When selecting a home to buy, you’ve got a lot on your mind: how the different options meet your wants and needs; the respective price tags; what the individual neighborhoods are like; the likelihood each property will go up in value; etc. While all these are important factors, they need to be considered in conjunction with an oft-overlooked issue: property taxes.
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or an old pro, you are well-advised to contact the local property tax appraiser’s office for each of the homes you are considering. Many of these offices have websites to answer your questions, but be aware that you may need to call some appraisers’ offices to get the information you need. When you have gotten in touch, there are some key bits of information you need to find out to truly make an informed decision. Below are the questions every homebuyer should ask about property taxes.
- What is the assessed value of the home?
- What is the formula used to calculate property taxes?
- Are there supplemental taxes in the first year of ownership?
- Do rates go up after the first year?
- Will the home be reassessed after closing?
- When was the home last assessed?
- When is the next scheduled reassessment?
- Are there exemptions to – or assistance for – property taxes?
- Will remodeling the home cause a reassessment?
- Does the home fall under the jurisdiction of multiple tax authorities?
- How do taxes on the home compare to other properties in the area?
- Is it possible to appeal the property taxes?
You may not be able to nail down the exact number for every year going forward, but by asking the above questions and recording the answers, you should be able to get a sense for what kind of property tax profile each housing option presents.