You, the homeowner, know your home best. But it can feel like you’re in the dark when your property valuation arrives in the mail from the Appraisal District and the terminology is in an unfamiliar appraiser code.
RealValueIQ aims to help homeowners understand the appraisal system and its terminology to better decipher their home’s valuation. In the event the homeowner needs to have a conversation with an appraiser, negotiate a value, or even present in front of the Administrative Review Board at a formal hearing on their property tax valuation, knowing the Appraisal District’s terminology will make the conversation about their home that much easier.
RealValueIQ hopes this guide and glossary helps the property owner understand the system better in the event they have to have a conversation with an appraiser, negotiate a value, or even present in front of the Administrative Review Board at a formal hearing on their property tax valuation.
Travis County uses a class rating systems to assess the residential homes located within the county. In addition to the other characteristics such as square footage or year built, Travis County appraisers will also use their own unique rating system to classify your home the rating consists of two parts, called “Class Code” and “Sub Class Code”.
“Class Code” is actually the Construction Classification and will either be the letter “M” for solid masonry or concrete block, or more commonly two letters, the first letter being “W” for wood followed by another letter depending on the frame used on the exterior of the property. This information about the construction type is located in the column labeled “Class Code” on your RealValueIQ Report.
The second part of the rating system uses numbers, 2 through 8+, and is labeled by the Appraisal District as the “Sub Class Code” and is labeled as such on your RealValueIQ report.
Note: You will find the definitions from the Travis County Appraisal District for both the Construction Type, and the Sub Class code at the end of this guide.
Appraisal districts are riddled with these idiosyncrasies in how they communicate and label things within their own system, but as long as you accept it for what it is – an imperfect system created by an imperfect organization – then you won’t waste time getting frustrated over how illogical the system may be in your county.
Rating System (As Defined by Travis County Appraisal District)
**If you see two asterisks, this indicates a RealValueIQ expert has inserted commentary to further educate and explain a concept we felt was ambiguous in the original definitions provided by the CAD
Single Family Residence Construction Classification : Travis County Appraisal District
CLASSES: Classes range from 2 to 8+ and are prefaced by a construction type.
**Travis County Neglects to point out for you that each number can have a (+) or a (-) next to it, so there are not just 6 ratings 2,3,4,5,6,7,8+ like you would logically assume if you just picked up their explanation of the system.
The sub class code, or rating system looks like:
And is prefaced by the Class Code (or Construction Type, see below)
- M = Solid masonry or concrete block
- WA = Wood frame, asbestos siding
- WP = Wood frame, plaster or stucco (may have brick or stone accenting)
- WS = Wood frame, vinyl or aluminum or fiberboard siding or Hardiplank
- WW = Wood frame, wood siding (may have brick or stone accenting)
- WV = Wood frame, veneer or brick or stone
Class (ranges from 2 to 8+)
- 2 = Small, single wall/box or single masonry wall dwelling constructed with inexpensive materials and utilizing limited design and rudimentary worksmanship. The structure consists of inexpensive masonry unit exterior walls or single wall/box exterior and partition walls. Light wood frame ceilings, concrete slab or single softwood floors. No special features and inferior plumbing.
- 3 = Small to medium sized wood frame or masonry wall dwelling constructed with fair quality materials utilizing conservative design and basic workmanship. The structure consists of average masonry units in exterior walls or wood framed exterior walls. Masonry or framed or single interior walls with wood framed ceilings. Concrete single slab, single or double wood floor (if pier and beam, limited special features, and inferior to average plumbing installation.
- 4 = Medium sized wood framed dwelling constructed with average quality materials utilizing conservative to moderate design and average workmanship. The structure consists of concrete block, tile, stone, brick, or wood framed exterior walls an masonry unit or wood framed interior walls. Wood framed ceilings and concrete slab or with double wood doors (if pier and beam), built in kitchen appliances, ample closets and storage, average quality fixtures, average plumbing installation (typically has two baths), and central heating and cooling. Usually mass produced and material/workmanship is acceptable, but does reflect custom craftsmanship. Design will include ample fenestration with some ornamentation on front elevation.
