How to take advantage of lowered property value?

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notmyhand
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How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by notmyhand » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:50 am

I purchased my property from an estate two years ago. Unbeknownst to me, about five years ago, the neighbors signed an agreement with Verizon letting them put up a cell phone tower on their land. Well Verizon started building this 250' monstrosity a month ago next door to me. According to one neighbor down the street, everyone knew about it because there was a townhall rmeeting regarding it. I did look through my disclosure documents and everything was marked "unknown" since it was an estate selling it. Contacted my realtor and she said she was never told about the tower. I have checked to make sure all permits were filed so that I didn't get run off or negative environmental factors while they build this thing. Otherwise it sounds like I'm stuck.

Now obviously my property value will fall dramatically. Is there anything I can do to take advantage of it? I'm thinking along the lines of trying to prove to my county assessment that my property taxes should fall for example. How can I do that? And is that all I can do?

Anything else you would be doing in my situation?

mhalley
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by mhalley » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:49 pm

I would imagine having property taxes reassesed would be the only recourse. If no properties have sold since the cell tower went up, you might have a hard time proving your decreased value.

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/real- ... -bill.html

https://sites.google.com/site/nocelltow ... tate-value

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:58 pm

You may have a tough fight getting your property tax assessment lowered below your purchase price since you just bought the property and "everybody knew about it" (the tower) at the time. The best indication of value is the price you paid especially since it is very recent.

As future resales occur you'll be able to build a better case. In the meantime you can plead ignorance (which is true) but this may not get you too far. Have there been any other recent sales of similar properties at much lower values? You should look for these. Maybe others had better information than you did and, if so, you can use that as ammunition along with your ignorance plea.

Good luck and be sure to study and understand the rules of the road for contesting your valuation before making your case. FYI, there are many past discussions here about contesting valuations obtainable through a search.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

sport
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by sport » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:05 pm

Perhaps you might want to pay for an initial consultation with a real estate attorney if you feel that you overpaid for the property due to a fraudulent lack of disclosure. If "everybody knew" about the tower, that information should have been made available to you prior to making the purchase.

BobTexas
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by BobTexas » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:25 pm

I would question the listing agent. If they are deal a lot in the area it seems like they should have known

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dm200
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by dm200 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:38 pm

Now obviously my property value will fall dramatically. Is there anything I can do to take advantage of it? I'm thinking along the lines of trying to prove to my county assessment that my property taxes should fall for example. How can I do that? And is that all I can do?
On what do you base these conclusions?

I don't think it is necessarily all that "obvious".

Seems to me that the assessed valuation for tax purposes should follow actual sales amounts.

riverguy
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by riverguy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:15 pm

sport wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:05 pm
Perhaps you might want to pay for an initial consultation with a real estate attorney if you feel that you overpaid for the property due to a fraudulent lack of disclosure. If "everybody knew" about the tower, that information should have been made available to you prior to making the purchase.
Why would a seller have to disclose something about a neighbor’s property? Especially an estate?? Where does it end? “Hey the house 1/2 mile down the road is getting a cell tower” Come on people. It’s part of personal responsibility and doing your own due diligence. Why not talk to neighbors before you buy? How else are you going to figure out what goes on in the neighborhood? I’ve done it on the houses I have purchased. Possibly would have come up in conversation about the area.

I think your assessor is going to have a hard time lowering the value of your property without some sales or proof of loss of value.

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dm200
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by dm200 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:20 pm

What is not clear to me is whether the other neighbors (not the one with the cell tower) had any say in this being done or allowed.
I think your assessor is going to have a hard time lowering the value of your property without some sales or proof of loss of value
.

Right. If there really is a significant loss of value, then future nearby sales amounts would show it.

riverguy
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by riverguy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:27 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:20 pm
What is not clear to me is whether the other neighbors (not the one with the cell tower) had any say in this being done or allowed.
Maybe not a direct say in it, but sounds like there was a city council meeting about it and the city approved it. That's another mark against the folks who think the seller committed some sort of fraud.

exigent
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by exigent » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:34 pm

On the plus side, you can now market your property as having excellent cell service...

Sorry, nothing constructive to add besides what other have said: (1) work on getting reduced assessment, and (2) dig around to see what you can find out with respect to the supposed widespread knowledge of this. But it will be virtually impossible to pin this on the seller or listing absent at this point, unless they just admit to having known and failed to disclose.

Good luck.

mouses
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by mouses » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:36 pm

I'm sure property values will drop. Who wants to live next to a cell tower. It could be worse, however, imagine if you were living next to a wind turbine with the strobe effect and noise.

I think this should have been disclosed. Whether you will get any traction with this depends on the state laws about disclosure. Certainly the sellers had to know about this, but I don't see how you could be expected to.

The only times I have gotten my property tax lowered was (a) using completed sales prices or (b) being out of whack with comparable homes. In my area at least, the board is not interested in anything unless it has proof. For example, a comparable home could have been on the market for $X and not sold for a year, that does not mean they lower the assessment to $X.

