Well, we made it through the month.
The first full month of a shut down economy is now behind us. In the last 6 weeks, the US has seen over 30 million jobless claims, an estimated reduction in first quarter GDP of 4.8%, and stock market and oil price swings that most never thought even possible in such a short time frame. But we made it through the month.
As we look forward to May and the typical start to the busy season for real estate sales and leasing, there are positive signs. As of today, the state of Texas is allowing restaurants to open, albeit only at 25% of full capacity. Whether or not you agree with this phase of economic opening, it is a good sign that health professionals and advisors to the governor are not all advocating full shut down still.
With May also comes property tax protest deadlines. For Houston area counties, the property tax protest deadline is May 15. This year more than ever is an important year to seriously look at your property tax appraisal. Many are asking themselves, “When was the tax appraisal done?” Answer: before the end of January. Therefore, you have appraisals done well before there was even an inkling of an idea about the complete devastation COVID-19 would cause. It seems like forever ago at this point, but the first death caused by the virus did not even occur in the US until February 29.
Many are finding themselves facing large increases in property appraisals that now seem completely out of touch with reality. There are even state representatives petitioning Governor Abbott to roll back or freeze property values from 2019. For more info, ABC had a good recent report on this as well as links to protest taxes in various Houston area counties – https://abc13.com/society/homeowners-want-a-freeze-on-property-values/6136300/.
As of now, there is no change to property tax protest deadlines or rollbacks/freezes of values from 2019. Protest your property taxes. As a rule of thumb, you should do this annually. As a property investor, you have to do this.
Switching gears, I’m happy to announce my Zoom video recording podcast with Dr. David Schein and Sharon Strickland is now available on our website – https://themanagementpros.com/videoblogs/. We have chopped up the conversation into a series of about 4 minute videos, complete with subtitles if you prefer not to have audio on. We discuss current real estate market conditions, oil prices, and changes to the industry. I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.
Take care, and stay safe.