Thursday, January 29, 2009

So I too will blog...

Although by doing this I feel a bit like a follower, or at the very least certainly not a trend setter, I have decided to start a blog. Most of the real estate literature urges one to have a blog on your websites, citing much higher traffic draw. Will it work in turning me into a real estate mogul? One can dream I suppose.

Being almost forty, the word itself bothers me (although much less than when I first heard it). sounds like something out of a Lewis Carrol poem. But after hearing it a bit it kind of begins to sound normal. I suppose you get used to it. Blog, pod casts, texting, lmao--whatever it is in this day and age, we just have to roll with it I suppose...

So for my first relevant topic, I am going to discuss taxes. Real estate taxes in Sullivan County have always been a bone of contention with homeowners, both primary and second. At times the system can seem completely arbitrary, and accessors so far off base that it makes you scratch your head. It seems they try to make it seem more complex than it actually is, so that owners get confused, and assume that the accessor knows what he is doing, and give up.

1) My first piece of advice is never take what the accessor is saying as gospel. Call him or her and ask for an appointment to go see them. Most are very cordial (which does not mean they will necessarily adjust your assessment) but at least you will get an explanation as to why you are taxed the way you are.

2) Arm yourself with information. With technology at your fingertips these days, it is much easier to find out what you neighbor is paying. Get comparables, which is what the assessment system is based on. I offer free c.m.a.'s (comparative market analysis) for anyone who requests them. Just shoot me an e-mail.

3) Go to Grievance day. Most townships have them in May. Again e-mail me and I can get you the exact day for your township. It can't hurt. Local legend says that just for going to grievance day, the judge will take off ten percent.

4) If you are looking to buy, make sure the tax info you are given is current. Have your agent verify.

Recently I have had people who only wanted to look in Wayne County P.A. because of the taxes. Now there are some very nice country homes over the river, but P.A. taxes are starting to creep up.

1 comment:

  1. Good observations. My wife and I live in Hoboken and are weekenders at Damascus, across the river from Callicoon. We are always wondering what might spark re-assessment of our property. Perhaps we'll take your advise and ask to accompany the tax assessor. With the economy in free fall, every little town is going to be tempted to raise taxes. At least the anticipated mining operations that would have caused road damage to be covered by new funding seems to be on hold for now.