5 Property Tax Questions You Need to Ask

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Property taxes in Palm Beach County can be a confusing subject for new or first-time homebuyers. As Realtors, we can help answer most of your questions, but sometimes, if you have a more detailed or technical question, it should be proposed to your mortgage broker.

One of the advantages of hiring a mortgage broker is that they are independent from the lenders – which means that they work for you. They are accessible, and can answer your questions when you have them. That’s extremely valuable. In fact, hiring a mortgage broker is so important in our opinion, that we dedicated a whole post on why it pays to hire a mortgage broker.

But generally, here are the five basic questions (and answers!) you need to know about property taxes in Palm Beach County.

  • What is the assessed value of the property?

There are two values you need to know: market value and assessed value. Market value is what you home should sell for. Assessed value is what the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office says your home is worth. Note that assessed value is generally less than market value. If you buying a home, ask the seller’s agent to review a recent copy of the seller’s tax bill to know what a home was last assessed at.

  • How often are properties reassessed, and when was the last reassessment done?

In general, taxes jump most significantly when a property is reassessed. Reassessments happen when a home is sold, or when your lender requests one, such as while you’re in the process of re-financing.

  • Will the sale of the property trigger a tax increase?

The assessed value of the property may increase based on the amount you pay for the property. The longer the home sits with one owner, the more the taxes will probably rise. A home that sold three years ago will have an assessed value that is close to what will be assessed when it sells now, as opposed to a home that last sold 10 years ago.

  • Is the amount of taxes paid comparable to other properties in the area?

Yes. It should be, anyway. If you suspect it’s not, you can contact the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office, and file an appeal to have your home reassessed.

  • Does the current tax bill reflect any special exemptions that I might not qualify for?

Yes, it may. Exemptions are the homeowner’s responsibility, and often, they need to be applied for yearly. The most important exemption in Palm Beach County is of course the homestead exemption, which allows you an exemption of up to $50,000 off their assessed value.

If you have additional questions, definitely give us a call at 561-500-LIST (5478), or stop in to our office! We can also connect you with our network of mortgage brokers we use and trust, to help find someone who fits your needs.

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