If you’re ready to apply for a home loan, it’s essential to make sure your payments will still be affordable with property taxes included in the mix. These payments can be extremely burdensome, especially if you have an FHA mortgage and pay them on a monthly basis. However, with a little insight, you can drastically reduce your bill and make it that much easier come tax time.
Consider a Homeowner’s Exemption
In Cook County, many residents are eligible for what’s known as a Homeowner Exemption on their property taxes. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of this program and fail to take advantage of it. If you own one of the following, chances are you’ll be able to save between $250 to $2,000 per year:
- Single-family home
- Apartment building up to six units
The only other qualification is that you’ve occupied the property in question as of January 1. Once you apply successfully, the Assessor’s Office will automatically renew your exemption each year, allowing you to keep saving without any more work.
Appeal Your Property’s Assessed Value
Another method of paying less is to appeal the assessed value of your home. Less than five percent of people nationwide take the time to appeal their home’s value despite the fact that an estimated 30 to 60 percent of homes are over-assessed in value.
Look at Comparables
Often, the assessment will include comparable homes in your neighborhood. Check these to see how they really match up to yours. For example, if your home is valued at $300,000 and has two bedrooms, but your neighbor’s home has four bedrooms and is valued at $200,000, chances are there’s been an error in the calculation process.
Study Your Property Tax Card
Your property tax card contains all of the information the government has on your residence. It will include things like your lot size, number of rooms, or any renovations you’ve completed. Because the Assessor’s Office has so many properties to manage, mistakes can often be made. Always check to make sure your property is listed correctly in all aspects.
Meet the Deadline
The time of year you receive your assessment notice varies depending on the township you live in. However, keep in mind that you typically have about a month upon receiving it to make a case. Research the deadlines for your specific area and make sure you send in your appeal before then.
Limit Add-ons and Curb Appeal
Quite obviously, the more you upgrade your home, the higher your property assessment and taxes will rise. Since new structures such as pools, decks, or sheds all have to be approved by your local building departments, there’s no way to sneakily add-on to your home without the assessor finding out.
However, if you must add on, try to limit the curb appeal of your home. The assessor often bases their evaluation based on the aesthetical outward appearance of the property, so less beautiful properties will be assessed for less.
Looking for more ways to save on your property taxes? Give mortgage brokers A and N Mortgage a call today at 773-305-5626. As a Chicago mortgage broker, we can help you better understand Illinois regulations so you can keep your wallet happy.