The 2013 Protest Battle Begins – First Round: iSettle (or should be called iSwindle)
The first thing I did was get a professional opinion of the true market value of my house, and for that my ally directed me to Jubally Solutions. If you have not tried out this company’s website, I urge you to do so right now, it is fantastic. What you do is type either your street address or your HCAD account number, plus your email address onto their website. They will come back with the amount HCAD has valued your house at, AND what they believe your house’s actual value should be. It is completely free, and they use the same kind of data and considerations HCAD does, they just do it fairly. (Note: I did not receive any monetary or nonmonetary consideration from Jubally, not even a free report. I am recommending them only because I personally think they are a great service)
Jubally is targeted toward people who want to protest by themselves, but I also recommend looking at them before you call a tax agent, because it can help you decide whether or not you have a good enough difference to make hiring a tax agent worthwhile.There is no obligation, they will give you their determination of your market value absolutely free. To see the evidence they used to determine that value, you buy the report, and at $69, it is a really good value. The great thing about it is because they tell you what your value should be, you can tell whether or not it will be worth your while to buy the report. If HCAD appraised your home at $200,000, and Jubally says your home is worth $198,000, you know that their report isn’t going to help you.
However, in my case, Jubally estimated my actual value to be $299,119, over $66,000 less than what HCAD is claiming. I’m a skeptical person by nature, so I wanted to make sure Jubally wasn’t just giving out overly optimistic estimates of value differences between HCAD and actual value in order to get people to buy their reports. So, I used a different email address and went on jubally.com again pretending to be several of my neighbors on my street, and got what Jubally thought their values should be. No one had nearly as high a difference between their HCAD value and their Jubally value, and some of them came back saying the HCAD value and Jubally value agreed. This is a very honest, accurate service that is not going to blow sunshine up your tailpipe. I have my report from them, and I can tell you, it is extremely well done. Anyone would be very well-armed going to battle with one of their reports in his arsenal.
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