NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor contributes to the community conversation on housing issues through a weekly column in the Daily World titled "Nailing it Down."

 

 Since 1999, the "Nailing it Down"articles have been published in the Daily World and other countywide weekly newspapers. NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County has collaborated with local newspapers, elected officials and local experts to publish articles covering hundreds of topics.

 

 

Nailing It Down

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Even the birds seem to know it – It’s building time. Or, getting close to it. If you have plans for a remodel or repair, perhaps to add a deck or patio, this is the time of year you should be thinking ahead to preparing for that project. Maybe you “just” plan to hire someone to paint the house or fix the roof.

  

When it comes to successful relationships with contractors a clear description of the work and a written contract head the list.

  

Last week we hit some of the high points on the formal relationship with someone you hire to work in your home. Today we’re going to talk more specifically about the written contract. Once again we’ll mention that we are not attorneys and don’t offer legal advice. That being said, think of us as an experienced neighbor who has worked with a few contracts over the years.

  

PUT IT IN WRITING

  

Besides your name and address, a contract should name the construction company, all of its owners, all pertinent addresses, phone numbers and th...

Let’s be frank: When you get out your checkbook to pay your property taxes, you’d prefer your house’s appraisal was low. However, when you want an equity loan or it’s time to sell, you’d like it to be high.

That’s just the way it is for most people.

  

Today as we continue our series from our conversations with the County Assessor’s Office we will explain just how the county’s six residential appraisers determine how much a house is worth.

WHEN IS IT APPRAISED?

First we thought we’d review the recent changes in how often a house is re-appraised. 

  

Beginning in 2014, state law requires that each residential and commercial parcel in each county be re-appraised each year. (For Grays Harbor that’s currently 67,562 parcels.)

  

Before 2014, an appraiser would take a look at your house in person every four years, and the taxes due would be figured using that same appraisal amount for four years.  

  

Now each year the county’s appraisers determine the worth of your house solely by...

One way to take a measure of the economic health of our local economy is to take a look at whether   property assessments are going up or down.

  

As we mentioned in last week’s column, after several years of going down, that downward trend is slowing and the assessed value in 2016 (which will be used this year in paying our 2017 taxes) is slightly up.

In 2016 the overall real and personal property assessed value of the county’s 67,562 parcels was $5,894,644,876. That’s up from $5,835,628,957 in 2015.

“Yes, we are finally not decreasing as a county,” said Grays Harbor County Assessor Dan Lindgren.

  

We found out that tidbit and many more during a recent conversation with Lindgren.

  

Assessor Lindgren had some other interesting perspectives on our county that we will share today and in future columns. Also, we will be passing along some information on various property tax reduction programs that are available in certain situations.

WHERE THE MARKET IS HOT

Ocean Shores leads...

The Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office has a unique view of what’s going on in the county and from time to time we like to pay the office a visit to spread some of that insight.

So, we recently sat down with Assessor Dan Lindgren. Lindgren has been working in the Assessor’s Office for 10 years. He was elected County Assessor in November of 2014 and began his four-year term in January 2015.

A lot has happened since he started his new post a year and a half ago and we were eager to hear what our economy looks like from his perspective.

For starters, Lindgren said, the overall assessed value of the area is starting to climb again – a sign of a healthier economy and more interest in our area.

In 2016, the overall real and personal property assessed value of the county –all 67,562 parcels – was  $5,835,628,957. That is up from $5,768,177,791 in 2015, Lindgren said.

“After the downturn in the economy a few years back, finally we are not decreasing in value as a county,” Lindgren said.

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