Update: it may be that notices were sent to the surrounding property owners, if so that would be proof the sellers knew. My town requires that for any construction.

riverguy
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by riverguy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:39 pm

exigent wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:34 pm
But it will be virtually impossible to pin this on the seller or listing absent at this point, unless they just admit to having known and failed to disclose.

Good luck.
Even if they do straight up tell you they knew and didn't tell you, what are you going to do about it? There's no duty to disclose information about a neighbor's property. That'd be like a seller having to disclose what the surrounding properties are zoned. Really?

NorCalDad
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by NorCalDad » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:51 pm

riverguy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:39 pm
exigent wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:34 pm
But it will be virtually impossible to pin this on the seller or listing absent at this point, unless they just admit to having known and failed to disclose.

Good luck.
Even if they do straight up tell you they knew and didn't tell you, what are you going to do about it? There's no duty to disclose information about a neighbor's property. That'd be like a seller having to disclose what the surrounding properties are zoned. Really?
I agree that it would be difficult to pin this on the seller or listing agent. But if they straight up tell you they knew and didn't disclose (which I realize would almost never happen), you might have a case, at least in California. The state-mandated list of disclosures includes "neighborhood noise problems or other nuisances."

riverguy
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by riverguy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:59 pm

NorCalDad wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:51 pm
riverguy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:39 pm
exigent wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:34 pm
But it will be virtually impossible to pin this on the seller or listing absent at this point, unless they just admit to having known and failed to disclose.

Good luck.
Even if they do straight up tell you they knew and didn't tell you, what are you going to do about it? There's no duty to disclose information about a neighbor's property. That'd be like a seller having to disclose what the surrounding properties are zoned. Really?
I agree that it would be difficult to pin this on the seller or listing agent. But if they straight up tell you they knew and didn't disclose (which I realize would almost never happen), you might have a case, at least in California. The state-mandated list of disclosures includes "neighborhood noise problems or other nuisances."
It wasn't even built yet! How can it be a nuisance if its not even there? It was legally permitted by the city and who's to say its even a nuisance? Maybe they wanted 5 bars on their cell phones. I think this is a non-starter even in the nanny state of California.

harmony
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by harmony » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:40 pm

The rules for seller disclosure, at least in my state, are in some cases much more lenient for an estate. A realtor we hired to sell an estate property told the executor up front that one particular environmental problem would not be the estate’s responsibility to mitigate. It surprised us because we and the executor were not aware of the situation until the realtor looked for the problem and pointed it out to the executor. The law made sense from our perspective because there was much property history that the executor didn’t have access to. The realtor was upfront with each potential buyer and told each party since this was an estate, state law did not require an upgrade. Is it possible the neighbors knew about the cell tower plan, but the realtor and estate executor did not?

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jfn111
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by jfn111 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:55 pm

riverguy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:15 pm
sport wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:05 pm
Perhaps you might want to pay for an initial consultation with a real estate attorney if you feel that you overpaid for the property due to a fraudulent lack of disclosure. If "everybody knew" about the tower, that information should have been made available to you prior to making the purchase.
Why would a seller have to disclose something about a neighbor’s property? Especially an estate?? Where does it end? “Hey the house 1/2 mile down the road is getting a cell tower” Come on people. It’s part of personal responsibility and doing your own due diligence. Why not talk to neighbors before you buy? How else are you going to figure out what goes on in the neighborhood? I’ve done it on the houses I have purchased. Possibly would have come up in conversation about the area.

I think your assessor is going to have a hard time lowering the value of your property without some sales or proof of loss of value.
+1

sport
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by sport » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:45 pm

riverguy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:15 pm
sport wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:05 pm
Perhaps you might want to pay for an initial consultation with a real estate attorney if you feel that you overpaid for the property due to a fraudulent lack of disclosure. If "everybody knew" about the tower, that information should have been made available to you prior to making the purchase.
Why would a seller have to disclose something about a neighbor’s property? Especially an estate?? Where does it end? “Hey the house 1/2 mile down the road is getting a cell tower” Come on people. It’s part of personal responsibility and doing your own due diligence. Why not talk to neighbors before you buy? How else are you going to figure out what goes on in the neighborhood? I’ve done it on the houses I have purchased. Possibly would have come up in conversation about the area.

I think your assessor is going to have a hard time lowering the value of your property without some sales or proof of loss of value.
You may be correct. However, I would spend $200 or so, to speak with an attorney to find out for sure.

GAAP
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by GAAP » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:15 pm

A 200-foot monstrosity to you could be excellent cell coverage to someone else...

I'm signing papers tomorrow for a new property. I did a lot of research, but I certainly didn't expect to see a disclosure about neighboring properties unless there were hazmat or similar issues. My neighbors could paint their houses fuschia tomorrow. while that would certainly affect the value in my eyes, it may not mean a thing to someone else.

