Living in the City of Milwaukee has provided a rollercoaster ride of assessments since I bought my house a decade ago. You've likely experienced the same.
For the first few years, assessments went up, up, up. Because I had no plans to sell, that wasn't especially beneficial, so I didn't worry too much initially when they stagnated, dipped and stagnated again.
But on Saturday, we got our new assessment in the mail and found it had dropped another 8 percent and our home is now assessed at less than we paid for it 10 years ago. That's just depressing.
City-wide, residential assessments are down 3.13 percent. Condo owners took a hit half that.
Of course, we all know that despite assessments our taxes never really go down, so while some argue that's an upside of a lower valuation, I've yet to really see that "benefit" pay off.
It worries me. And I was already nervous about Madison tinkering further with Milwaukee's own business by outlawing the residency requirement that has helped keep the city relatively stable through the good times and bad.
My quiet, green, friendly neighborhood is full of police, fire, school and city workers and I fear that an explosion of for sale signs on neighborhood lawns will send housing prices tumbling even lower.
Like my parents, I always thought homeownership was a road to financial stability. I never expected it to pay major dividends or be a get-rich-quick scheme, but I'd hoped it would keep us afloat.
Now I'm not so sure anymore.