Its property assessment time again |

Its property assessment time again


Question: I know that this is another year that the County Assessor assesses the value of our Summit County property, but I havent received my notice yet and Im wondering if there is another way I can find out what my new taxes will be?Answer: Good question! Actually, the notices for your new assessment will go out next week, May 1, according to the Summit County assessor, so you dont have long to wait. In the meantime, if youd like to see what the county thinks about your taxes you can check online at then under Online services, click Real property & Maps, then click on owner on the right side, type in your last name and when your property comes up, click property details. There youll find your propertys assessed value in 2006 and 2007 and if you click on tax rate youll see what your new taxes will be. Keep in mind that may change as the mill levy is set in December and the taxes are also closely related to the mill levy. Property is assessed every 2 years here in Summit County. The Summit County website has some wonderful information on it and is a good one to bookmark.You have until June 1 to contest in writing your tax assessment if its not accurate. Youll need to provide evidence as to why your home is not worth what they think such as comparable sales in neighboring properties. Contact your local Realtor if youd like some detailed information on comparables for your property.

Itty-bitty abodes quietly come back into vogue as the era of McMansions shows signs of peaking.Question: Were looking forward to building our next home and have a lot in Frisco that we plan to build a house on in the next couple of years. My question has to do with size. We see so many huge houses going in and we really just want something small and simple. What are your thoughts?Answer: According to the web site Clayton Collins, staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, In this era of foreclosures and wallet- draining utility bills, plenty of suburban subdivisions still sprout 4,000-sq.-ft. McMansions. But between 2005 when the average floor area in a new home hit a peak of 2,434 sq. ft. and 2006, US architects reported less demand for increases in the square footage and volume of homes, says Scott Frank, a spokesman for the American Institute of Architects. He cites a reversal of the decades of expanding home sizes. Some of that can be attributed to empty-nest demographics, to property-tax hikes, and to new pockets of communitarian thinking. Some of it is simply style. Cottage is the biggest word in decorating right now, says Greene. And if many smaller homes take on the proportions advocated most prominently by Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House think half a McMansion or less some now borrow from the blueprints of the truly tiny. Next month, building-supplies giant Lowes aims to go national with plans and kits for the frame-built Katrina cottage developed by Marianne Cusato in the wake of that hurricane as an alternative to government-issue trailers. Options range from 550 to 940 square feet. What weve noticed is that as were building a few down there, the number of phone calls to (our) stores increases threefold, says Jennifer Wilson, a Lowes spokeswoman. Lowes declines to release numbers, but Ms. Wilson says requests for $2 plan books have come from every state and probably almost every continent but Antarctica. Ms. Cusato, too, was surprised that her design would provoke such interest. A lot of people instantly came to us and said, Wow, its perfect. Ive got an elderly parent, she says. (We had) people saying I want to downsize, I dont want a huge house, [and] people looking for affordable housing. Then theres the vacation side of it. Some see Cusatos success as a sign of broadening acceptance of small homes. Mr. Harned sees the pull of tiny houses as being as strong as that of tiny, efficient cars an attraction thats intellectually appealing but that can represent a major life change. Full-time use often calls for support systems communities with shared common spaces. The current green building trend and architects like Ross Chapin who favors a dozen or so small homes arrayed around garden space have boosted the number of small alternatives. Im so fascinated by space, Stowe says, adding that he doesnt understand gratuitous expansion. I dont know what happened to peoples scale of things. Part of what happened, say Ms. Susanka and others: Too much emphasis has been placed on what is needed for home resale as opposed to whats needed for sustainable life. “My experience is that there is a segment of the population who really love smaller spaces because they dont require nearly as much upkeep, theyre much less expensive to run all sorts of things, says Susanka, who lived briefly in a 96-square foot space in Oregon in the 1970s that required her to hang her Christmas tree upside-down from a rafter. They want something thats got quality and character, thats energy-efficient, she says. Its sustainable design, but its also something that makes them feel like its a wonderful place to live. For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at (970) 468-6800 or (800) 262-8442 or e-mail at or visit the web site at Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allisons long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. Shes a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.

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