Decreasing the tax liability on your Westborough rental property is very much worth the effort if you have the chance to do it. In any case, whether you are new to investing in rental property or a professional, checking your Westborough property value assessment to determine whether it’s correct is never a waste of your time.
At Real Property Management MetroWest-Worcester, we urge all our landlords to take the time to do this because you might discover that your assessment is too high, and having your property reevaluated can lead to lower property taxes. There are several ways to determine whether your current property assessment is correct.
How a Property Should be Assessed
Properties are normally assessed by a town’s or a city’s assessor once a year. The assessor reviews the current condition of your property, any renovations made, and the current market conditions for identical homes in your area. Then they multiply that by the area’s level of assessment as determined by the municipality. If you own a multi-family building, the assessor will factor in the income obtained from the property over the past year subtracted from the maintenance costs into the valuation. The expenditure of replacing the home is also a consideration in determining its assessment.
If you receive your annual property tax bill and all but pass out from shock at the figures, take a moment to steady yourself and then contemplate the options you have to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, however, is that you’ll have a deadline to dispute the valuation. Most municipalities will give you one to two months after you receive the assessment to challenge it.
How to Understand an Assessment
Carefully look at what the appraisal says about your property. You might uncover that you’ve suddenly become the owner of Westborough property that is not at all like the one you own. For example, the assessment might incorrectly give your house four bedrooms when it only has three or situate your address in a classy neighborhood near your actual location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was wrongly listed as a two-story house and tolled double the actual square footage because the assessor surveyed it from outside rather than doing a more thorough assessment.
The value of identical properties in your neighborhood can tell you much about your own property’s assessment. If you are friends with the owners, your neighbors, you may be able to compare their assessment with yours. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to compare your property with four or five other properties in the general area that are like yours in the amount of square footage and property size.
Look into Exemptions
While you’ve taken the time to ensure the valuation of the property is right, also see whether you’re receiving any exemptions to which you’re entitled. Some states and many municipalities offer breaks to owners who are senior citizens or veterans, own homes located in certain areas and have many other exemptions. Your local tax assessor may be able to help you find any tax breaks to which you’re entitled.
If your first tax bill after you acquired your property reveals that its tax assessment value increased by nearly 50 percent in one year, as happened to an owner in Georgia, you’ll want to ask for a review to help you learn any changes. Most tax assessors are willing to informally expound on your assessment. If you’re not pleased with the informal explanation, you can submit a formal appeal. Property owners who have pursued this route say they’ve been able to decrease their assessments considerably.
When you work with Real Property Management Metro West-Worcester we aid you in getting the most out of your property and direct it to success. To learn more about the services we offer contact us online or call us at 508-329-6000 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.