While they do it every year, the Harris County Appraisal District is reminding residents that appraisers will be visiting neighborhoods throughout the county starting Oct. 1.
With so many people working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, HCAD wants residents to know what to be on the lookout for when appraisers show up to verify neighborhood changes, property characteristics and other data.
While initially focusing on new construction, all properties are subject to verification.
“Correct data is essential to developing accurate estimates of value,” said Roland Altinger, chief appraiser. “Field inspections by our appraisers are a very important part of this process.”
HCAD wants residents know what appraisers will look like and what they will do while appraising properties.
Foremost, appraisers “will never ask to enter” a home nor ask property owners to accompany them around a house.
“Appraisers will knock on the front door to alert the resident they are on the property, identify themself as an HCAD appraiser, and ask permission to measure the home and any other structures on the property,” HCAD reported in a news release. “If access is denied, the appraiser will leave the property and estimate the size and characteristics from the street. If the property owner is not home, the appraiser will measure the sections of the structures that are accessible without entering a gate.”
Appraisers may appear as early at 7:45 a.m. but not later than 5:15 p.m. All appraisers wear a blue jacket or vest with the “HCAD emblem on the front and HCAD Appraiser on the back and carry an identification badge with his or her picture, name and unique appraiser number.”
Since they work from their own personal vehicles with a magnetic sign attached, identifying them as an HCAD employee, they will park in front of properties as they are appraised. They are required to enter changes to a property “directly into a field device before leaving the property” and will most likely while sitting in a car, which serves as a mobile office.
“While this project happens every year at this time, most people were not aware of it because they were away at work. We are notifying residents this year because more people are working from their homes,” Altinger said.
Between 50 and 100 appraiers will be visiting hundreds of neighborhoods during the appraisal process.
Anyone wishing to verify an individual in a particular neighborhood is in fact an HCAD appraiser should contact the HCAD office at 713-812-5800.
According to HCAD, the district has about 1.8 million parcels of property to assess each year with a market value of about $669 billion. It serves about 500 taxing units.
For more information go to www.hcad.org.