Property Taxes… the elephant in the room

by | Mar 13, 2018 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Property Taxes…the elephant in the room
Home Buyer & Seller education & classes

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:

Saturday, March 17th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR 503 & 112th Ave/Gher Road)

Monday, March 26th, from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, April 14th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….

….we also have Home SELLER classes available too…link on left on website
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner

Happy Monday after Daylight Savings time… aka… National Napping Day (never mind.. it is Tuesday.  I took a nap instead yesterday)

Ok… surprise… we are going off topic *gasp*, but I am going to take a moment to talk about the one thing that has people up in arms right now…  at least, all over Facebook…  Property Taxes (insert scare music here).   As you know from previous posts, a mortgage payment is one payment for you, but then it is broke down into payments within that payment. There’s your actual loan amount with interest.  Your interest rate doesn’t change (unless you refinance), so this amount is always the same, but over the course of your home ownership you pay less on interest and more towards principal.  You pay the most in interest upfront.  Most folks also have some mortgage insurance and this is the cost to secure the loan….it protects the lender.  Then there is the amount that goes into your ‘escrow’ account.  From your escrow account is paid your homeowners/hazard insurance (flood insurance if you have it will be paid from here too), and the amount that goes toward paying your property taxes.  The amount needed in your escrow account to pay these items can change, and as it does, your monthly mortgage payment will change too.

Property tax payment dates are weird…. they’re due on April 1 (pay period from January 1 thru June 30), and again on October 1 (pay period from July 1 thru December 31).  They can be paid in full on April 1, or split with 1/2 due on April 1, and half due on October 1.  I’ve seen escrow statements with either option paid by the bank.

Every year your escrow company will assess your escrow account to make sure you have enough in there, or that you have enough projected to come in via your monthly payments, to pay your insurance and taxes.  If you have too much (in a declining market), you will receive a check with the option to mail it back and your payments become XX amount, or to keep the check and your payments will be XX amount….or… (and this is the case for the past couple of years now), it is projected by your escrow company that you will NOT have enough and you have one of two options … you can send a check to the escrow company and your payment will be XX, or you can increase your monthly payments to XXX to cover the difference.

Every year the Clark County Assessors assess the value of the home for taxes.  As your home value increases, so do your property taxes.  One thing to note is that they will use information that is available based on sales average from a year or so ago for that area.  This is not current information.  Tax assessed value is not market value… I will repeat… TAX ASSESSED VALUE IS NOT MARKET VALUE.  We are in an escalating market… (aka sellers market), and home values are still going up.  This is why tax assessed value is not market value because the market is always moving and changing…ebbing and flowing… and your taxes are the same for that period.

“For every pro…there is a con, and for every con…there is a pro” (I will give a gift card to the person who can tell me what song that line is from) ….while this is a fun song from one of my favorite Disney movies (hint, hint) it is true nonetheless.  As your market value increases, so do your property taxes, and as the market declines and values go down, so will your taxes.  As your market value increases, so does the amount you need to insure your home against catastrophe and calamity, so you might want to be prepared for that.

It really is a case of, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’….  everyone loves it when their home values go up, but no one likes it when their property taxes do.  Everyone hates it when they see their home values go down…but they like it when their taxes do.  Sigh…. can’t win for losing, right?

Be prepared though… as home values increased significantly again last year (2017), taxes will go up again next year.  The higher values jump in a year… so do your property taxes.

I’m always available to answer your questions, so feel free to reach out to me anytime.  🙂

……and don’t forget to email me your photos for the Client Appreciation 2018 Calendar!

Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.

As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  All home buying adventures should START with the Home Buyer Education Classes. Don’t talk to lenders/agents until after the classes so you know the questions to ask, what all the paperwork means, and fully understand the process.  As always…the classes are Free and Non-Promotional.  We are not there to promote ourselves, or any ‘special’ agenda like some classes, and while we certainly hope you will call Chris or I, or both of us, to help with your home buying adventure, that certainly isn’t the main focus of the classes.  If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard… or if you would like me to assist you with your home adventure… please call, email, or text.  We are here to help.

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

.   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…
Upcoming Topics: What happens after an offer is made?

Last Week:  When is a pre-approval a pre-approval, and when isn’t it?

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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