Guilderland NY- Spring is upon us and it means many things, including melting snow, blooming flowers, and kids playing outside again. It also means it’s time to review your property tax assessment. Market values have changed dramatically over the past several years and many, many property assessments are outrageously inaccurate. Town assessors simply don’t have the ability to personally inspect the interior of each home as a real estate professional does. Towns also can’t afford to complete town wide valuations each year. It really isn’t the assessor’s or town’s fault. They have a daunting task of valuing thousands of properties with limited time and resources. However, when the market changes often the homeowner is left paying hundreds if not thousands more each year in property taxes than they should. If you are thinking of selling your home or just concerned that you are over paying on your property taxes you owe it to yourself to review your property assessment.
Homeowner’s often spend weeks to months preparing their homes for sale. They will paint, remove clutter, and remodel to get top dollar when they sell. However, the property tax assessment is one area most homeowners overlook prior to sale. There is a direct correlation between the tax burden on a home and what a buyer can afford or is willing to pay. A lower tax burden simply allows a buyer to afford more home and allocate funds from the tax payment to the mortgage payment, which is obviously preferable to the seller. We recently listed a home for $99,000 that is grossly over assessed and has a tax burden of $7,200. Buyers qualifying for a $100,000 mortgage can’t buy this home because the tax burden per month is more than the mortgage payment and more than any other $100,000 home in the area. In another example, we recently listed a $600,000 home with an assessment over $800,000. The result was a tax burden $6,500+- more than competing $600,000 homes. It makes it hard to compete when a buyer can buy a similar home with $6,500/year lower property tax bill. If you have a luxury home valued over $500,000 and your town has not done a revaluation in the past year or two there is a high probability that your assessment is not in line with current market values.
So what can you do? There are two main ways to contest your assessment. 1) You can compare your assessment to that of your neighbors. Your town assessor can help you pull the assessments of neighboring homes and many have it available online. 2) You can contest your assessment on the basis of market value. If you think your current assessment over values your home start with an online estimate of your property value at www.albanynyhomevalues.com . This is our site and will provide you an instant range of value for your home.
In most towns the time to grieve assessments is the first few weeks in May. Grievance forms are available online or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your property address and we will be happy to send you the forms to submit to your town. A little time invested now can have you hundreds to thousands of dollars on your tax bill and when you sell your home.