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Home Values Skyrocketing in Austin

Updated: Thursday, June 5 2014, 10:39 AM CDT
Home values across Austin are skyrocketing. It seems like everyone wants to move here and they will pay to be here, but longtime homeowners feel they are the ones paying the price.
Vickki Rickard and her husband have spent more than three decades in their home in Spicewood, Texas. What once was a beautiful Lake Travis cove, has now dried-up in to a canyon or rusty boat docks.

It is anything but a lakefront view.

"It's always been up and down, and it's been dry before, but it's never been like this," Rickard said.

She figured the lack of lake would drive down property value, but according to the appraisal notice that is not the case.

"Last year it was $1,348 making the tax about $30, you know, nothing," Rickard said. "This year when I got the tax bill I was so confused by it I actually had to put it down and walk away."

 She was confused, because the value spiked to 128,000, and now her tax bill now will cost here $2,877.95.

 "Now, it has no water, so it went up about 100-times," Rickard said.
Tax values for commercial and residential property in Travis County this year total $124 billion. That's a 15-percent increase over the $107 billion for 2013.

So, when people Rickard got their notices in the mail they thought there was a mistake.

"It's just not fair," Rickard said. "It's not right."

The Travis Central Appraisal District linked rising property values to Austin's robust housing economy.

Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler said in February of 2014 46-percent of all houses listed sold in two weeks.

She said it is that high demand that is driving-up house values.

Rickard and her husband said they do not want to move, but fear plenty of people will be priced out of their own homes.

"You feel like your hands are tied," Rickard said. "You don't know where to turn, and you don't know who can help you."
By Cassie GalloHome Values Skyrocketing in Austin

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