1.What is the assessed value of the property?Note that assessed value is generally less than market value.
Ask to see a recent copy of the seller’s tax bill to help you determine this information.
2. How often are properties reassessed, and when was the last reassessment done?In general, taxes jump most significantly when a property is reassessed.
3. 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. And in some areas, such as California, taxes may be frozen until resale.
4. Is the amount of taxes paid comparable to other properties in the area?
If not, it might be possible to appeal the tax assessment and lower the rate.
5. Does the current tax bill reflect any special exemptions that I might not qualify for?
For example, many tax districts offer reductions to those 65 or over.
Mortgage rates dos and don’ts
Unless you are financially able to purchase a property outright, securing a mortgage is the only way to
achieve home ownership. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to a mortgage.
1. Pay your bills on time and cut down on any debt. Credit scores are crucial. Your credit score will determine if you are able to get a loan and your interest rate.
2. Save now for a down payment. It’s no secret that the more you are able to put down, the less you have to borrow. However, it is important to note that it may make more sense to pay off high interest debt first. In other words, pay off your credit card debt and settle for less of a down payment because your mortgage interest rate should be less on the property loan.
3.Shop lenders. Compare interest rates and closing costs, such as application fees and appraisals. Learn about the different types of mortgages before meeting with lenders.
1. Don’t make any large purchases or career changes right before the closing. Your lender will recheck your employment status and credit profile again shortly before the closing.
2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, not just pre-qualified. This will expedite the home buying process and give you negotiating strength and credibility. Sellers will sometimes accept lower offers from qualified buyers, who can show they can close the deal.
3. Don’t get in over your head. Borrow what you can afford, not what the lender is willing to lend. Scrutinize your budget and factor in property taxes, utilities and maintenance.