Taxes are just one of two constants in life that homeownership gets entangled with. The money you owe on property taxes can vary based on the age and size of the home, as well as the state you live in. Unfortunately, there’s no sure fire way to “game” yourself out of paying this expense every year.
Face property taxes head on by mastering the expenses that go into them. By assessing the value of your property and evaluating each cost area, you could end up saving a bundle down the road. Listed below are five tips that can help you save money on your property taxes.
If you’ve ever played the board game, “Monopoly,” then you might know how property cards work. The real world kind can be found in your assessment paperwork or printed from your county’s online database. It itemizes every aspect of your purchase-square footage, bathrooms, bedrooms, additional features- along with their individual costs.
Examine your property card carefully. Double check some of the items listed on it. Measure the lot the house is on to figure out if the property is a 3.0 acre lot or a .3. False claims regarding extra assets are the easiest to rectify. For example, your card may list the property having three bathrooms when it only has two.
Hire an Appraiser
In order to get a fair assessment of your home, hire a licensed appraiser to go over your home. Grant them access to the interior so they can get a complete review of the property.
It’s acceptable to give the appraiser a guided tour of your home. Just make sure it’s an honest one. Point out all the positive aspects of your home, while indicating imperfections that you plan on repairing. Keep copies of any permits, receipts, and information for any additions you have.
Challenge & Appeal
Inaccuracies on one’s property card is enough to raise a challenge. This will require assistance from your realtor and a tax attorney since these cases may go through local tax courts.
A tax attorney can examine local tax codes to determine whether or not you have a strong case. Your realtor can run comparable checks on the values of homes they sold in the neighborhood.
Online services can get nab you comparables in minutes. Since local offices are inundated with appeals, you can set yours apart by going the extra mile. Add supporting documents and photos to illustrate the value of your home.
Hold-off Any Additions
When you purchase a fixer-upper, you’re planning on renovating. The hard part of appealing the tax comes at the expense of those improvements.
Any permanent add-ons will raise your appraisal. Get your tax information settled before you build onto the property. If the price is right, build away!