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Protesting your home appraisal? Travis County resident shares how she manages to protest every year

Laura Gatannah and her husband bought their home near Lake Travis in 2016. Every year, she argues her home's appraisal is too high.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — The deadline to protest your home appraisal for most Travis County residents is coming up on May 16. Laura Gatannah already protested the county's Appraisal District's appraisal of her home and lowered that value.

"Every year has been completely different," Gatannah said. "The first year when I filed, I asked for a reduction. They offered somewhere in the middle. It was fine. And the second year, I actually had to physically go to the appraisal district with my pouch full of papers and meet with a gentleman and chat with him. Last year, I had asked for their evidence packet. They sent it to me. I spent probably 6 hours going through their comps, and, before I had a chance to finish my report back to them, they'd already given me another offer and I was super offended. But then I called and was like, 'Somebody needs to look at all this work that I did and, no, your offer is not low enough.' So this year was by far the easiest that I've had with getting the appraisal down a little bit."

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Her secret to a smooth and successful protest: patience and taking pictures of everything.

"I had the appraisal district's [comparisons] with me and I went through and I'd made notes on what I didn't understand," Gatannah said. "I had all of my notes, I had taken pictures around my house to show them some things I wanted to show them."

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Gatannah added she doesn't protest the appraisal of her land anymore. She learned throughout the past few years there's not a lot of wiggle room on that appraisal, if any. Property appraisal protests are due 30 days after receiving your appraisal from the county. For most local homeowners, that means May 16 is the last day to protest the appraisal.

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