In some cases, postcards are sent to property owners a few days before an appraiser begins work within an area, asking that the owner call for an appointment for an interior inspection of the property. If no appointment has been arranged, the appraiser will stop at the property when he/she is in the area.
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Minnesota Statute 273.08 requires that all appraisers physically review each property at least once every five years. The appraisal interval may be shorter due to review appraisals requested by the owner, ongoing new construction, or if the appraiser feels there may be an error in the property information for a particular property.
Each property has unique characteristics that affect it's market value. Appraisers need to gather as much information as possible in order to arrive at a fair and equitable value. Typically, more variations in characteristics exist for older structures that affect market value of the property.
By denying an inspection the appraiser will be forced to make an arbitrary appraisal of the property which could be in error due to incomplete or improper information associated with the field record, possibly resulting in a higher valuation or wrong property classification. Appraisers want to view as many properties as possible in order to have the best possible information on all property, since the quality of the assessment is a measure of the quality of their work.
Not allowing an interior inspection will result in the loss of the right to appeal your market value at the Board of Review (Minnesota Statute 273.20 and 274.01. sub. 1).
If an owner or representative is not present an exterior review of the property will be performed. The appraiser will leave a door tag or business card asking that you call for an appointment for an interior inspection.
If there is no response, an arbitrary appraisal will be made; in effect, an educated guess as to the interior features and condition of the property.
Appraisers for Mille Lacs County will be driving a Mille Lacs County car and carrying a photo identification and/or business card. Information can be verified by calling the County Assessor's Office at 320-983-8311 or 888-280-8311.
The appraisal normally takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the number of buildings and complexity of the property. Appointments are scheduled far enough apart to allow time for property owners to ask any questions that they may have.
You will receive a valuation notice some time in March informing you of your value and classification for that assessment year, for taxes payable the following year. Even though an appraiser may have visited your property the previous summer, valuations require accumulation of sales data through the end of the year, as well as time during the winter to view new construction, analyze the market, and perform model calculations.
If there is a question in the property owner's mind as to the accurateness of the value, the owner should first make an attempt to find out what the property is worth by researching the current market trends. This can be done by checking sales of property in the area, checking values of similar properties, and talking to realtors and real estate appraisers. Sales information is available in the Assessor's Office for public viewing, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.