In our last post I stated there are two possibile reasons if your mortgage payment increased this year over last year. Either your home insurance increased or your property taxes increased. I can help you with the first one and Evan Fetter of Lower My Texas Property Taxes can help you with the second reason. Here’s what Evan has to share…
This past week, 2012 “property values” were released by the county appraisal districts in Texas.
The word “property value” has to be taken lightly because everyone wants to pay property taxes on as low of value as possible and if selling their home sell for as much as possible. The two numbers do not go hand in hand.
Values are evaluated each year based on what the Appraisal District believes the value to be on January 1st of each year. Values will sometimes change year to year and can go up or down. If you have a lot of building in your neighborhood or home renovations that people have pulled permits on, your neighborhood is likely to be reevaluated each year. If not, it should be looked at once every three years.
In order to check your property value, you can contact me, or you can go to the Dallas County Appraisal District Web site at www.dallascad.org. If you don’t live in Dallas County, there is a link on the site that will connect you to appraisal district sites all over Texas.
Let’s say you look up your value, and you find that the appraisal district raised you $7,500 over your value from the previous year. You think to yourself about your neighborhood and those several houses that have been sitting there for sale and have not sold. You wonder, why did my value go up? You should ask yourself: Did someone in the area build a new home or do renovations to an existing home? This will usually be the answer as to why the value went up.
Appraisers do not drive around neighborhoods checking out each house. They go into areas and set a value per square foot based on what is happening in the neighborhood. So if someone in your neighborhood spent $25,000 on house upgrades in 2011 that could drive the value of your home up for 2012. Since you did not do renovations though, your property value should not go up. This is when it is time to protest the value.
That is where my company comes in. We look at all situations, the area, the condition of your home and surrounding homes and then we present your case to the appraisal district and fight hard to bring your “property value” as low as possible for property taxes. If I contest the valuation for you, the hoped for outcome is a reduction in your property taxes by reducing the value of your home. There is no fee for our services unless we are able to reduce your value and save you money on your property taxes.
Another issue to consider is that if you escrow your property taxes with your mortgage company each month, if your property value goes up they will be taking more escrow each month. If your property value goes down, you need to contact them to make sure they are not taking as much so that you have more money in your pocket each month.
There is no reason to not try to contest your value every year. You have nothing to lose and only extra money to gain in your pocket should I be successful.
Please contact me for further information on lowering your Property Taxes this year.
Evan Brauman Fetter