Lessening the tax liability on your Waldorf rental property is worth the effort if you have the opportunity. Regardless if you are new to rental property investment or a seasoned pro, studying your Waldorf Maryland property value assessment to determine whether it’s correct is time well spent.
At Real Property Management Gold, we advise all of our landlords to take the time to do this because you may discover that your assessment is excessive, which can lead to fewer 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 usually assessed by a town or city’s assessor annually. In most cases, the assessor reviews the current status of your property and any improvements done and the current market conditions for similar homes in your area, and then they multiply that by the area’s level of assessment as decided by the municipality. If you own a multi-family building, the assessor will include the income earned from the property over the past year minus maintenance costs into the valuation. The cost of replacing the home is also considered in determining its assessment.
If you open your yearly property tax bill and almost collapse from shock at the figures, take some deep breaths and then carefully think of your options to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, however, is that there is a deadline to dispute the assessment. Most municipalities will offer you 30 to 60 days after you receive the assessment to challenge it.
How to Understand an Assessment
Look at what the assessment says about your property. You might find that you’ve suddenly become the owner of Waldorf Maryland property that is nothing like the one you own. For example, the assessment might mistakenly give your house four bedrooms when it only has three, or place your address in an upscale neighborhood adjacent to your actual location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was incorrectly 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 detailed inspection.
The value of similar properties in your neighborhood can tell you a lot about your own property’s assessment. If you are friends with your neighbors, you may be able to learn from their assessment. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to compare your property with four or five in your general location that have the same amount of square footage and the same property size.
Look into Exemptions
While you’re taking the time to ensure the valuation of the property is correct, also check whether you’re receiving any exemptions to which you’re entitled. Certain states and many municipalities offer breaks to a senior citizen or veterans, homes located in certain areas, and various other exemptions. Your local tax assessor could help you find any tax breaks to which you’re entitled.
If the first tax bill after you purchased your property shows that its tax assessment value increased by almost 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 unofficially explain your assessment. If you’re not happy with the unofficial explanation, 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 Gold, we help you get the most out of your property and navigate it to success. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us online or call us at 301-392-2172 today.