When you have the chance, invest every effort that you can to lowering the tax liability on your Ventura rental property. It is also always time well spent to invest it studying your Ventura property value assessment to determine whether it’s accurate and it’s not important if you’re a new or seasoned real estate property investor.
At Real Property Management Ventura County, we counsel all of our landlords to take the time and effort to do this because you might uncover that your assessment is way too high, which once reassessed can lead to lower property taxes. There are many other different ways to determine whether your current property assessment is correct or not.
How a Property Should be Assessed
Properties are typically assessed by a town or city’s assessor once every year. Normally, the assessor reviews the current condition of your property and any other enhancements made, and the current market status for similar 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 or apartment, the assessor will factor in the income you earned from the property in total over the past year minus maintenance costs into the valuation. The cost of replacing the home is also being considered in determining its assessment.
If you see your annual property tax bill and almost pass out from shock at the charges, keep calm and then carefully note all the options you have to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, however, is that there’s a deadline to dispute the assessment. Most municipalities will give you 30 to 60 days after you receive the assessment to challenge it, so you have that much time to prepare.
How to Understand an Assessment
Look very carefully at what the assessment says about your property. You might uncover that you’ve suddenly become the owner of Ventura property that is nothing at all like the one you actually own. For example, the appraisal might mistakenly give your house four bedrooms when it only has three, or locate your home address in a classy neighborhood adjacent to your actual location. In a certain case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was incorrectly listed as a two-story house and charged twice the actual square footage because the assessor just saw it from outside rather than doing a more detailed inspection inside and out.
The value of comparable properties in your area can tell you a lot about your own property’s assessment. If you are friends with your neighbors, then it may be all right for you to ask them and you may be able to learn from their assessment. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to compare your property with four or five other properties in your general location that have the same amount of square footage and the same property size as yours.
Look into Exemptions
In the process of making sure the valuation of the property is correct, also look into whether there are any exemptions to which you’re entitled and that you have received. 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 advise you in finding any tax breaks to which you’re entitled.
If your first tax bill after you have taken over your property shows that its tax assessment value went as high as nearly 50 percent in one year, as what happened to an owner in Georgia, you’ll want to ask for a review to help explain any changes. Most tax assessors are willing to informally discuss with you your assessment. If you’re not confident with the informal explanation, you can submit a formal appeal. Property owners who have done this route say they’ve been able to lower their assessments to a great degree.
When you work with Real Property Management Ventura County, we can help you get the most out of your property and work it to success. To know and learn more about the services we offer, contact us online or call us at 805-387-3682 today.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.