Tag Archives: taxes

Reduce Your Boulder Real Estate Taxes

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

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Filed under Boulder luxury property, Boulder Luxury Ranches, boulder luxury real estate, boulder real estate, taxes

Fighting City Hall-Ways to fight Your Assessment

Posted by Michael Hughes    May 13, 2010

Many homeowners are challenging their property tax assessment to save money where they can. Many municipalities are trying to make up for shortfalls in revenues in their city or county. Truth be told some assessments are over –priced.  Often Tax assessment values are not usually for the actual time period, let me explain, in Colorado home owner taxes are paid in arrears. Arrears means in 2010 you are paying for your 2009 taxes.  The taxes must assess the value for when the taxes are being charged. This method can really be skewed if they are not using comparables for the actual time period of the tax assessment.

  • Find out how your county calculates home values for your house in Boulder
    (there is no consistent method; ask the county if they use nearby comparables during the same time period as the tax or are they using replacement value (which can be much higher).
  • Go online (or call me) or go to the county and pull the public records and make sure all the square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, buildings and acreage are accurate for your property. Check the zoning, this can hugely skew taxes especially on agricultural properties.
  • Compare your home to comparable homes of equal size and location, check to see what the tax is on those homes. It should be very close compared with your home. Build your evidence file and spreadsheet the properties, date sold, include square footage and all amenities and price paid per square foot. Also list the similarities and differences that may cause adjustment to price up or down.
  • Set up an appointment with your assessor once you have gathered all the evidence pointing to the belief that you are being over charged. Show the assessor your evidence and ask for an opinion. If the assessor agrees that the assessment may be too high you will most likely have an easy time of it. If the assessor thinks your tax is okay as is, be polite and move on to the appeal process.
  • Compile all your evidence and reasons why the tax being charged is too high. Put it in a simple to read letter with all your spreadsheets and evidence.
  • Hand deliver or send certified mail receipt requested with your appeal. While you wait for an answer on your appeal make sure you continue to pay your property taxes in full if you don’t  you may incur penalties and interest.

If you have questions regarding this article or are thinking you will Buy A House In Boulder please call or text me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO. Featured Listings

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Filed under Boulder County, lower living costs, taxes, Uncategorized