Marin Real Estate Prices Dropping -- For Some

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Jul 5, 2011  |  Updated 2:49 PM PDT
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Marin Real Estate Prices Dropping -- For Some

Lori Preuitt

Steep Ravine cabins in Marin County

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Some real estate in Marin County is getting cheaper -- as long as you already own, that is.

Citing "the economic conditions that have existed" for several years, the county assessor slashed the value of 27 percent of the county's residential properties, according to the Marin Independent Journal. This reduced the property tax bill for 21,600 homeowners.

The devaluation is good for some, but, noted Assessor Rich Benson, "Marin remains one of the stronger real estate markets in the state," with a total property valuation of $55.8 billion, or a total increase of $434 million. So anyone who bought a home this year, for example, is going to owe.

The reassessment of property values is an annual ritual, in which homeowners can request to have their home's value reassessed for tax purposes. Last year, Benson reassessed 16,000 properties, resulting in a tax break for 21 percent of Marin County homeowners, the newspaper reported.

On average, those who called in for a reassessment had the value of their homes slashed by $180,000, which translated into a tax savings of $1,800.

This happens most often on homes that have not had a reassessment for several years -- or homes sold at the peak of the real estate bubble in 2007, when the median value of a Marin County home was $1 million. The median sales price of homes sold nowadays is $775,000, according to the newspaper.

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