Thursday, October 17, 2019

Checklist For Your Home in the Fall

The days are getting shorter and the air is getting colder, which means it’s time to prep our homes for the winter. This includes taking care of any potential weak trees and making repairs to the exteriors of your house. Don’t let winter storms catch you off guard, start early and check these projects off your fall bucket list:

Take Care of Your Trees

Fall and winter can bring about some rough storms on Long Island. If you have any weak or dead trees on your lawn, they could potentially fall over. Keep an eye out for signs of a dying tree, such as obvious decaying and branches falling constantly. Fallen trees can cause serious damage to your property.

Clean Out Your Gutters

While autumn leaves are certainly beautiful, they’re not so pretty when they build up in your gutters. Too many leaves can result in your gutters clogging, which will cause water will fill your water collection channel Without working gutters, you may experience damage to your roof.

Make Exterior Repairs

You may have forgotten to make little repairs here and there to the house over time. It’s important to work on these spots before the weather gets too harsh. Look for any damage on the sides, roof or foundation. Once winter does hit, you’ll be stuck in a tough (and cold) spot if those aren’t dealt with.

Seal Any Gaps

During the colder weather, outside critters love to find easy ways to get inside where it’s warm. Seal any small or large holes leading to the outside to keep these pests out. Use hardware cloth or caulk to seal items in place. Check around your doors, windows and attic vents for access points.

Stock up on Winter Supplies

Long Island has had its fair share of harsh winters. Make sure you’re prepared by getting your winter supplies now rather than later. This includes sturdy shovels, scrapers for your car and emergency kits. Have one kit for your house and another for your car to stay safe!

Check For Winter Safety

Make sure your driveway and stairs outside your home are in good condition. The winter weather can make it dangerous to walk around on damaged walkways. Also, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and get some salt for when it gets icier outside!

At P.T.R.C., Inc., we’ve made it our mission to ensure our clients pay the lowest amount in property tax as required by law. Since 1990, we’ve been recognized as fair and honest, and our clients benefit from the close working relationships we’ve established with the assessing units over the years.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Common Confusions Regarding Property Taxes

“I love paying taxes” — said no one ever. Homeowners may feel hesitant about paying their property taxes,  especially when it feels as if they’re in the dark about exactly how much they’re paying and why. Without further ado, allow us to break down some of the confusion:

What Are Property Taxes?

If you enjoy your town’s local park and well-paved roads, chances are you’re seeing your property taxes in action. Property taxes are collected and used by local governments in order to provide public services to your community (remember that really nice park you love to walk your dog in?).

In fact, a large sum of the money collected from property taxes also goes towards funding local police and fire departments, as well as public school districts.

Is Paying Property Taxes Mandatory?

If you want to keep your home and stay in the government's good graces, then the answer is yes! Every homeowner has to pay property taxes. Even if you own other types of property (such as farmland or rental property), you’ll have to pay property taxes.

How Do I Pay Them?

If you’re making payments on your mortgage monthly, chances are you’re already paying your property taxes as well. A typical mortgage payment usually includes principal, interest, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes.

How Do I Find Out How Much I Owe in Property Taxes?

The amount you’ll pay in property taxes is based on two things:

The Local Property Tax Rate

The amount you pay in taxes depends on what your local government’s property tax rate is. The tax rate for a condo in New York City, for example, will differ from a house in Suffolk County.

Tax rates aren’t as permanent as you may think. Property reassessments can change how much you’ll pay — so be sure to stay up to date and prevent letting a higher tax bill take you by surprise.

Assessed Value of Your Property

This is not the same as the price you paid for your home or the amount you can sell it for. These prices are considered the ‘appraised’ or ‘market’ value of your home.

The assessed value of your home is typically lower than the market value and is set by your local government’s property assessor. This is a good thing because you’ll actually pay less in taxes based on the lower value of your home.

Am I Paying Too Much?

To some, paying any taxes at all is too much. However, how do you know if you’re paying too much in property taxes, and is that backyard actually worth the extra money?

Property taxes can be a budget booster, and with more property comes higher property taxes. The easiest way to decide if you can afford your potential new home’s property taxes is to compare the tax rate to your household’s take-home pay. Your monthly mortgage payment, which, remember, includes your property taxes, should be no more than 25% of your household’s take-home pay.

