Have y’all got your property tax bill recently? Not sure if they’re staggered out to homeowners individually, or there’s some shotgun style they do them all in, but either way ours just came in and it almost gave me a heart attack! I mean, I know that our home value’s been going down or at least leveling off over time, but this number seems pretty drastic. And also gives me the impression that it’s not entirely accurate (in fact, I’m pretty certain it’s always way off, at least from talking to friends and family. Maybe you all know?)
Regardless though, my heart is only now slowing down after days of contemplating this ;) And it didn’t make it any better comparing it to the past 4+ years living here either. I thought I’d dig up the others and then compare them here to watch the
steady abrupt decline:
- Year 2007: $345,000 — Fair enough, we paid $360,000 for it and seemed to be worth at least $370,000 at the time (we should have bargained down a lot more than $10k… lesson learned #1)
- Year 2008: $346,000 — Up $1,000? Hmm… starting to feel dubious.
- Year 2009: $347,000 — UP AGAIN?? In the biggest real estate crash since I’ve been alive? Not buying it. Our realtor estimated that he’d list our house at $300,000 at that point if we wanted to sell. We didn’t go forward with it, but it just goes to show how off it is.
- Year 2010: $348,000 — AGAIN AGAIN?? Yeah, DEF not worth anywhere near that.
- Year 2011: $265,000 — *Commence heart attack* followed by *Relief that county is bonkers*
Based on these numbers alone (and my official poll on Twitter & Facebook, haha…) I’m going to say that no – these tax assessments are not very correct. In fact, they’re downright on crack. But I’d be happy to be proven wrong if you know any secrets I don’t?
Now on the plus side, this new valuation means we don’t have to pay as much tax!!! Woo!!! It’s a small bone for losing tens of thousands of dollars in your home (theoretically), but a bone to savor none the less. Instead of paying around $1700 or $1800 a year, it looks like this time around we’re sending in $1200 ( it’s automatically taken out via Chase who services our 1st mortgage and all, but still – $500 cheaper, baby!). Normally I’d feel bad for paying less taxes if I owe more, but I think we got in 3 years of overspending now that I see those numbers up there so bold in my face ;)
Unfortunately I’ve heard war stories of others paying a LOT more extra due to the way their homes were valued too. Not fun to correct, I’m sure. Obviously we didn’t think enough to go back and get anything lowered ourselves over the years, but if this one was $100k OVER, rather than below, you better believe I’d be causing a stink! And hopefully I’d even follow through too, as I’m sure you have to jump through hoops to get all that mess resolved. Bleh. Has anyone gone through it before? Fight to get their taxes adjusted?
We’ll see what happens next year, but for now we’ll sheepishly pay our bill and file it away with all the others… maybe I’ll get lucky and we’ll be back to renting again by then? :)
FYI: For those new people to the site, home ownership is not for me. I followed the “American Dream” cuz I didn’t know what I was doing and now I’ve awoken and realized it doesn’t fit my lifestyle – hence, me wanting to go back to renting. For those who it works for though, awesome!
UPDATE #1: I just called our county office and requested documentation backing up this year’s assessment! I’ll have it in the mail in 2-3 days, and literally took 2 and 1/2 mins to request :) Thanks for the tip, Tea!
UPDATE #2: I also re-read my tax bill, as well as looked online a bit more, and it seems our assessment is physically looked at every 3 years or so… at least from what I gathered off it (why is that stuff always confusing?). So that would make sense as to why it systematically went up year after year until this latest SLAM. Interesting stuff…
(Photo by Acutance)
Featured savings tip
You already know that banks pay $$$ for the privilege of holding your money…it’s called interest. But maybe you didn’t know this: that so-called interest can be as little as .01%. If your cash savings aren’t sitting in a high interest savings account that earns you at least 1%, you’re basically saying “no” to free $$$!
Now, obviously the 1% interest you get with a high interest savings account like the one at Discover bank won’t make you rich, but that extra 1% compounded over 30 years can grow into a *big* pile of cash. And if you wanna hit lofty $$$ goals, you should be looking for every edge possible.
Here’s another way to look at it: if you leave $50,000 in a regular savings account, that’s almost $500 you’re just throwing away, each and every year you don't setup a high yield savings account! Will you do 5-10 minutes of work right now to earn an extra $500/year for years to come?
If you said “heck yes”, then you can setup your high interest savings account here to start earning 1% on your cash savings.