The spirit of the season can put a major dent in your savings and set you back any big investments—such as buying a house. Follow some of these holiday money-saving tips to keep your finances in the green through the new year:
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In most areas, property tax is based on how much your property is worth in your area. However, don't expect your appraiser to automatically lower your property taxes. Having your property taxes lowered takes more than a downturn in the local housing market. You'll need to file an appeal to reduce the assessed value of your home.
Did you know that fewer than 1 in 50 homeowners will appeal their increased property tax assessment, even though up to 60% of properties are overvalued by tax assessors? Most assessors are not even certified to accurately appraise real estate, yet they are the ones who are placing an assessment on your home. Having your home appraised by a certified real estate appraiser can save you thousands of dollars — and lock in those savings for up to three years.If you've received an increase in your property tax assessment, the following steps may help bring down your bill.1. Learn your systemTaxing authorities use different methods when calculating home values. Some look at recent sales of similar homes. In more rural areas where sales are few, they might estimate the cost to rebuild. Others may use a combination of these methods. Contact your local assessor's office and ask how they valuate properties in your area. In many areas, your tax liability is based on a percentage of your property's estimated value. You'll want to know what that percentage is so you can figure out if the value the assessor is assigning to your home is fair.2. Get your assessor's evidenceYour assessor likely didn't pull their estimate out of a hat, even if it seems that way to you. Contact the assessor's office and ask for the evidence used to value your home. Get your home's property card, which lists basic details like lot size, square footage, and number of bathrooms.3. Ensure the description is correctWhen municipalities or counties re-assess property values, they typically hire an outside contractor who looks at hundreds, or even thousands of homes in an incredibly tight time period. Typically, the assessor is not a state-certified appraiser and often has to take shortcuts. Three vent stacks on the roof? That must mean three full baths — never mind that the upstairs laundry room could be the culprit. 4. Build your caseFind an appraiser in your area to find out what your home is actually worth. An appraisal from a state-certified real estate appraiser (such as Appraisals By Michael) can stand as independent, third-party evidence of your home's true market value. You must file within 45-60 days from the time you received your tax assessment. You'll need to arm yourself with a recent appraisal detailing the exact layout of your home, comparable sales, and assessments that prove your home has been valued too high. 5. File the report Appeals are very time consuming, so it is best to file as soon as you can within the appropriate window. Often, if you let them know that you already have an appraisal from a state-certified appraiser before filing the report, someone will meet with you to look over the report and make the corrections there at the desk.We're Here to Help
Appraisals by Michael offers a number of appraisal services, but appraisals for property tax appeals is one of our specialties. We are here to provide you with the assurance that you are only paying your fair share of property taxes. While we are unable to guarantee the outcome of your appeal, an appraisal completed by one of our state-certified appraisers is your best chance of success. State-certified appraisers are largely considered to be the experts in real property valuation. We are familiar, experienced, and trained in the ins and outs of your neighborhood.
New windows will help sell your home faster through marketability. The improved energy efficiency, aesthetics, and functionality of new or updated windows will appeal to many buyers. In fact, a 2017 survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that energy efficient windows were seen as desirable by 89% of home buyers. A more marketable home helps with the home's value by allowing it to spend less time on the market.
This is where the expertise of Appraisals By Michael plays a huge role—no computer can tell you how much your home’s value increases because of your new windows or other home improvements. The answer depends on your neighborhood, the market, and numerous other factors. In order to get the most accurate appraisal, contact Appraisals By Michael to hire a local and professional appraiser who understands the specifics of your neighborhood and market.
One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Appraisals by Michael is how much value would upgrading the kitchen and bathroom add to a home. If you are selling your home, you may want to consider renovations such as this. Some may think that renovating a home that you are about to sell is a waste of time, energy and money. Think again, making updates to your kitchen can increase marketability and add thousands to your home’s value.
Now, we understand that a complete kitchen remodeling may not be in the budget. But it may not be necessary. Take the example from the video below, changing your appliances may be the upgrade your kitchen needs to be elevated to the next level. Cabinets may be secondary:
Performing small, low cost renovations to your kitchen such as backsplash, paint and hardware changes are starting points. However, a kitchen is only as good as the appliances in it. Studies have shown that updated appliances can increase your home’s value by thousands. Upgrading your appliance doesn’t mean you have to fork out $10k on a new commercial-grade range or a sub-zero french door refrigerator. Upgrading your kitchen for the purpose of selling your home is to give the prospective home buyers the quality, functionality, and aesthetics they are looking for without breaking the bank.
Keep in mind that when home buyers see upgraded appliances, they see one less thing they have to do upon buying. Home owners want less work and more bang for their buck.
Appraisals By Michael can assist you with all your appraisal needs such as Pre-listing, Divorce, Tax Assessments, etc. Get in touch with us today to answer any question and for a free quote.
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