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How to lower your property taxes

Posted by kim carpenter on September 9, 2011
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Have home prices decreased in your area?  Do you feel your property tax assessment is out of line?

The good news is, you can try to get your property reassessed.

Local governments typically don’t measure values every year which means that your current property taxes might reflect your home’s value when the market was healthier.

1)Fact check the assessor’s work by reviewing your “property record card”.  About half of all successful appeals come from homeowners pointing out an error in the assessor’s description of their home.  You may be inadvertently assessed with a finished basement when yours is in fact unfinished, you may be assessed for a luxurious back yard like your neighbor down the street when your just has a flower garden, your square footage may be incorrect.  Assessors do make mistakes.  Simply come armed with the proof of the mistake.

2)The key to a successful appeal of your property value is comparable sales or “comps”.  Consult a real estate professional in your area who can pull “comps” of sales in your area.  If the sales were “arm’s length” sales or distressed sales, the assessor may not use them to value your home.  You might even consider consulting a professional appraiser to value your home.

Be cautious, it could backfire on you.  If you have made recent updates to your home, like adding granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, added a deck, put on a new roof, these items could drive your value up instead.

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