One aspect of home value that buyers and sellers tend to ignore is the property tax bill. It can actually cause huge problems when it comes time to move on.

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In this episode of “Keeping in Tune With the Market,” we’re taking a closer look at property taxes and how they affect home value. We decided on this topic after receiving a great question from Gary, which went like this:

“How do property taxes affect Tampa home values when buying or selling?”

To illustrate our point, we’d like to tell you a true story. This occurred recently with two different homeowners who decided to list their properties. We’ll call them Homeowner One and Homeowner Two. Both of these homeowners owned 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes with garages and backyards. However, these homes ended up being very different in the eyes of buyers. Why? They had different property taxes, with Homeowner One’s property having an assessed value that was 25% lower.

How did one homeowner’s property taxes get so much higher? There were a number of factors. Homeowner One had a lower tax rate and millage rate than Homeowner Two because they were in different districts. Homeowner One also kept track of any improvements or updates she made to the home. She was also able to protest her assessment because she had the numbers to back up her arguments. She also made sure to register for a homestead exemption, which further lowered her taxes.

“PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PROPERTY TAXES.”

Homeowner Two was located in a different district where property taxes and the millage rate were a little higher and there was nothing she could have done about that. However, she could have monitored the improvements she made and made sure she was being correctly assessed. After taking a closer look, we found that she was being assessed for a fireplace despite the fact she didn’t have one. She didn’t apply for her homestead exemption either.

What happened when these homes were listed? As you can probably guess, Homeowner One had a quick, profitable sale while Homeowner Two had to languish on the market and eventually reduce the price to get the property sold. The bottom line is that property taxes make a huge difference whether you are buying or selling and you want to be as informed about them as possible if you are a homeowner looking to make a move.

Thanks again to Gary for the question. We’ll be sending you a $25 Panera gift card. Remember, if we answer one of your questions on our videos, we’ll send you a gift card as well.

If you have any other real estate comments, questions, or concerns about the Tampa market in the meantime, give us a call or send us an email.