Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Through a Tax Appeal; How To Request Property Taxes Reassessment

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Now that the holidays are over, what comes next?  It is the beginning of tax season.  And property taxes are no stranger to this time of year.  As expected given the tumultuous past years we have collectively faced after the real estate bubble burst a while back, many homeowners want to make sure they are paying the right amount of taxes on their property.  If you are unsure as to whether your property taxes accurately reflect the current value of your home, you can request the County Board to reassess the current taxes you are paying.

Even though it may sound like a lot of time between now and April 1st, the deadline to submit your application can creep up very quickly, leaving you in the dark with not enough time to prepare.  Here are some valuable tips on how to prepare for a tax appeal request along with some important links that will provide further information on the process.

For Tax Appeal Success, You Need Evidence

Until and unless you provide the board with valuable, viable information that supports your claim to have your home’s value reassessed it likely that you will not be too successful.  The key is providing evidence demonstrating that other, like kind properties in your area have recently sold for amounts that are far less than your current property value.

In the real estate industry agents and other professionals often deal with “comparable sales” reports.  These are detailed reports that derive what the value of a home should be based on other similar homes that have the same profile.  This profile could be amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, type of structure, type of garage, location, school district – a number of factors.  Realtors aptly perform a comparable sales analysis since they are well versed in the area and have a vested interest in understanding their neighborhoods’ property values. 

Realtors know and understand the ins and outs of such procedures as applying for a reassessment of property taxes.  Both agents are attorneys, for different reasons, offer valuable insight and experience into the process. Important details like the fact that comparable sales must include sales that took place in the year preceding the current tax year and only through October 1st, can be missed if not managed by a professional.  For this reason, it is always a good idea to have that professional backing when you are filing for a tax appeal. 

How Can a Professional Help With Filing a Tax Appeal?

If you have decided to pursue a tax appeal, keep in mind that just like filing federal and state income taxes, the closer you get to the deadline the longer it can ultimately take for processing. 
Here is a list of important and useful links that will guide you through many aspects of the tax appeal process.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be glad to take this on for you!

LA County

Orange County

San Bernardino County

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Insider Tips on How to Win the Competitive Edge When Buying a Home

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With our all-time low interest rates and prices so low it’s no wonder that buyers are lining up trying to take advantage of the great deals out there right now.  But if you are one of those buyers that are finding it tough to deal with the competition, what can you do better to make sure you get the home of your dreams?  There are a few things that many buyers, under the guidance of their savvy agents, are doing to stand apart from the rest.  Here we’ve shared them with you to make your real estate buying endeavors both fruitful and as seamless as possible!

Be Prepared In Advance and Know What to Expect

Too often when prospective homeowners walk into a new property, they do not take into consideration the all-important fact of how much they can actually afford.  It’s one thing to have a ballpark figure in mind but it’s another to have an actual preapproval letter from your bank.  Buyers that have a preapproval are taken far more seriously by sellers than the buyers that express an interest in the home but then have to start from square one.

Know what the market holds when you go to make an offer on a property? Many times a buyer will not have studied the area’s market trends and as a result ends up suffering the consequences.  For example, in a strong market where there are good homes at desirable prices, buyers find themselves competing against others in what ends up to be bidding wars.  Being prepared in advance and being willing to offer more than the asking price is sometimes what is necessary to get you that dream home.  Keep in mind that eventually, the market will experience an upswing so you will see some return on your investment.  By focusing on what you are getting now with the best of what the market has to offer, you will end up with a winning transaction.

Adding a Personal Touch To Appeal to Sellers

The transaction of buying or selling a house can be very impersonal at times but it does not have to be that way.  One of the best ways that highly successful real estate agents succeed in helping their clients get their dream properties is to add a personal touch – especially when it comes to communication with the sellers.  An example is sending a letter introducing the family that is vying for the property, with details about them, why they love the house, or what makes them the perfect fit for the home.  When sellers come across this type of thing, it gives them a warm glimpse into the people that could be moving into their home – a home that they are undoubtedly very attached to and would like to see go to only the perfect new owners.  Another thing that works well is complimenting the sellers on how they have maintained the home or on other aspects of the house you find very appealing.
At the end of the day, if the house is meant for you it will likely become yours but not without you and your agent doing the best possible to stand out from the rest.  For a customized consultation on how we can help you buy the perfect home, we invite you to visit us soon!