Forsyth County, N.C. - Your home is probably your biggest investment. So, what if someone told you it was worth 70 percent less than it was four years ago? It's happening to some homeowners around the state, including here in the Triad.
In Forsyth County, 93 percent of properties decreased in value in the last four years.
However, if one plan works, it could change how many counties re-evaluate properties.
Representative Ed Hanes has written legislation that would allow counties like Forsyth to use 2008 property evaluation numbers instead. Hanes says the weak economy is to blame for the lower numbers.
"What we are probably looking at is probably a cocktail that has come together and mixed at the right time and we're seeing an end result that is pretty dramatic from one side of the county to the other," Rep. Hanes said.
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines supports his plan. "It will hopefully let the economy catch up because we believe this is an artificial drop in values. But, the homeowners are getting penalized by it," Joines said.
Jerry Hanes, no relation to the state lawmaker, is one of the homeowners Joines is talking about. Hanes says his property value got cut in half. His home is his biggest investment and he's worried about his future.
"They want to de-evaluate the neighborhoods so that one day, they may come through and buy us all out for $25,000 or $30,000 or whatever," Jerry Hanes said.
Rev. Willard Bass from the Minister's Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity said, "Hopefully, we'll get the attention of the county and then the county can go back and look at the process. There's definitely something that's different about this one because we've never seen this much drop."
You have until Tuesday, March 12, to appeal your appraisal to the county. Only 2400 people have appealed so far. Back in 2009, 8200 people appealed. At that time, only 17 percent of properties decreased in value.
Homeowners have until June 28 to appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review.
If you have questions about your re-evaluation, you can attend one of three free workshops on Monday, March 11:
Sessions run from Noon - 2:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Georgia Taylor Community Center - 1471 W. Clemmonsville Rd. - 650-7695
Carl H. Russell Sr. Recreation Center - 3521 Carver School Rd. - 727-2580
Sprague Street Community Center - 1350 E. Sprague St. - 650-7680