WTF? Hamilton County Auditor (a post I never wrote about Beechcrest Lane)

It’s been a while since I did a wtf? post on the irregularities on property valuations on the Hamilton County Auditor’s site.  Don’t worry, Citizens.  I have not given up.  And I have not changed my mind. I’m trying to figure out how to do a better job of statistical analysis on a broader sampling, move the focus from anecdotal to systemic.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share one of the countless ideas I haven’t written about, but continue to track out of the corner of my eye.  6 to 9 months ago I noticed 2 of the most stunningly gorgeous historic homes in East Walnut Hills, both on the same street, both up for sale, and both valued by the Auditor at significantly less than their asking prices.


This is 10 Beech Crest Lane, built in 1880 with 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths on a little over 3/4 of an acre.  Here’s the description on Sibcy Cline:

Magnificent+impeccably restored/Beautiful woodwork & staircases/Elegant craftsmanship/$1M+ in recent upgrades & renovations/Heated kitchen & MBA floors/MBR + dressing area, coffee bar, spiral staircase to loft+observatory*

It was purchased for $994,000 in 2004 and is currently valued for $954,640 – even after over $1,000,000 of improvements – and is currently on the market for  $2,500,000.


This is 9 Beech Crest Lane in East Walnut Hills, built in 1917. 5 bedrooms, 6 1/2 baths on over 2 acres.  It was purchased in 2007 for $2,425,000, came before the Board of Revision in 2011, and is currently valued at $1,750,000 – now on the market for $2,495,000.

Both of these homes are clearly undervalued, especially the home at 10 Beech Crest at less than a million.  Same street – there’s a comparable sale at over at $2.4 million and the value never is adjusted upwards.  Even if there were no building permits taken out for the $1M renovation, that’s a pretty shoddy appraisal.

But I never wrote about either of these properties.  Why?  They’ve been for sale for over 6 months and neither one has sold yet.  I don’t want to live in these houses, do you?  I like my 1700 sf condominium downtown where all the action is.  Our image of a successful life isn’t about giant houses any more with big garages and heating bills to match.  The market for these high-end mansions has always been limited.  It’s not going to get any easier and I wouldn’t trade my home for either one.

2 thoughts on “WTF? Hamilton County Auditor (a post I never wrote about Beechcrest Lane)

  1. Brian

    Hi Kathy,

    New reader of your blog. I’m a finance professional that is increasingly perplexed by the investment decisions made in our city. After reading this post, I thought I’d share my first experience with the Hamilton County Auditor.

    I bought by first house in 1998. It was in a state of neglect, needing updates, and was an undesirable 1-bedroom configuration of a free-standing house. The auditor valuation was approximately $60,000. I paid just over $55,000 for the house. The next year, the auditor’s office informed me their new valuation was $85,000. I submitted my challenge, indicating that I had paid $55,000 but that I felt a fair valuation was $65,000 and would be willing to pay taxes on that basis.

    The Auditor’s office adjusted the valuation to $55,000. WTF? (They have gotten me back since, though).

    1. executivedreamer Post author

      How interesting. — Other decisions seem to make pretty good sense at the Auditor’s office until around 2000-2001. Then, who knows? Lawyers started giving seminars about how to get property tax bills lowered. City Council instigated the tax roll back and decided to focus all their energy on income taxes. Maybe we were concerned about everybody leaving the city after the civil unrest.

      In any case, may all our values go up, up, up. That means our economy is strong and middle class net worth is growing again.


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