When it comes to property taxes, no one knows them better than the residents of New Jersey. While 80% of American homeowners pay less than $1,750 in property taxes each year, New Jerseyans pay more than four times that amount.
Looking for ways to minimize the cost? Here are five strategies that can help.
Request and study your property tax card
Visit your town hall to view or receive a copy of your tax card. It will have information about your home, the size of the lot, improvements, and any special features. Study the information and look for discrepancies. Mistakes are common. If you find any, the town must compensate you.
Know your neighbors
Knowing what your neighbors pay in property tax can help you reduce your own. For example, if your neighbor has a similar layout, improvements, and lot size, but pays less, you want to find out why. You could also engage a real estate agent who’s familiar with your neighborhood to get a sense of your home’s appraised value on the market. While a home appraisal is different (that’s what you’d possibly get if you sold the home), it’s still a useful piece of information because it compares your home to others.
Challenge your tax assessment
If you have reason to believe the tax assessment is too high, you can file a tax appeal. You don’t have to accept that annual postcard in the mail from the town tax assessor. Gather the information from comparables to make the case.
Walk your home with the assessor
If you get a reassessment, don’t turn an assessor loose to determine the value of your home. Instead, take them on a tour, explaining the age and value of appliances, fixtures, and other key features of the home. This information will result in a more accurate assessment.
Add-ons might be out
You might want to build a new deck, put in a swimming pool, or add a new room to your home. However, before you start that renovation, keep in mind that any permanent structures will increase your property tax burden. Do some research to see if the increase in property tax over time is worth it. Would it make more sense to buy a new home instead?
Property taxes are an important factor when buying or selling a home. BHHS Fox & Roach can help you understand their impact, so you make the best decisions for your family’s financial future. Contact our experienced real estate professionals to get trusted guidance.