Lowering the tax liability on your Wake Forest rental property is certainly worth the effort if you get the opportunity. Regardless if you are new to investing in rental property or a seasoned professional, studying your Wake Forest property value assessment to verify its accuracy is time well spent.
At Real Property Management Raleigh, we advise our landlords to take the time to do this because you may discover that your assessment is too high, which when re-evaluated can lead to lower property taxes. There are numerous ways to determine if your current property assessment is accurate.
How a Property Should be Assessed
Properties are usually assessed annually by a town or city’s assessor. In the majority of cases, the assessor evaluates the current status of your property and any improvements done and the current market conditions for similar homes in your area, and then they multiply that by the area’s level of assessment as decided by the municipality. If you have a multi-family building, the assessor will include in the valuation the income realized from the property over the past year minus maintenance costs. The cost of replacing the home is also taken into consideration in determining the assessment.
If you open your annual property tax bill and nearly collapse from shock at the figures, take some deep breaths and then carefully review your options to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, however, is that you’ll have a deadline to challenge the assessment. Most municipalities will give you 30 to 60 days after you receive the assessment to dispute it.
How to Understand an Assessment
Look at what the assessment states about your property. You might discover that you’ve suddenly become the owner of Wake Forest property that is nothing like the one you actually have. For example, the assessment may mistakenly give your house four bedrooms when it only has three or place your address in an upscale neighborhood adjacent to your real location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was erroneously listed as a two-story house and charged twice the actual square footage because the assessor viewed it from outside rather than doing a more thorough inspection.
The value of similar properties in your neighborhood can tell you a lot about your own property’s assessment. If you are friends with your neighbors, you might be able to learn from their assessment. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to compare your property with four or five in your general area that have the same amount of square footage and the same property size.
Look into Exemptions
While you’re taking the time to ensure the valuation of the property is correct, also check whether you’re receiving any exemptions to which you’re eligible. Some states and many municipalities give breaks to owners who are senior citizens or veterans, homes located in certain areas, and several other exemptions. Your local tax assessor might be able to help you find any tax breaks wherein you’re eligible.
If the first tax bill after you purchased your property shows that its tax assessment value went up by nearly 50 percent in one year, as what happened to an owner in Georgia, you’ll want to ask for a review to help you understand any changes. A lot of tax assessors are willing to informally explain your assessment. If you’re not content with the informal explanation, you can make a formal appeal. Property owners who have followed this route say they’ve been able to considerably lower their assessments.
When you work with Real Property Management Raleigh, we help you get the most out of your property and navigate it to success. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us online or call us at 919-481-0008 today.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.