Rockingham County residents dispute home assessment values

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:14 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Rockingham County’s home value estimates have gone up with this year’s reassessment.

Some people say the increase will be a lot to take on financially, and county officials say the increase is due to a huge home value increase.

“The market expanded pretty quickly from some time in late 2019 to some time in 2021. We’ve seen a pretty significant increase in real estate values, so I think people who weren’t paying attention to that market were pretty surprised when they saw the numbers on their reassessment notice,” said Rockingham County Commissioner of Revenue Dan Cullers.

On average, county property owners are seeing that increase at around 40%. That means some home owners will see an increase in escrow.

For example, if your mortgage was $1,100, with an assessment increase of 45%, your new mortgage payment will be $1,150.

Cullers said the assessment was done by a third party: Pearson’s Appraisal Service. Fred W. Pearson, the co-owner, said most homes’ value increased by about 40%.

“We just compared overall assess values to the sale price. We made an adjustment on that,” Pearson said.

Some residents like Melanie Schaefer said this was the first time she’s seen a significant increase for her property value.

“I’ve lived here with my husband for 12 years, and we haven’t had many increases, nothing significant,” Schaefer said.

She said she wanted some clarification and made an appointment with the board of appeals.

“My house was built in 1787, and they had some things wrong on the sheet, so I’m glad we did the hearing yesterday,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer said her appointment went well, and she’ll get a new value next month.

“He also told me that if I wasn’t happy with this next letter, that’s not the be-all end-all. You can request a hearing in front of a different group,” Schaefer.

To make an appointment with Pearson Appraisal, call (540) 564-5709.

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