I wanna share some tips this week that you could use to lower your property taxes. With property values still declining, why shouldn’t your taxes? With a little research and paperwork, they can! Trust me, I know.

Two years ago, my county assessed that my property value had increased $50,000. Needless to say, given the struggles the market was beginning to endure, I was SHOCKED.

After speaking with the county appraiser, I was determined to use “my appraisers secrets for investors” for my own good. I researched the real estate comps in my area, filed an appeal, and ultimately WON! Instead of the proposed $50,000 increase, as a result of my research, my property value was increased merely by $2,000.

So, lets take a look at a tip to get your property taxes lowered.

UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS

There are two important technicalities to understand, but they’re simple to grasp and shouldn’t daunt you.

The first is your home’s assessed value. This is the basis for your property tax, and isn’t always the same as your home’s market value.

Some local governments assess homes at a fraction of their market value. For example, if the assessment rate is 60 percent, the assessed value of a $1 million home would be $600,000.

The appeal form will likely ask for assessed values, so you may have to do a little math once you’ve used InvestorCompsOnline to collect market values on comparable homes.

Assessment rates can change from year to year too, depending on the area’s funding needs.

It’s also important to know the date your area’s assessments are based on. In New Jersey, for example, homes are assessed by local governments on Oct. 1 of the previous tax year. So if you’re requesting a new assessment for 2012, you’d need to research home prices from around Oct. 1, 2011.

If you’re having trouble finding either the assessment rate or date, don’t be afraid to call your assessor’s office and ask.

Tomorrow, we will discuss how InvestorCompsOnline can help with gathering your “evidence” and what to do after your appeal is in the county’s hands.

All the best,
MJ


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