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Legal Writing Help

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Philadelphia collects 1% real estate taxes from everyone who owns real estate. The problem is how they decipher what real estate is worth. (An investigation uncovered that they seriously overpriced a third of all properties, and yet they're sticking with their method.) And my house is not worth as much as they're taxing me on it. So, I'm appealing.

 

To appeal, I have to "document." There are no documents that tell what a particular house is worth. So, best I can think to do is write a "document" about my house that shows how much we have not upgraded this fixer-upper since we bought it. (Had plans, but then we both became disabled, so barely happened. It's 28 years later.) Something like a term paper with pictures.

 

As you probably noticed, I'm long-winded. By any chance, does anyone know how to do this without being long-winded? This appeals group meets half a day twice a week, and if a mere 10% of building owners appeal their real-estate taxes, they have tens of thousands of cases, so brevity seems imperative. On the other hand, my house hasn't been updated much since President Kennedy was in office. (Not exaggerating. We took out one of the most recent walls, and found a newspaper from September 1963.)

 

Any help that you can give me on how to do this is appreciated. As if this isn't enough, this "documentation" has to be in their hands by October 7th, and I haven't written a term paper since the 1970s.

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My best advice is to hire a real estate assessor. That would give you a legal and binding document from a third party to prove the value of your home. 

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5 hours ago, Alley said:

My best advice is to hire a real estate assessor. That would give you a legal and binding document from a third party to prove the value of your home. 

The whole reason I'm appealing is the taxes are too much. An assessor cost too much too. If I went with one, it would cost as much as I saved and there is no guarantee I'll win.

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🤔 Maybe pictures of what is wrong that is decreasing the value of your house? Cracks in the foundation, leaking roof, maybe the roof needs reshingled, peeling paint, cracks in the water lines, old fuse boxes, etc. Just don't give them code violations! That would end horribly. 

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I am including pictures, but I get too detailed. 

 

We bought a front door three years ago, and it's falling apart already. Since it was under warranty for only one year, I reviewed the company with pictures. Four pictures and I had to go into detail because it was still hard to see what the problems were.

 

I can't do the same thing for a whole house, (well, I can, but who would read it all? :$), which is why I'm asking how to keep it down to manageable.

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