Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are You Paying Too Much on Your Property Taxes?

I'm sure all of you have heard of the recent mortgage crisis but have you thought about how it affects you? You might not think that it is a great thing to happen, especially if you are one of the many who are loosing your home to foreclosure. Unfortunately, it does affect you...especially if you are trying to sell your home.

The mortgage crisis and following glut of homes up on the market due to foreclosure has driven the selling prices of many homes downward. It can is considered a "buyers market" for a home right now...which could mean more in your pocket when it comes to real estate property taxes.

The value of your home determines the real estate taxes, in most states. If the current market value is less than it was a couple of years ago, you may be able to get your tax assessors office to adjust that amount and decrease your taxes.

Most assessors' offices have certain actions you must take to get them to review your assessed value but a simple call to their office will give you this information. You will be requesting a review of the market value of your home. To make your chances better you may want to do a little research before you do so you are prepared to state your case properly. Here are some steps that might help:

First, check for inaccuracies on your current assessment. Have you removed an old shed? Is the square footage and acreages correct? Does it report the correct number of bedrooms and bathrooms? Be sure to correct anything that is wrong and make sure they know of your homes faults too. Is the home not 100% complete? Let them know, it means it is valued a little less.

Second, check your assessor's website or visit their office and compare homes in your area. Be sure to check as closely as possible to size of home, condition, and lot size or acreage.

Third, you can request a "current market analysis" from a local real estate agent. This tells you what the realtor believes the home would sell for in the current market. Also have the realtor to give you a list of homes that have sold in the last six months that compare to your home.

Lastly, when all else fails and you truly think your house should be valued less. Hire an appraiser. This may not be cost effective in the short time but might pay for itself over a few years...especially if the value difference is significant.

Remember, the more paperwork you have to back up your appeal, the better.

Have a great day!

Mavis D.


Anonymous said...

We don't own a home, but we have had many friends talking about this issue. Thanks for the info, I will pass it along.

Catherine said...

Thank you for making people aware of their options. In my area, northern Arizona, most who contest their tax evalution are able to have the tax reduced. A good read!