Did you know that property taxes are one of the most overlooked expenses when it comes to owning a home? This tax can really put a dent in your finances, especially if your neighborhood has a high property tax rate. However, what you do as a homeowner could also make the taxes on your home go up or down.
How Are You Affecting Your Property Taxes?
Property tax codes are numerous and complicated. It’s estimated that there are around 80,000 pages worth of federal property tax code, and each town and county have their own special codes to be followed. That means almost anything could make your property taxes go up, but here are a few things that are more likely to do that than others.
- Adding an Expansion– One of the big factors in increasing your property taxes is increasing your property value. Adding an expansion to your home can do this by adding square footage to your property. So, not only will it raise the value of your home, it’ll also raise your property taxes.
- Renovations– Just like expanding your home, this too will raise the value of your home, but for slightly different reasons. Improving a bathroom or a kitchen raises the value of your home because of the increased value of materials used in the home, and because areas like that are valued on the homebuying market. That increase in home value will also up the taxes you owe.
- Sheds and decks– Shed and decks add value to a home as well. In some states, if the shed has a concrete foundation, it’s considered additional square footage to your home. These upgrades mean that you could be forking over even more when the tax accessor calls.
Are There Ways to Control Your Property Taxes?
A lot of the actions that will affect your property taxes also involve improvements to your home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve your home. This is just another calculation when it comes to looking at the equity in your home. Plus, there are also things you can do to level the playing field when it comes to property taxes.
- File a Property Tax Appeal– You have a right to question the accessor’s estimate on your property taxes. Doing so can expose mistakes that the tax office may have made.
- Don’t Hide Anything– Does your home have a few problems here and there? Don’t be afraid to tell your tax accessor just what problems you have.
- Voting– Knowing where your elected officials stand on your local tax code could be the key to lowering your property taxes. Ask about what your local politician thinks about property tax code before you cast your ballot.
Property tax codes can be a nightmare to understand. Luckily, there are real estate attorneys who know what to look for when you are buying a home. Stick with the experience of Garland & Mason, L.L.C. by following our blog, Facebook, and Twitter to learn more.