At P.T.R.C., Inc., we’ve made it our mission to ensure our clients pay the lowest amount in property tax as required by law. Since 1990, we’ve been recognized as fair and honest, and our clients benefit from the close working relationships we’ve established with the assessing units over the years.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Celebrate Fall on Long Island

‘Tis the season for farms, hayrides, apple cider donuts, and more! Mark your calendars for these local events and celebrate autumn all season long on Long Island Amityville Apple Festival Oct. 6, 10 am.-4 pm, Amityville Apple lovers unite at this delicious event! Indulge in pies and pastries made from fresh-picked New York apples. You can also grab some fresh apples for yourself and the family. Accompanied by vendors and live music, it’s the perfect event to satisfy your festive needs. Montauk Fall Family Festival Oct. 12, 13, 11 am-5 pm, Montauk This year is the 38th annual Montauk Fall Family Festival, and you don’t want to miss out on this classic! Get crafty at the beautiful sand art and street painting, or get competitive at the traditional clam-chowder contest! Complete with a 30-horse carousel, it’s an event you’ll want to experience! Fall Harvest Festival & Street Fair Oct. 19, 11 am-6 pm, Babylon Babylon’s 27th annual street fair promises to excite those of all ages! From face painting to live music from performing stages, there’s something for the whole family. Local bakeries and restaurants will come together to offer delicious food options. With both petting zoos and pony rides options, you’ll want to spend the whole day there. Rain date is Saturday, October 26th. Oysterfest Oct. 19, 20, 11 am-6 .m, Oyster Bay Oysterfest is the second-largest annual event on Long Island. It includes live entertainment, pirate shows, amusement rides, and their iconic oyster eating and shucking contest. If you’re not the biggest fan of oysters, don’t worry! They also have a wide array of food vendors and beer options. Have a very happy fall, from all of us here at P.T.R.C. Inc! At P.T.R.C., Inc., we’ve made it our mission to ensure our clients pay the lowest amount in property tax as required by law. Since 1990, we’ve been recognized as fair and honest, and our clients benefit from the close working relationships we’ve established with the assessing units over the years

Thursday, September 19, 2019

DIY Fall Home Projects

Looking for a quick weekend project? From repainting your front door to creating a fall floral display, consider one of these DIY ideas:

Repaint Your Front Door

The original color of your front door might not last long, especially while it’s bracing different kinds of weather. If you find that your front door is looking a little dull, spruce it up with a repaint! It’s a nice way to make the entryway pop.

Fall Flower Display

Just because summer is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have some flower decor! There are plenty of flowers that bloom nicely in the fall, take for example chrysanthemums. They come in shades of red, orange and yellow, perfect for the new season.

Clean Up Your Home’s Exterior

Alongside fall comes an abundance of leaves covering every street corner. A great way to keep your home looking fresh is to clean out these leaves as often as possible! Power wash your windows and keep the lawn nicely raked. You can even apply a fresh coat of paint to any outer areas that seem chipped or damaged.

New Outdoor Lighting

Since evening comes around faster in the fall, be prepared to spruce up the outdoor glow of your home! Your choice of lighting can illuminate how your house looks at night, while also keeping you and your family safe from slips, falls, or intruders. You can get decorative, fall-specific lights to shine on your front porch or choose lanterns or LED floodlights for a more sophisticated look.

Fall Decorations

Many craft stores offer supplies for a DIY decoration project. You can make both indoor and outdoor decor to liven up your home. From simple autumn-themed wreaths to homemade candle holders, the options are endless.

At P.T.R.C., Inc., we’ve made it our mission to ensure our clients pay the lowest amount in property tax as required by law. Since 1990, we’ve been recognized as fair and honest, and our clients benefit from the close working relationships we’ve established with the assessing units over the years.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

5 Money Mistakes to Avoid

To help you stay on track with your financial planning habits, avoid some of these common money mistakes:

1. Lack of a Budget

It’s important to budget your money so that you can create a spending plan. With a budget in place, you can put aside money for important things and long term goals — plus, it’ll prevent you from spending all your money at once!

2. Avoidable Fees

From overdraft fees to card replacement fees, there are many little things we can avoid having to constantly pay for. Don’t spend more than you have in your account and certainly keep close watch of your credit card. Also, simple mistakes like reading a street sign incorrectly or not paying the parking meter can add up over time!

3. Not Having an Emergency Fund 

It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live, anyone can be affected by some kind of emergency. It could be anything from a medical issue to a sudden loss of employment, or even a natural disaster. If you aren’t prepared for an unforeseen situation, you could be facing some kind of debt. Avoid any stress and plan ahead for your safety and security.

