Today is April 15th. The day the majority of us associate with as the day our income tax returns are due. I am not going to write about income taxes. Although I do have an accounting degree, I am not qualified to give advice on the many changes in the income tax laws. What I am qualified to write about is Spring Texas real estate and how you can protest your Spring Texas real estate taxes.
If you haven’t received your 2015 property valuation from the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) yet, you will soon. As HCAD is projecting to have them in the mail during the month of April.
If the value of your Spring Texas home decreased in 2015, don’t jump to the conclusion that you don’t need to protest the value. The value HCAD placed on your home for real estate tax purposes may be more than market value or may be more than the assessed value of your neighbors. If either one of these is the situation, you will want to protest your real estate taxes.
How to dispute your Spring Texas real estate taxes:
1. Determine if your property’s tax valuation accurately reflects the market value of your home as of January 1, 2015.
How do you determine if your value is accurate?
Contact a Spring Texas Real Estate Agent and ask her to provide you with the sales price of homes in your neighborhood. If homes are selling for more than the market value of your home, don’t dispute your valuation based on market value. But if
But before you decide not to dispute your valuation, determine if your property value is unequal compared with other properties. According to O’Conner & Associates, a property tax advisor, the majority of successful property tax disputes are those based upon unequal assessment.
How do you determine if your property’s tax value has been unequaled assessed? Go to HCAD and look up the tax assessed value of your neighbor’s home. Is their home similar to yours but their home is being assessed at a lower property valuation? If the answer is yes, then protest the valuation of your Spring Texas home based upon unequal assessment.
2. Determine if you want to dispute the value yourself or if you want to solicit the help of a property tax advisor.
3. If you decide to dispute the property valuation yourself, you can file your protest online at the Harris County Appraisal District’s website. HCAD will notify you of the date and time your protest has been scheduled. On the day of your appointment, you should arrive on time, be armed with data to present that supports your valuation, and be friendly to the assessor.
4. If you decide to solicit the help of a property tax advisor, you can contact either O’Conner & Associates or Bettencourt Tax Advisors. O’Conner & Associates and Bettencourt both require you to sign a service agreement.
If O’Conner & Associates (www.cutmytaxes.com) is successful in reducing your property tax valuation, they charge you 50% of the tax savings. For example, if your property’s tax valuation is $150,000 and O’Conner & Associates was successful in reducing your property’s tax valuation to $140,000 their fee is $10,000 * your tax rate. If your tax rate is 3.0%, their fee would be $10,000 * 3.0% *50% equaling $150.00.
Bettencourt Tax Advisors (www.paulbettencourt.com) is a property tax consultant firm formed by Paul Bettencourt. Paul Bettencourt was the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector for many years before resigning in 2008. Their firm’s fee is 40% of the tax savings. If they are unsuccessful in reducing your real estate taxes, they will charge you their minimum fee of $75.00
You have until May 31st or 30 days after the date your property tax notice was mailed whichever was later to protest your property tax valuation. If you decide to dispute your property tax valuation, Good Luck and remember you never get anything unless you try.
Jill Wente was our realtor when we recently sold our home in Spring, TX. Jill's name was frequently seen... read moreJill Wente was our realtor when we recently sold our home in Spring, TX. Jill's name was frequently seen on for sale signs in our neighborhood and my wife decided that her research said Jill was who we should use.We met with Jill about one month before we were ready to list the property and Jill was very willing to speak with us and go through what she felt were the appropriate things that a home owner should be doing. She also had multiple home sales in the area and told us where she thought we should price our home. In addition Jill went through the entire home and gave us instructions on what needed to be done in order to make our home the most attractive. Before the home was put on the market, with a "coming soon" sign in the front yard, we had showing and offers. After the initial open house, we had 4 offers and selected one. The offers were at asking price or above. Unfortunately, the people who made the original offer we accepted, were not able to get their financing, but this didn't stop Jill. We kept the earnest money and relisted and immediately had 3 new listings, including the original family who opted out. After several discussions, we agreed to offer the home to the original family again, but included at Jill's recommendation very high earnest money requirements which the family accepted. The purchase went through and we set closing, moving out of our home to a new home near Austin, TX. Unfortunately during the move out, a leak developed in the laundry room and Jill found this. She immediately called us and we left everything in her capable hands as we were out of town. She contacted a plumber, had the pipe repaired, contacted a remediation company to dry the house, and another contractor to repaint the damaged areas. Jill also delayed the closing in order to get everything done. Jill was able to take a horrible experience and make everything right. She is the best realtor we have used and we have had at least 8 moves using 15 different realtors in the past. read less