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Monday, January 6, 2014

Are Your Property Taxes Too High?

Are Your Property Taxes Too High?

Hi this is John Williams with RE/MAX and welcome to my video blog! This time of year I always get asked, “John, how do I challenge or appeal my property tax assessment?” Well, it depends on the state and county. Before deciding to go through the process of appealing your tax assessment, start with comparing your tax assessment to what you think your home is worth. If you believe the assessment is correct, then there is no need to appeal your assessment. If your assessment is lower then what think your home is worth, consider yourself lucky because you are making smaller payments.

However, if your assessment is higher than what you think your home is worth, you must follow the process laid out by each jurisdiction.

For Maryland, appeals may be filed on three occasions:
1.    Upon receipt from an assessment notice
2.    60 days from when you purchased the property if you purchased between January 1st and June 30th
3.    All other occasions, file by January 1st

District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.):
1.    You must file your appeal within 30 days of the of your assessment notice or by April 1st
2.    New home owners have the right to file within 45 days of the property’s transfer or by April 1, whichever is later

Commonwealth of Virginia
1.    You first must request the local county board do an analysis
2.    After this is completed, you must file with the local county board by the deadline date specified for each county.
3.    If you are not happy with your results of the county board, you can appeal to the Board of Equalization of Real Estate Assessments (B.O.E.)

For each county, here is a brief description of the process:

Fairfax County
1.    You must file with the county by April 5th
2.    You must file your appeals with the B.O.E. by June 3rd

Arlington County:
1.    You must file with the county by March 1.

Falls Church:
1.    You must file with the county by March 15th
2.    You must File with BOE by July 5th

1.    You must request review by March 15th
2.    You must file Appeal with the county by June 1st

1.    If you are not satisfied with the findings of the county board or the county appeal review is not completed on time, make sure you file with the B.O.E. by the specified deadline to preserve your right for an appeal in case you do not like the results of the county board.

I realize this seems complicated, so I have included links to each jurisdiction below. If you need anything, you can contact me at (301) 588-9777 or via email. Thanks for watching the video and please share it to help homeowners if they wish to challenge their assessment. Thanks and have a great day!

What Did You See in 2013?

What Did You See in 2013?

Around this time of year I am usually asked, “John what do you think will happen in the 2014 Real Estate market of Metro DC area? Remember, this includes Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. Before I answer that, let's first recap 2013. As you probably have read and heard, 2013 was an exciting year in real estate. We had a healthy increase in home appreciation in the first couple of quarters and since then, it has tapered off. The increase occurred mostly because of low interest rates and low inventory due to banks holding off from flooding the market with foreclosures.

The low inventory and low interest rates fueled the market and we saw many multiple offer scenarios with less than a three month supply of homes in most market areas in the Washington DC Metro Area. The multiple offers created competition and subsequently, prices rose by an average of 10 - 13% depending on the area. In the 4th quarter, interest rates increased by about 1% and the government shut down tapered down the market. However, because of these factors the inventory has risen slightly to a more stable level.

2014 will be just as exciting. We will see more stabilization in the market, interest rates will rise 1% and we’re expecting approximately 5% appreciation in home values. If you’re looking to buy or sell, it’s time to engage the market place.  If you’re a potential buyer, this is a great time to enter the market because homes are still affordable and interest rates are still reasonable. Also if you purchase now, you probably won’t be in competition with other buyers.

As for sellers, there are motivated buyers in the market looking for homes just like yours and buyers in the market place today have either lost out on other buying opportunities, have to buy now or do not want to settle for a less expensive house when interest rates increase. Thus, the buyers in the marketplace today are serious buyers and not just tires kickers.

If you or anyone else has any real estate needs, please feel free to reach out to me by phone or email. Thanks and I look forward to our conversation!