Owners of Boulder real estate, especially those with Boulder luxury real estate, know how expensive property taxes can be. While the housing market may have softened considerably, many homeowners are discovering that they are still being assessed property taxes that reflect housing values at the time of peak real estate prices in 2005 and 2006.
Assessments are only done every three to four years and this can result in homeowners paying much higher taxes than they should. Real estate assessment is also more of an art than a science and the correct assessment depends in large part on the assessor being knowledgeable and having a good handle on the local real estate market. Certain parts of the country are more expensive to live in than others and Boulder, Colorado is a prime example of this.
The pristine air and tranquil nature, as well as the elevation, attract many people who are interested in purchasing Boulder real estate. The area is a paradise for sports enthusiasts and those that love nature. Prices of Boulder luxury real estate are high because this is such an exclusive part of the country to live in.
The city regularly ranks among the top cities in the United States to live in terms of health, education, art, quality of life and well being. Unfortunately, the privilege of living in Boulder also carries high property valuations, which means high property tax bills. Property taxes have risen across the country. The National Taxpayers Union, which is a non-profit advocacy group, has an expectation that property tax bills will increase by at least 5 percent this year. Every year, the average property tax of homes has gone up by about 7-8 percent, since 2001.
Things homeowners can do to reduce property taxes:
This increase has left a lot of property owners frustrated and wondering what they can do to reduce the cost of their property tax bills. Short of letting their home go completely to ruin and thereby decreasing the value of their property, many people are wondering what they can legitimately do to save money. Across the country homeowners have filed property tax appeals in record numbers this year. Appeals can be lodged at any time, but to affect tax bills this year the appeals have to be filed by a specific date.
To have a convincing case it is a good idea to start with the fact that the assessment given to the home no longer reflects market value. Months or years can elapse between property assessments, so discrepancies are bound to show up. It is possible to have a successful appeal if it can be proven, with documentation to back up the appeal, that the assessment is unfair and no longer valid.
There are a few other things that people who own Boulder real estate or Boulder luxury real estate can do to lower property valuations. The easiest thing to do is to find evidence that the local assessor made an error when evaluating the property.
Many communities rely completely on drive-by evaluations, so it is not far-fetched to assume mistakes could have been made. The assessor estimates the value according to the features that other homes in the area possess. It is possible that the assessor made an assumption that the home contains a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, or a fully finished basement, when this is not the case at all. Homeowners may also have success with their case if they can show that the property they own, such as condo units or luxury real estate, has not kept up with the pace of the local market.
Homeowners should compare their home assessment with other similar properties in the area. If there are at least five properties that carry lower valuations, the odds of successfully filing a property tax appeal are increased. It may also be a good idea to hire a private appraiser to properly value the property. There may be mitigating circumstances such as a damaged roof or leaking basement that a drive-by inspection could not possibly reveal.
It is also possible to hire professionals to file the property tax appeal, although they will charge money for it and this can cut into property tax savings. Anyone unhappy with their property tax bill should file an appeal as soon as possible because local governments limit refunds to the prior year`s tax bill. Anyone interested in financial products may wish to visit http://www.simplyfinance.co.uk/calculators/mortgage-cost-calculator.html Simply Finance for more information.
Michael is a longtime resident of Boulder and has been in real estate since the mid 90′s and with Sotheby’s International Realty since their inception in Boulder County and along the front range. About Me If you have questions regarding this article or would like information about Boulder real estate or Boulder Luxury Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes