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John Branston

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A million bucks ain't what it used to be. And a million-dollar home isn't either.

Five years ago, Memphis magazine did a gee-whiz story on million-dollar homes, finding 30 or so of them in Shelby County by consulting various public and private sources.

According to the official 2005 Shelby County property reappraisal, there are now 649 homes valued at $1 million or more in Shelby County, from blufftop mansions overlooking the river to rustic estates in Germantown and Collierville to zero-lot-line homes in East Memphis.

Assessor Rita Clark says the increase is partly due to inflation and an increase in wealth and partly due to her staff's concentration on so-called high-end properties, which used to be so unusual that they didn't merit special attention.

The property taxes on a $1 million home in Memphis? About $18,000. n

Million-Dollar Baby: Can you guess which one of these Midtown homes is appraised at more than $1 million?

Appraised values below.

1: $597,000 2: $871,800 3: $1,075,300 4: $644,100

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