

“I wanted to keep the value of my property high because it is a new unit. It’s a nice development, and I wanted to have equity in the house in the event I decide to move out,” Chevlen said.

Hedrich, who is founder and president of the Prodigal Co., a marketing, advertising and public relations firm, said he told an appraiser his house is actually 21/2 stories, rather than the two stories shown by the county auditor.

In his 20-minute consultation, he also told the appraiser his house has a new roof and a finished basement.

Hedrich said he thought his house was undervalued in the reappraisal.

“If I go to sell in 10 years, I don’t want this coming back to haunt me,” he said of the decline in his appraised value.

Hedrich said he lives in “a very distinctive neighborhood,” whose homes were built “with extraordinary craftsmanship” and materials that may not be reflected in a mass appraisal.

“I got a sense that the process is going to be fair,” he said of the county auditor’s revaluation effort.

A total of 114 people received in-person consultations this week at the reappraisal information center at Oakhill, which was open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

A total of 484 calls were made to the county auditor’s reappraisal inquiry telephone line, 330-740-7909, and usage of the reappraisal section of the county’s website — www.mahoningcountyoh.gov — was four times the normal inquiry volume.

The consultations allow real-estate owners to inquire of an appraiser as to how the tentative new values were derived for their properties in the county’s once-every-six-years comprehensive reappraisal.

The consultations also allow owners to ask the appraisers to correct errors in the property description, which could affect the value.


Comments

1sscavel(12 comments)posted 3 years ago

I found county appraisers making large mistakes in decreases in areas that should not. They also can't explain their actions or point to a source to back their values. People should watch out for this. And one appraiser doesn't seem to know what he is doing and had mis-stated he couldn't take a recent sale to use as a value indicator!

Also, the county auditor should be ashamed of himself that notices by mail of "tentative values" could not go out to the public (which pays taxes) because their office can't afford the mailings! Why? When you are messing with people's largest investments, they should have the right to know by mail-not referred to the paper or internet. Do you know how many elderly people don't get a paper or on the internet? This is just not right!

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2Ianacek(909 comments)posted 3 years ago

There needs to be an independent inquiry into this valuation exercise . I have looked at valuations of many properties with which I am familiar .The valuations give an appearance of being arbitrary .

e.g. A boarded up house on the demo list valued at more than a larger , fully renovated & occupied brick house in a better location in the same neighborhood .

Unfortunately , as a non resident owner , I am barred from discussing these anolies with the valuers . Only face to face meetings are allowed with them , according to the Auditors office . Why can't a discussion take place by phone like in other cities ? Why can't information on methodolgies be placed on the Auditor's website ?

The decision by the Auditor not to notify owners means most non residents & a high percentage of even locals such as the elderly will be unaware the revaluation exercise is even being done . There appears to be no provision to lodge an Objection to a valuation .

Given the corruption allegations surrounding Mahoning local government recently , I would have expected at least an attempt at transparency by Mr Sciortino .

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3Ianacek(909 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

Would it be correct to say property owners with reduced valuations can use them as evidence in a Board of Revision application for reduced properrty taxes for 2011 & possibly 2010 as well ?

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Raise the real estate taxes and raise the valuations . Make everyone happy .

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