We all experienced the satisfaction of seeing our home prices soar during the 90’s and into the 2000’s. We also saw our property taxes go up in unison.
However, many of us have seen our home values decline in the past few years… but have we seen our property taxes decline as well? Probably not. The National Taxpayer’s Union estimates that up to 60% of the country’s homes are assessed too high.
You can fight city hall, if you feel your home has been assessed too high. It’s not easy or automatic, but it can be very rewarding.
First thing you need to do is exam your property tax bill closely and look for mistakes like incorrect square footage or the lot size being wrong. If you find inaccuracies you can go directly to the assessor’s office and you may get a reduction right away.
If you are not lucky enough to get this quick fix then you are going to have to do some homework and change your mindset. You want to look at your home as a very picky buyer would… point out all of its flaws.
Here are a couple of things you want to consider:
External Obsolescence- This issue deals with your homes location. You are looking for any reason that your home’s location is less than ideal. Some examples of this is near a noisy playground, airport or smelly, city dump. (You need to pretend that you are a home buyer looking for reasons to give a low ball bid on the home.
Remember… you are looking for reasons to LOWER your home value for tax purposes… so this is one instance you want to be very critical of your home)
Functional Obsolescence – If your home has a bad layout or other problems, you’ll want to point these
things out. This can be things like having to walk through a closet to get to another room or you have a single car garage. Really, it would be anything that a potential buyer would say, “Hmmm… I don’t like the way... (you fill in the blank). Again, we are looking for reasons to say our home was valued too high from the assessor.
There is a 20-page Tax Appeal Guide that gives you step-by-step instructions about the whole process that we can provide you if you or someone you know is interested - just let me know.
Eric C Hagen