Driving home from work this evening, I heard on the news that one of the local communities surrounding our large urban community had just approved their city budget. In doing so they had cut property taxes - again, for the 5th year in the row. They estimated that overall their tax rate was lower than it had been 15 years ago. This compared to our local, which has taken it upon itself to boost property taxes the full 8% it can without having to take the measure to a vote.
Jokingly upon arriving home, I mentioned to The Ravishing Mrs. TB "We should think about moving to Suburb X because they have cut their property taxes for five years running."
Her response was "I would be okay with that."
So I hop on the larger Interweb site that allows you to look at an estimate of your home values. And I get the second shock of the day. Somehow, the value of my house has magically "fallen" by $40,0000 from their estimate earlier this year - a 13% drop in 4 months or so (but still $17,000 less than what the county says it is worth).
I never really counted on the money, of course - long ago I learned the fact that the money is all theoretical until you have it in the bank. But I am a little shocked at how far it had dropped (and imagine if I had not gone in to protest my property taxes - man, would that have been a huge discrepancy!).
The whole thing makes the concept of moving a lot more silly, of course - now I really am buying and selling in the same market (and I am not sure how serious I was in the first place). Still, an interesting and informative lesson in the dangers of suggesting a good idea and the shocking changes in value that can occur when you are not looking.