If you have the opportunity, lowering the tax liability on your Melbourne rental property is well worth the effort. Studying your Melbourne property value assessment to determine whether it’s accurate is time well spent, regardless if you’re new to investing in rental property or a seasoned pro.
At Real Property Management Brevard we counsel all of our landlords to take the time and effort to do this because you might find that your assessment is extremely high, which once re-evaluated can lead to lower property taxes. There are numerous ways to ascertain whether your present property appraisal is correct.
How a Property Should be Assessed
Properties are generally assessed by a town or city’s assessor on a yearly basis. In most cases, the assessor checks the present status of your property and any enhancements made, and the present market conditions for same homes in your area; then they multiply that by the area’s level of assessment as ascertained by the municipality. If you own a multi-family building, the assessor will factor in the income actualized from the property over the past year minus maintenance costs into the valuation. The cost of replacing the home is also a consideration in determining its assessment.
If you open your annual property tax bill and nearly faint from shock at the figures, take some deep breaths and then carefully consider the options you have to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, however, is that you’ll have a deadline to question the assessment. Most municipalities will give you 30 to 60 days after you receive the assessment to challenge it.
How to Understand an Assessment
Look at what the assessment says about your property. You might discover that you’ve suddenly become the owner of a Melbourne property that is nothing like the one you actually own. For example, the assessment might mistakenly give your house four bedrooms when it only has three, or place your address in an affluent neighborhood adjacent to your actual location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was wrongly listed as a two-story house and charged double the actual square footage because the assessor viewed it from outside rather than doing a more detailed inspection.
The value of comparable properties in your neighborhood can tell you a lot about your own property’s assessment. If you are friends with your neighbors, you may be able to learn from their assessment. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to compare your property with four or five in your general location that have the same amount of square footage and the same property size.
Look into Exemptions
While you’re taking the time to make sure the valuation of the property is correct, also look into whether you’re receiving any exemptions to which you’re entitled. Some states and many municipalities offer breaks to owners who are senior citizens or veterans, homes located in certain areas, and a number of other exemptions. Your local tax assessor may be able to help you find any tax breaks to which you’re entitled.
If your first tax bill after you purchased your property shows that its tax assessment value increased by nearly 50 percent in one year, as happened to an owner in Georgia, you’ll want to ask for a review to help you understand any changes. Most tax assessors are willing to informally explain your assessment. If you’re not happy with the informal explanation, you can make a formal appeal. Property owners who have followed this route say they’ve been able to lower their assessments substantially.
When you work with Real Property Management Brevard we help you get the most out of your property and guide it to success. Would you like to know more? Schedule an appointment with Real Property Management Brevard for a free assessment of your property. For more information, contact us online or call us at 321-610-8022.