Lessening the tax liability on your Brookland rental property is absolutely worth the effort if you have the opportunity. Regardless of if you are new to rental property investment or a seasoned pro, studying your Brookland property value assessment to check its accuracy is time well spent.
At Real Property Management DC Metro, we advise all our landlords to take the time to do this because they could discover that the assessment is too high, which can lead to lower property taxes once re-evaluated. There are various ways to determine whether your current property assessment is right.
How a Property Should be Assessed
Properties are normally assessed yearly by a town or city’s assessor. In most cases, the assessor evaluates the current status of your property and any improvements performed and the current market conditions for similar homes in your area, and then they multiply that by the location’s level of assessment as determined by the municipality. If you own a multi-family building, the assessor will consider in the valuation the income obtained from the property over the past year minus maintenance costs. The cost of replacing the home is also considered in determining its assessment.
If you look at your annual property tax bill and nearly collapse from shock at the figures, take a few deep breaths and then carefully consider your options to lower the tax bill. One thing to consider, however, is that there is a deadline to dispute the assessment. Many municipalities will give you 30 to 60 days after you receive the assessment to challenge it.
How to Understand an Assessment
Look at what the assessment declares about your property. You could find that you’ve suddenly become the owner of Brookland property that is nothing like the one you own. For example, the assessment might erroneously give your house four bedrooms when it only has three or place your address in an upscale neighborhood adjacent to your real location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was wrongly listed as a two-story house and charged double the actual square footage because the assessor viewed it from outside rather than doing a more thorough inspection.
The value of similar properties in your neighborhood can say a lot about your own property’s assessment. If you are friends with your neighbors, you might be able to learn from their assessment. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to compare your property with four or five in your general vicinity that have the same amount of square footage and the same property size.
Look into Exemptions
While taking the time to make sure the valuation of the property is accurate, also check whether you’re receiving any exemptions to which you’re qualified. A lot of states and municipalities give breaks to owners who are senior citizens or veterans, homes located in specific areas, and various other exemptions. Your local tax assessor can help you find any tax breaks to which you’re qualified.
If your first tax bill after purchasing the property shows that its tax assessment value swelled by nearly 50 percent in one year, as what happened to an owner in Georgia, you’ll want to ask for a review to help you understand any changes. Most tax assessors are willing to informally clarify your assessment. If you’re not happy with the informal clarification, you can make a formal appeal. Property owners who have followed this route say they’ve been able to lower their assessments considerably.
When you work with Real Property Management DC Metro, we will help you get the most out of your property and lead it to success. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us online or call us at 202-269-0303 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.