Owning a home is expensive since property taxes can be very burdensome. Annual property tax bills can rise steadily over time. Even if you pay the property off your mortgage, the taxes will still keep coming. Most homeowners usually do not realize they need to pay less and also do not understand how to calculate their taxes. Most households take tax assessments at face value, and their property can be over-assessed. The following tips can help you challenge your assessment and save money.
Request for tax card for review
The property card is usually influenced by the assessment notice which can be assessed online. You can alternatively request a copy of your property tax card from the town hall at the office of the local assessor. The card usually contains information used by the assessor for purposes of determining the assessed value of your home like the size of the property, number of bedroom and bathroom as well as their dimensions. Check for any discrepancies in this card since errors are common.
Understand the process
Local governments send assessment notices during the first few months of the year although the schedules can vary. The notice gives details of those you need to contact if you do not agree with the assessment. It also gives you the details that relate to making an appeal and the specific time when you can file or challenge a case. The time frame may also vary in different areas. In some areas, it is two weeks while in other areas it can go up to six weeks. If you miss the appeal window, then you can wait until the next year to appeal. You need to check how the property is assessed in the area.
Do not build or add anything to your house
If you make structural changes to the home, there will be a rise in the tax bill. Property tax bill is related directly to the value of the home. Adding a new deck, swimming pool, bedroom, porch or any permanent fixture increases your tax burden. Investigate the cost of the additions regarding property tax from the tax department and local building before construction.
You should also appeal yourself and not seek professional help because third party experts like appraisers, consultants and attorneys charge fees up to 50% of the reduction in the first year. Some appeal boards can also be sympathetic towards homeowners representing themselves.
Gather evidence of houses around
You can research 5-10 homes in the neighborhood that are comparable in value and size. Check the prices at which they have been sold as well. Also, check the cost of similar houses in real estate then take pictures of the houses, prices, and sizes. If your house has been overhauled, you can put up a case and request for review by the assessor.