What’s “Fair” About Fair Market Value in Housing

Have you ever stood in front of an NFL football player? I have, they make you feel small. What does an NFL football player have to do with “fairness” or “fair play” in FMV?

Allow me to share a brief true story so I can explain, or you can click here to watch the video

It was a Monday morning in 1983. I was a Teller at Bank of Coronado, in Coronado, California. I stood in front of Billy Ray Smith, an NFL first-round draft pick who came in to the bank to deposit his paycheck . He was a 240-pound, 6’3” linebacker who was all muscle! He was intimidating just by virtue of his sheer size (back in 1983). I can only imagine what it felt like to have Billy Ray Smith coming at you at full speed!

In 1983 I played weekend football with my buddies, but we would never think it fair to have Billy Ray Smith play with us.

We all weighed about 150 pounds, under 6’ tall.

Billy Ray Smith would be out of his league playing with us…or rather, we would be out of Billy Ray’s NFL league!

Yes, for Billy Ray Smith to play against me and my buddies would NOT be “fair”.

The same is true when “all cash” buyers entered the residential housing market. There was nothing fair about call-cash buyers playing against the small guy, which pushed the “market value” in FMV way over our reach.

But life is not fair, right. I agree, life is not fair.

Don’t feel badly if you didn’t get to buy a home for your family during the last two years.

I bid the asking price on dozens of homes, with a 20% down and a 2.7% pre approval loan letter from Wells Fargo Bank!

But I lost out every time because all-cash buyers were more attractive to home sellers, especially when these buyers were offering $50,000, or $100,000, or more, for the home I wanted for my family.

Today’s MuniTemps CitySpeak article is solely intended to encourage leaders from business and government to work together to develop good policy that adds a little more “fairness” in FMV so more workers can achieve home ownership.

Please leave your comments as I love to read them.

Thank you.

John Herrera, CPA
MuniTemps / CitySpeak Blog

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