At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

How right is the reval?

There’s only one way to tell how right — or wrong — Haywood County’s recent property revaluation is. Appraisers attempt to peg the price of house or lot, predicting what a buyer would pay should a ‘for sale’ sign go up in the yard.

As hackles fly over whether the county’s assessed values are too high or low, the only way to tell for sure is delving into the world of property sales.

The Smoky Mountain News compared the selling price of 84 properties in April and May to the new values assessed by the county. Of those, 20 percent were accurate within a 10 percent margin of error.

Of the 68 whose assessed value was more than 10 percent off the actual selling price, 37 sold for less than their assessed values and 29 of them sold for more.

Property in Maggie, Crabtree, Bethel and Beaverdam were more likely to be overvalued in the county’s appraisal. Property in Waynesville was more likely to be undervalued compared to the sale prices — more likely to fetch a higher selling price than what appraisers had pegged it for.

Waynesville sales shows 17 properties outside the margin of error. The majority — 12 out of 17 — sold for more than the revaluation amount.

However, six out of nine properties in the Beaverdam community were valued higher by county appraiser than what the actually sold for. For example, a three bedroom, three bathroom house in Beaverdam valued at $262,900 was sold for $192,500.

According to the data, assessors undervalued three out of four properties in Crabtree and all properties in the Iron Duff community.

Maggie Valley properties were appraised for more than their actual selling price in seven out of 10 instances. A three bedroom, three bathroom house in Maggie Valley that was valued at $204,800 sold for $115,000.

There are few discernable trends when comparing the accuracy of appraised value by price bracket.

Of 14 properties that were appraised at $100,000 or less, 12 of them sold for more than the revaluation assessment.

Of the 42 properties appraised between $100,000-$300,000, 14 fetched a higher selling price than the county’s value and 28 sold for less than the county’s value.

Of the 7 properties appraised between $300,000 and $500,000, four sold for more and three for less.

Only two properties sold in April and May with an appraised value of more than $500,000. One home in Maggie, revalued at $520,400 sold for less at $340,000. Another in Waynesville appraised at $541,000 sold for more at $620,000.

— By DeeAnna Haney • Contributing writer

Go to top