Reducing the tax obligation on your Marietta rental property is well worth the work if you have the opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you are new to investing in rental property, or a seasoned pro, examining your Marietta property value assessment to be sure whether it’s accurate is time well invested.
At Real Property Management East Cobb, we warn all of our landlords to take the time to do this because you might find that your assessment is too high, which once re-evaluated can lead to lower property taxes. There are many ways to find out whether your current property assessment is correct.
How a Property Should be Assessed
Properties are typically assessed by a town or city’s assessor every year. Generally, the assessor inspects the existing status of your property and any improvements and renovations made, and the current market conditions for same homes in your area; then they multiply that by the area’s level of assessment as determined by the municipality. If you own a multi-family building, the assessor will factor in the income made from the property over the past year minus maintenance costs into the valuation. The expense of replacing the home is also a factor in determining its assessment.
If you read your annual property tax bill and almost collapse from shock at the figures, take some deep breaths and then closely consider the choices you have to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, however, is that you’ll have a deadline to challenge the assessment. Most municipalities will give you 30 to 60 days after you receive the assessment to dispute 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 Marietta property that is completely unlike the one you actually own. For example, the assessment might wrongly give your house four bedrooms when it only has three, or locate your address in an expensive neighborhood near your actual location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was mistakenly listed as a two-story house and taxed double the actual square footage because the assessor inspected 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 know 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 already taking the time to make sure the appraisal of the property is correct, also see 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’ve bought 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 comprehend any changes. Most tax assessors are willing to informally explain your assessment. If you’re not satisfied with the informal explanation, you can make a formal appeal. Property owners who have followed this route say they’ve been able to reduce their assessments considerably.
When you work with Real Property Management East Cobb, we assist with daily management tasks so that you get the most out of your property and navigate it to success. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us online or call us at 770-622-5657 today.