It's apparent that either the prior owner of your property didn't object or was unsuccessful -- ditto with neighbors on the others sides. As someone who works that field, I can assure you that local governments pay a lot of attention when a lot of people object to a cell tower. Since they approved the tower, it is likely that the objectors were outweighed by the supporters. Those hearings should be a matter of public record, and the planning actions surrounding that tower are probably at least partially a matter of public record. You might want to do some research to determine if it's worth hiring an attorney -- I certainly wouldn't pay attorney fees for research I could do myself.

mouses
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by mouses » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:07 pm

riverguy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:39 pm
exigent wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:34 pm
But it will be virtually impossible to pin this on the seller or listing absent at this point, unless they just admit to having known and failed to disclose.

Good luck.
Even if they do straight up tell you they knew and didn't tell you, what are you going to do about it? There's no duty to disclose information about a neighbor's property. That'd be like a seller having to disclose what the surrounding properties are zoned. Really?
When I sold my first house, I had a mountain of legally required paper work with disclosures about neighborhood items, etc.

kenoryan
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by kenoryan » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:54 pm

Having cable and high speed wireless signal can be very important to some people who work from home. We bought a farm just outside the city and for us, it was a very positive thing that we were within a couple hundred yards of a cell tower. More important than water sewer and gas.

Your property value may have gone UP. I guess it depends on how you market it.

billthecat
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by billthecat » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:57 pm

Double down. Contact others to see about putting their toweres on your property?

denovo
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by denovo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:01 pm

notmyhand wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:50 am
I purchased my property from an estate two years ago. Unbeknownst to me, about five years ago, the neighbors signed an agreement with Verizon letting them put up a cell phone tower on their land. Well Verizon started building this 250' monstrosity a month ago next door to me. According to one neighbor down the street, everyone knew about it because there was a townhall rmeeting regarding it. I did look through my disclosure documents and everything was marked "unknown" since it was an estate selling it. Contacted my realtor and she said she was never told about the tower. I have checked to make sure all permits were filed so that I didn't get run off or negative environmental factors while they build this thing. Otherwise it sounds like I'm stuck.

Now obviously my property value will fall dramatically. Is there anything I can do to take advantage of it? I'm thinking along the lines of trying to prove to my county assessment that my property taxes should fall for example. How can I do that? And is that all I can do?

Anything else you would be doing in my situation?

I think you should see a lawyer. Perhaps the estate had some duty to disclose. Was there an easement recorded? Should have something have come up on the title report? .... Go see an attorney who specializes in real estate issues of your state.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

riverguy
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by riverguy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:12 pm

mouses wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:07 pm
riverguy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:39 pm
exigent wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:34 pm
But it will be virtually impossible to pin this on the seller or listing absent at this point, unless they just admit to having known and failed to disclose.

Good luck.
Even if they do straight up tell you they knew and didn't tell you, what are you going to do about it? There's no duty to disclose information about a neighbor's property. That'd be like a seller having to disclose what the surrounding properties are zoned. Really?
When I sold my first house, I had a mountain of legally required paper work with disclosures about neighborhood items, etc.
What for and what state? Joe blow next door has a legally permitted shop in his backyard?
denovo wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:01 pm
[quote=notmyhand post_id=3692540 time=<a href="tel:1514724618">1514724618</a> user_id=46170]
I purchased my property from an estate two years ago. Unbeknownst to me, about five years ago, the neighbors signed an agreement with Verizon letting them put up a cell phone tower on their land. Well Verizon started building this 250' monstrosity a month ago next door to me. According to one neighbor down the street, everyone knew about it because there was a townhall rmeeting regarding it. I did look through my disclosure documents and everything was marked "unknown" since it was an estate selling it. Contacted my realtor and she said she was never told about the tower. I have checked to make sure all permits were filed so that I didn't get run off or negative environmental factors while they build this thing. Otherwise it sounds like I'm stuck.

Now obviously my property value will fall dramatically. Is there anything I can do to take advantage of it? I'm thinking along the lines of trying to prove to my county assessment that my property taxes should fall for example. How can I do that? And is that all I can do?

Anything else you would be doing in my situation?

I think you should see a lawyer. Perhaps the estate had some duty to disclose. Was there an easement recorded? Should have something have come up on the title report? .... Go see an attorney who specializes in real estate issues of your state.
[/quote]

Why would an easement be recorded on his property for a cell tower on the neighbors property? Even if there was, his title search would have found that so he should have known about it.

denovo
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by denovo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:43 pm

riverguy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:12 pm



Why would an easement be recorded on his property for a cell tower on the neighbors property? Even if there was, his title search would have found that so he should have known about it.
Sorry I goofed. I didn't realize you said it was for neighbor's property. Regardless I would try to see an attorney. Just spitballing here, but maybe there are some environmental or zoning laws that give adjacent owners standing that you can use to make it difficult for Verizon to build.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

CurlyDave
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Re: How to take advantage of lowered property value?

Post by CurlyDave » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:29 am

How far from your house is the tower?

Is it really 250' tall? I have never seen one anywhere close to that height, but they can be big.

I would be tempted to plant a few trees that would grow quite tall and might block the view of the tower over the course of a few years.

How many acres does the neighbor have? It is rare for a cell tower to go into a residential neighborhood.

I would be talking to a lawyer. Your RE agent should have known about this -- that is their job. Of course they are going to try to brush you off initially, but they may have some liability. They usually have insurance to cover this kind of thing.

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