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Finance For Dummies

Finance For Dummies offers personal finance information on investing, retirement investing, finance, insurance, credit cards, loans and more. Personal finance education is our goal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Real Estate Taxes

When shopping for a home many buyers do not consider the impact on their monthly obligation. Obviously, it depends where you live to know if they are high or low, but you can do some homework when searching. Your county assessor’s office should be able to provide you with the most up-to-date property tax information for a property you are considering. If you are currently looking 2005 taxes should be available. If your house listing provides 2004 numbers you need to see about the 2005 numbers. Recently, while shopping for a home we discovered this problem.

We had calculate the mortgage monthly payment along with the taxes and the house was affordable. But 2004 taxes were listing and when went to the County Assessor’s website I discovered that the taxes went up 50%. This is because the owner’s previously had done some renovation to the home and the assessed value had not been considered in the property taxes until 5 years later—2006. We no longer could afford the home. Make sure of how much your property taxes will be when buying a home and calculate them into your monthly obligation along with home insurance and the mortgage.

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