You are not alone if you are still reeling from the sticker shock of your recent year’s Property Appraisal Notice. A few years ago, the majority of Houstonians' started to notice that the era of the appraisal districts underestimating your home value was rapidly changing. In 2016 we started to see the local real estate market drastically come to a halt, however the appraisal districts property values did not follow suit. In the last couple years Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) and Fort Bend County Appraisal District (FBCAD) came under hot water for not lowering the home evaluations to correlate with the local real estate market. Although the 2017 real estate market has started out in positive territory (CLICK HERE to read the latest MLS Market Report), this maybe the year you FINALLY win at protesting your property taxes! I’m not a property tax protest expert, but I can send you comparables to use and outline the steps to protest your property taxes. There are also a slew of companies in the area that will protest your taxes for you (with a percentage taken out for their fee). Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a company to do it for you, it is important to understand the process so you can make an informed decision. In this Blog post, I am going to focus on protesting your taxes on your own using the appraisal districts online system (informal hearing) and making your case in front of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB) in Harris and Fort Bend County.
Submit a written Notice of Protest form by May 31st. Detailed instructions of how to file online can be found in the resources section below. You will need to identify the property being appealed and the basis for your appeal. Pay close attention to the boxes you check off stating the reason for your protest. Your choices will affect the kind of evidence you can submit down the road. If you are appealing because the value is too high, I strongly recommend appealing on both “Assessed value is over market value” and “Value is unequal compared with other properties.” Checking both boxes will allow you to present the widest types of evidence. If the square footage and/or property information is incorrect, be sure to check “Property description is incorrect.” If the property information is incorrect and you feel the assessed value is too high, check all boxes that relate.
Important Information About the Protest ProcessNotice of Protest – Instructions for Filing Online:Fort Bend County Appraisal DistrictHarris County Appraisal District How to Present Your Case at a ARB Hearing: A Homeowner’s GuideThe Texas Comptroller’s Website – Tax InformationProperty Tax Payer Remedies Frequently Asked Questions
The Houston real estate market continues it's "2017 winning streak" as home sales, prices and inventory keep rising! The Houston luxury market ($750,000 and above) enjoyed it's fifth consecutive month of sales gains, however the bulk of the activity was in the $250,000 to $499,999 price range. The surge of new listings that hit that market in March was also crucial as it ensures Houston will maintain positive momentum in the coming months!
The Houston real estate market enjoyed across the board gains compared to March 2016. At the end of March 2017, month end pending sales increased 16.7% and total active listings jumped up almost 10%! CLICK HERE to read the full MLS Report for March 2017.
It is time to get your tax ‘ducks’ in a row. Home sweet home owner tax breaks!
There are significant tax breaks that come with the joys and woes of home ownership. If you're among the new property owners, congratulations. “You've just taken another step up the American-dream ladder and are a homeowner.” Along with the joy of painting, plumbing and yard work, you now have some new tax breaks. Other homeowners can enjoy tax breaks even when they sell their former abodes.
The bad news, your taxes will likely get more complicated if you want to ensure you are taking full tax advantage of your homeowner tax considerations. As a homeowner you can most likely wave goodbye to the 1040-EZ form and start to familiarize yourself with itemizing the deductions on Schedule A. Once you get it down, it is worth it. Welcome to 'Homeowner Adulting'
Are you taking advantage of your standard Homeowner tax deductions?
CLICK HERE to read more from HouseLogic about taking advantage of the homeowner tax deductions you are entitled to, what to know to itemize your tax deductions, tax mistakes that will cost you, how to get your PMI tax deduction and MORE.
For detailed information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ visit www.irs.gov. Please consult your CPA or a tax professional for further advisement on your Homeowner Tax Deductions.
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