Frequently Asked Questions about Revaluation
Why do we need to collect new data?
The collection of new data is required by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). The DOR gives the community 9 years to complete the cyclical inspections of all properties. This project will work towards treating the property characteristics of each and every property in Hull equally and fairly.
What ultimately determines the value of my property?
The Real Estate Market, recent sales in Hull, of properties like yours become the basis for your valuation.
If someone is forced to sell their property quickly at a reduced price or auction it, or sell it to a relative, or sells it at an inflated price to an uniformed buyer, are these sales used as the basis for the valuation on other properties?
No. Only "Arms Length" sales are considered in the valuation process. An "Arms Length" sale is a sale between unrelated parties, each acting in their own best interest, typically motivated, not under duress, well informed with a reasonable exposure to the marketplace.
How do I know if my new value is fair?
Most people have a sense of what their property is worth and to assist in helping you form an opinion, information on recently sold properties is kept on the counter in the Assessing Department at Town Hall. Your assessed value should be consistent with recent sale prices of similar properties and/or assessed values of similar properties.
My neighbor's property and mine are fairly similar. This year my assessment increased by $30,000 while my neighbor's increased by only $20,000. Why the difference?
Old property values are not considered at all during a revaluation. There are three basic reasons why two previously similar assessed properties would have different new assessed values; First, the old value on one or both of the properties could have been wrong. Second, one of the property types or location may have appreciated or depreciated more or less than the other. And Third, there may have been physical changes to one of the properties which would make it more or less valuable. Comparisons between old and new assessments are not meaningful.
If I paid "X" dollars for my property recently, does that mean that my new assessment will be "X"?
It depends. If your purchase price was a recent "Arms Length" sale, the new assessment should be close to what you paid. Two identical properties will not necessarily sell for the same price, but they should be assessed at the same value. Purchase prices represent the meeting of the mines of two people who disagree and, therefore, are not totally uniform. They will however, tend to be within a certain range. This range is reduced to specific tables for assessment purposes, and are designed to produce fair and uniform results.
How will I know the people at my door are the ones authorized to be here?
If your concern is the identity of these people, each carries a photo ID and a letter from this office also with their photo. The Police Department has been notified about these people, also with photos and information of what vehicles they are driving.
Does the law say that I have to allow the data collector in my house?
No. The law says that the Board of Assessors is responsible for discovering all taxable real and personal property in the town. The best way for this process to produce fair and equitable values is for the appraisal personnel to be able to inspect inside and outside all properties. In this way, each property will be seen with the "same eyes" and all characteristics of each property will receive fair and equal consideration. Our contract with Patriot Properties is for their appraisal personnel to "Measure and List" all structures in Hull. This means inside as well as outside inspections.
What happens if I don't allow the data collector in my house?
If no interior inspection is allowed, the data collector will be forced to estimate the interior information. A notation of "refused entry" will be noted on the record card for future reference.