Nothing is as appealing as owning a home. You no longer have to pay monthly premiums as rent and you can style your home as you like. You can also use your property deed to secure a loan for development. All these factors make owning a home of one of the biggest ambitions for the working population.
There is, however, the small matter of property taxes that come with owning a home. The federal government requires that property owners pay taxes for their property. Property taxes are paid annually and as long as you own the property in question, you are required to fulfill this civic duty. The long-term nature of these taxes makes it important for you to ensure that you are paying the right amount of taxes. If you feel that you paying high property taxes, this is what you need to do to lower them.
1. Visit the tax office
Your taxes can only be lowered by the tax man and you should, therefore, visit your local tax office to initiate the process. Inquire on what is required for the tax appeal and if there are any fees to be paid. At the tax office, ask for a copy of the current assessment of your property as at that moment as well as information on the rates charged by the federal government for different types and sizes of property.
2. Get your property appraised by a professional
The next step is to get the value of your home determined by professionals in the field. You pay taxes according to the value of your home and the higher taxes you are paying could be as a result of wrong appraisal and value determination. Independent appraisal from firms such as Sea Pines Real Estate will value your home and generate a report that you can use for your tax appeal. The report will include among other things, the dimensions of the house, photos of the various sections of the house as well as a comparison of your home and other houses in your neighborhood.
3. Do not build
Outdoor structures improve the value and worth of a home. These structures include garages, sheds, swimming pools and decks. With a higher property valuation comes higher taxes so if your intention isn’t to pay higher taxes, you should then keep the outdoor structures in your home to a minimum, or at least until after the next property assessment. If it is vital that you put up a certain structure in your home, you should consult your local tax office to see how much extra you will have to pay in taxes for that. This way, you are prepared for the eventuality and you won’t be surprised when the tax man sends you a higher bill.
Paying taxes is not everyone’s favorite pass time. It is particularly frustrating if you are paying higher taxes than you are supposed to. We hope this guide will help you lower your property taxes.