A Do-it-yourself Property Tax Cut Guide – Government Tax Foreclosure Sales

31 October, 2010

Now that accurate estate values have fallen you are probably paying less in property taxes than you were in the past, but you may think you’re still paying too much. If your tax bill is higher than you judge it should be, what should you do? The first thing you probably did was to call the tax assessor. What you were told was likely along these lines:

“Your property tax amount is based on our latest appraisal of your property. If you don’t think it’s correct bring us proof that our figures are nefarious. We’ll take a glance and resolve if your assessed amount should be corrected. Any information you provide must be valid and clearly demonstrate that a lower amount is justified.”

At this point you have to make a rational decision. Are you distinct that your property is worth less than the amount it was assessed for? If there is no doubt in your mind, then you need to make another decision. Is the amount enough to offset the time or money you spend to prove it? The last decision is should you hire a professional appraiser to get your property value or do it yourself?

There is a cost either way as the appraiser will charge you and if you do it yourself it will cost you time. Many people do it themselves for the satisfaction of proving the government wrong by their own work. Others do it to save the money. Today there is so noteworthy free assistance from the Internet, real estate salespersons and title companies that almost anyone can make a professional looking presentation without spending a lot of time. Besides that it’s fun.

Before you decide for sure that you’re going to put together your proof gather some more information. What is the reason you absorb the value is too high? Sometimes people hear that the house around the corner sold at a lower sign than your assessment value. If this is the case you need to find out why. Either go online or call a realtor to get more details on that sale. What you’re going to do is to compare that house to yours. The key piece of information is going to be the circumstances of the sale.

If the sale was a foreclosure, short sale or some type of wound sale then this will not be a value sale to use for determining the value of your home. You should also get the statistics from this sale such as: square footage, bedrooms and baths, location, condition, etc. If this was a distress sale or the house is vastly inferior to yours, then you may want forget it, especially if this was your main piece of evidence. If you decide you want to keep going then follow the steps below.

Before you start, go online and gain a copy of a residential appraisal report or fetch one from a real estate agent. This will be the best way of putting your information together to present to the assessor. Go online to get instructions to filling the report out or get books from the library or your R.E. agent.

If you have clear the house around the corner is a valid sale put all the information on your report and make your adjustments. If the data from the report validates your suspicion that they have assessed your home too high then you’ll need to bag at least 2 more sales for your proof. These sale should be within the past 6 months in a similar neighborhood (preferably within a 1/2 mile) as ours as well as similar is style, age, construction, etc. The more similar the sale is to yours the more valid it will be as a comparable.

Below you’ll find the questions you need to know about the any property that you’ll be using as proof of value:

1. What was the condition of the property? Were there any upgrades, such as original kitchen or bathroom?

2. What was the square footage of the property? How many bedrooms and baths?

3. What kind of amenities did it have? What kind of flooring for example, fireplaces, pool, etc.

4. What is size of garage?

5. How was landscaping?

6. Was the location terrible, such as backing to busy street, next to something undesirable, etc, or was it good, such as having a conception, near a park, etc.

7. There will other information that will be great to know so be a good investigator.

Achieve all the addresses and other information on the appraisal form and make the superb adjustments. Remember if the item is superior to your property form a minus adjustment and if inferior a plus. When you finish total the adjustments and add or subtract that total from the comparable property value you’re working with. Looking at the value of each property after the adjustments will give you a good indication of what your property is worth. In theory the adjustment make all the properties the same.

To get a better indication of the value of obvious items you should consult a real estate agent. They’ll be able to tell you how much more a 3 car garage is worth compared to a 2 car or the value of an extra bathroom in the type of property you’re appraising. Be careful and get as much information about each property as possible.

Getting a value for your home compared to other similar ones is not that hard. You may have to do a puny studying to get the plan, but you should be able to find all the information you need on line. Real estate agents will be a great help if you can find one that been in the business for a while. They can also help you come up with a valid value using the 3 comparable adjusted values. Don’t try to make the value approach out the way you want as the assessor will see right through that and you’ll for sure gain turned down.

Don’t be afraid to give this a try because the worst that can happen is that you’ll be turned down. If that happens find out why and do a better job next time. The more you do this the better you’ll get at it so don’t give up. Just get some new comps and give it another try.