- 5 = Medium to large sized masonry or wood frame dwelling constructed with average to above average quality materials utilizing moderate design and good workmanship. The structure consists of solid brick, stone, veneer with back up of masonry unit or wood framed exterior walls. Masonry unit or wood framed interior walls and wood framed ceilings. Concrete slab or double wood floors (if pier and beam). Good hardware and plumbing fixtures (typically two and a half baths), zoned central heating and cooling for two story improvements, double insulated windows and average special features. May be mass produced in above average residential developments or built by an individual owner with some special features and appointments. Interiors are well finished, usually having good quality wall paper, paneling, crown molding, in living, dining, and/or master bedrooms with an ample amount of good quality cabinets. Counter tops splash are lineated plastic, ceramic tile, or simulated marble. May be wired for sound, communication, and security.
- 6 = Large sized masonry or wood frame dwelling constructed with above average quality materials utilizing extensive design and good workmanship. The structure consists of good quality solid brick, stone, veneer, with back up of masonry unit or woof framed exterior walls. Masonry unit or wood framed interior walls and wood framed ceilings that are well braced. Concrete slab or high quality double wood floors (if pier and beam). Several special features, zoned central heating and cooling and very good plumbing installations (three to six baths). These homes are usually built in high quality developments and are individually designed. Much attention has been given to interior refinements and details, i.e. elaborate doors and millwork, etched/stained glass, fine quality cabinets and custom high grade windows. Extra features may include double oven, microwave, disposal, dishwasher, compactor, intercom, security system and vacuum cleaning system. May be wired for sound, communication and security.
- 7 = Extra large masonry wall or wood framed dwelling constructed with superior quality materials utilizing elaborate design and workmanship. The structure consists of solid brick, stone, expensive masonry veneer with backup masonry units or heavy wood framing exterior walls. Heavy wood framing in the ceilings, exterior and interior walls and roof. It has ornamental and special features throughout with luxurious and numerous plumbing installation (usually more than one bath per bathroom and two half baths), as well as zoned central heating and cooling. These homes are typically built in exclusive developments of high quality homes of individual and unique design. Great attention is given to custom ornamentation, trim, selection of materials and built ins. Elaborate trim work and molding is often accompanied by high ceilings throughout and 12 foot to 20 foot ceilings in dramatic entries and living areas. These homes may have a three to four car garage, spacious master baths, and huge closets with large linen cabinets, shelves, wardrobes, and occasionally shoe carousels. High quality fixtures throughout, large luminous fixtures in kitchen, baths and dressing areas, whirlpool tubs, double showers, may have bidets and saunas. Fine carpet, plank, parquet, hard tile and granite or marble floors are commonly found. Decorative flatwork, retaining walls, fountains, spas and extensive outdoor lighting and landscaping. Recent and modern constructions are typically wired for sound, communication media, and security (possibly closed circuit system). Will typically have home theatres vs. Media Rooms. May have separate guest/domestic services quarters.
- 8 = Extra large wood frame dwelling constructed with the best quality materials utilizing elaborate custom design, excellent workmanship and many varied interior appointments. The structure consists of solid brick, stone, expansive masonry veneer with backup of masonry units or heavy wood framing exterior walls. Heavy wood framing in the ceilings, exterior and interior walls and roof. It has abundant fenestration and special features throughout with luxurious and numerous plumbing and electrical installation (usually more than one bath per bedroom and two half baths), as well as zoned central heating and cooling. These homes feature many items found the 7 class properties, but often require at least one full year or more for completion. Unique design and architecture will be evident and often many material and special features will be imported. One house in Travis county is graced with a staircase and woodwork from the New York Stock Exchange while another was built with stonework from a famous European church. Homes of this category will often feature some or many of the following items: tennis and sports courts, bowling alleys, indoor or lap pools, fountains and other water-scapes, putting greens, extensive outdoor lighting and landscaping, solar rooms, aviary, television security system, home automation system, four to six stall garage, often two kitchen and bar areas, commercial refrigeration, gold plated faucets and spouts, heated towel racks, food center (processor), wine captains, home theater, media room, cellars and vaults, elevator, trolley, exercise room, library, separate maid and/or guest quarters, aquariums, motorized pantries and closet carousels.