It’s important for homeowners to make a financial plan for paying property taxes. While your mortgage company may pay your taxes for you out of your escrow account, your lender cannot control whether or not your taxes will increase.
Although tax obligations differ between regions and municipalities, there are a few strategies you may be able to employ to potentially pay less in property tax.*
- Contact your tax assessor and request a tax card
- Visit your town hall and request a face-to-face meeting with the tax assessor. During the visit, ask to see your property tax card, which includes information that your local government has collected to describe your home. Details may include the size of the land parcel, the dimensions of rooms and the number and type of fixtures within the premises.
- If you spot any discrepancies on your tax card, discuss them with the assessor immediately and ask him or her to amend the error or schedule a re-evaluation. You may be able to reduce your tax burden, as even a small mistake can add up to a significant amount.
- Research data on neighboring properties
- While at the local tax assessor’s office, you may want to spend some time viewing tax cards for your neighbors’ properties and other surrounding homes; this is public information. Dissimilarities between your and nearby properties may also be an opportunity to request a discount, and reap substantial savings.
- Research entire residential areas online; a number of real estate information providers list average home prices and conditions for individual developments.
- Limit your property updates to curb appeal
- Structural modifications, including swimming pools and decks, can increase property tax levels. If you want to lower your taxes, you may not want to make too many value-appreciating improvements to your residential lot.
If you are a first-time homebuyer, it’s important to consider property taxes and the cost of general upkeep when you are calculating how much you can afford.
Freedom Mortgage can help you determine the amount of home financing for which you may qualify. For more information about mortgages and loan types, including FHA loans, VA loans and conventional mortgages, visit www.freedommortgage.com.
*For specific advice on taxes, consult your financial advisor or tax accountant.
Latest posts by ChuckM (see all)
- A Millennial Guide to Buying Your First Home - January 4, 2017
- Getting to the Truth: Top Mortgage Misconceptions and Facts - December 28, 2016
- What Are the Most Common Reasons Why People Get Turned Down for Loans? - December 14, 2016