7800 Wash Ave Warehouse Transformation in Progress; Another Lawsuit for Arkema Chemical Plant

Photo of Near Northside: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


One Comment

  • There are a lot of ways to bark up the racism-in-real-estate tree, but Urban Edge always seems to highlight the most logically tenuous arguments. This article veers absurd. Appraisers are forbidden by law from discussing or rationalizing things in racial terms, and so they don’t. It is not the fault of the profession, of bureaucratic entities, or of individuals (although the lower-level individuals that HCAD hires are often incompetent enough to believe otherwise and misspeak to the public, to the ARB, and to researchers apparently). It is the law. To work around any mention of race while also accurately estimating the value of homes in various neighborhoods, they calibrate their valuation models to sales comparables and apply catch-all adjustment factors. They can’t pick do that and also choose adjustment factors based on a factor such as the neighborhood’s crime rate or its proximity to a park because that’d double-dip. It isn’t mathematically possible, and besides which it overcomplicates the mass appraisal process and introduces more possibilities for major errors. And HCAD does make major errors, so simplicity is their friend.
    Mark my words: any researcher of appraisal practices that uses Zillow for any reason other than to mock Zillow is a poor researcher indeed.