4. Retirement Savings Delay

Retirement is something we all plan for in the long run, but some may plan a little later than others. The sooner you start saving in your retirement plan, the more your money will grow over time. Learn more about your retirement account options here»

5. Overpaying in Property Taxes

With your taxes increasing every year, it’s important to know what you, as a homeowner, can do. The first step is filing a Property Tax Grievance Application to assess and determine if your home is overvalued for tax purposes. The second step is leaving the rest to us!

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you:

Friday, September 13, 2019

5 Common Home Related Superstitions


You may be wary of black cats and broken mirrors, but have you heard of some of these property-related superstitions?

In honor of September’s Friday the 13th, here are some property-related superstitions you might want to avoid — just in case.

1. Taking Your Old Broom or Mop to Your New Home

Old brooms or mops are said to hold negative energy. Since these items are used to clean filthy floors, it’s believed they retain “dirty” energy from your home. Taking these items to your new property means you’re also taking the dirt from your old place. You’re making a fresh start so get a new broom and a new mop for the occasion!

2. Choosing a Saturday or Friday to Make Your Move

Native American lore says Friday and Saturday are the unluckiest days for making your move.Thursday is actually said to be the luckiest day instead! But moving earlier in the week will mean dealing with less traffic, plus some moving truck rental companies may offer lower rates.

3. Lucky and Unlucky Numbers

Everyone has their very own lucky or unlucky number. Traditional Chinese culture believes the number eight holds a lucky background. On the other hand, some within the culture believe that the number four holds unlucky powers. Consider avoiding the number four while house searching and keep lucky number eight in mind!

4. Burying a Statue of St. Joseph in The Garden

If you’re looking to sell your house some recommend burying a statue of St Joseph in your garden. It may sound strange but this superstition’s backstory says it will help you sell your property in no time. Just don’t forget to dig him back up after it’s sold! You can use the statue for decoration afterwards.

5. Don’t Walk Under a Ladder

While you’re moving into a new place you may still have some construction going on around the house. There may be the occasional ladder here and there. But, based off of a very popular superstition, you should not walk underneath one. If you do accidentally walk under one just walk back under it the opposite way to try and undo the bad luck!

Do you believe any of these superstitions? If so make sure to tell us about it on our Facebook Page! Have a lucky Friday the 13th!

At P.T.R.C., Inc., we’ve made it our mission to ensure our clients pay the lowest amount in property tax as required by law. Since 1990, we’ve been recognized as fair and honest, and our clients benefit from the close working relationships we’ve established with the assessing units over the years.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

6 Quick Ways to Make Extra Money

property taxes long island

Looking for ways to bring in extra cash each month? You’re not alone! In addition to grieving your property taxes, consider one of the below options:

1. House Sitting and Dog Sitting

Most people are uneasy about leaving their pets and homes unattended. If you have any neighbors or co-workers looking to go on vacation who don’t have anyone to watch their house, be that person for them! While they’re out of town, you can be the person they trust to check the mail, water plants, take care of their pets and haul the trash out. If there is no one in your neighborhood range looking for these services you can take a look at TrustedHousesitters and Rover. Both of these websites make it easy to switch between finding pet sitting jobs and house sitting jobs. 

2. Taking Online Surveys and Joining Focus Groups

Companies are eager to pay you for your opinion and in many cases, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home! Take a look at sites like SwagBucks or InboxDollars for online surveys. And for those who don’t mind the commute to the city, check out Focus Pointe Global's Focus Groups for in-person opportunities.

3. Freelancing

If you are a writer, designer, photographer or programmer, you’re in luck! Consider offering your services to the masses, by freelancing. You’ll be able to choose how much or how little you’d like to work and set your pricing. Websites like UpWork or FlexJobs can help you find new opportunities.

4. Have a Garage Sale

Chances are that you have an abundance of stuff lying around your home. Try collecting some of your unused or old items and selling them for some extra cash! Promote your garage sale with an exciting flyer or through Craigslist to spread the word.

5. Sell Clothes Online

Perhaps you spent a little bit too much at your local department store's sale and have a lot of new or used clothes just sitting in the back of your closet. If so, check out sites such as Poshmark and Ebay to sell these clothing items. These sites allow you to personalize your prices and chat with anyone interested in what you’re selling!

6. Reduce Your Property Taxes 

Even though this may not be the quickest way to make money, it will still help you in the long run. And when you work with us, you won’t need to lift a finger! We’ll handle everything for you to help reduce your property taxes. With P.T.R.C., Inc., you’ll be in good hands!

Contact us today with any questions and find us in our new office in Plainview!