Thursday, August 25, 2016

10 Best Places to Live on Long Island

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

On the search for a new home? Whether you're looking to buy your first home, move to a new home, or are seeking a vacation home, there's no better place to look than Long Island. Between the beaches, the entertainment and the food alone, Long Island has just about everything you need (more reasons on why you should buy a house on Long Island here). 

Long Island | Living on Long Island | P.T.R.C. Inc.

Now onto the next big question - where on Long Island should you live? Niche.com recently released their 2016 Best Places to Live in New York list (which they calculate based on factors such as quality of local schools, housing trends, crime rates and employment statistics), and these Long Island communities landed a spot:

Receiving an A+ overall Niche grade, Kensington is number 1 on the 2016 Best Places to Live in New York list. Located in Nassau County with a population of about 1,116 residents, home values here are high and education levels and income levels have also been reported to be on the higher end of things.

University Gardens is number 2 on Niche.com's list, also receiving an A+ overall grade. This is a suburb in New York (found in Nassau County) and has about 4,059 residents. On this part of the island, home values are high, rent tends to be more expensive, and unemployment levels are low.

Number 4 on the list is Brookville, NY, which is also located in Nassau County. The schools in this town are definitely something to note - it has an average graduation rate of 96.8% (compared to the national average of 92.2%).

Nassau County's Plandome was ranked number 6 on the top 100 list for New York. 92.5% of people own in Plandome (7.5% rent), and it has a population of 1,430 residents. Similar to those above, this area of the island sees high home values, low unemployment levels, and residents who have high income levels.

With a larger population of 4,495 residents, Searingtown also excels in schools, education rate, and employment. Most residents own in this area as well (a whopping 98.5%), and the schools boast an average graduation rate of 97%.

A suburb in Nassau County, Roslyn Estates has a population of 1,194 residents, and, like those above, received an A+ overall Niche grade. Home values are high here (the median home value is $1,000,001) and the median rent is on the higher side too, coming in at $2,001. 

Number 15 on Niche's list is East Hills, which is located in Nassau County. This has one of the highest populations of the list so far, reporting 7,025 residents. Most people who choose to settle here own their homes (98.3%), and home values have also been reported to be rather high.

We were super excited to see this one make the list, as this is where our business is located! Jericho is number 21 on Niche's list, also boasting an A+ overall grade. With a population of 13,445 residents, Jericho homes have a median value of $667,600, and the town has a 94.8% average graduation rate.

Representing Suffolk County is Lloyd Harbor, number 22 on Niche's list. Lloyd Harbor has a population of 3,684 residents, and has very high home values along with very low unemployment levels. 

Located in Nassau County, Herricks has a population of 4,309 residents and is filled with mostly homeowners - 96.2% people own, while just 3.8% people rent. The median home value in this neighborhood is $568,700, and the median rent is $2,001.

In addition to these, some other Long Island communities that made Niche's list were Muttontown, Sands Point, Old Westbury, Munsey Park, Oyster Bay Cove, Laurel Hollow, Syosset and Garden City!

P.T.R.C. Inc. has been specializing in reducing Long Island property taxes since 1990. For more information about the services offered, call (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.

Monday, August 22, 2016

3 Simple Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

There's always something to paid off - credit cards, student loans, car payments - but one of the biggest financial responsibilities we'll ever take on is a mortgage. And though we are given a certain timeframe to pay back this particular loan, whether it be 10 years, 15 years, or 30 years, we at P.T.R.C. Inc. know that many homeowners have a goal to relieve themselves of this responsibility faster than that.

P.T.R.C. Inc. | Property Taxes | Mortgage Tips

If you're hoping to eliminate your monthly mortgage payment quickly, here are a few strategies you can try:

Send more than what is due each month.
Should you have a little extra room in your budget, consider making a payment that is larger than what is due. The benefit here is that any extra you send typically goes to the principal balance, rather than just the interest, AND you'll probably wind up saving yourself up to what could be thousands of dollars in future accrued interest too.

Make extra payments whenever possible.
Expecting a large tax refund next year? Know that you'll be getting a large holiday bonus? Any time that you receive additional income, be smart about how you use it - one of the smartest things you can do is make additional mortgage payments. Even if you only do so once or twice a year, sending an extra payment now reduces the number of payments you'll need to make in the future.

Refinance with a loan that is shorter-term.
A 30 year mortgage may have made the most sense for you financially when you first purchased your home, but now that you are more established in your career and potentially making more money, you may find that you can afford to make higher payments each month. In this case, seek a new loan option that will have your mortgage paid off in less time (say 15 years for example) - you may even be able to find a new loan that has a lower interest rate too.

Since your mortgage is likely to be the biggest expense you have as a homeowner, the sooner you can eliminate that payment, the better! 

In addition to the mortgage, though, we also know that property taxes can be quite the expense, and the good news here is that although you won't be able to eliminate your property taxes forever by making extra payments or refinancing anything, you may be able to at least lower your payment through a tax grievance!

Here at P.T.R.C. Inc., we have been working to help Long Island homeowners lower their property taxes since 1990, and you could be next! To learn more about the process, please visit www.ptrc.com or call (516) or (631) 484-0654 today.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What Causes Property Taxes to Rise?

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

P.T.R.C. Inc. | Property Taxes | Long Island Property Taxes

Long Island homeowners - have you ever seen an increase in your property tax bill and not wonder why there was a change? We didn't think so - we'd be curious too! Although there are plenty of homeowner expenses that are fixed, meaning that they won't change, property taxes aren't one of them. That said, you'll at least want to know what could cause a potential increase! Here are a few answers for you:

Completely remodeling or other home improvements.
Remodeling entire rooms in your home or even making minor updates will most likely result in your home's assessment going up, and since your home's assessment is part of the property tax equation, it could result in higher taxes too.

An increase in property value throughout the neighborhood.
If the property values in your neighborhood are going up, chances are yours will too. Again, since this is considered in the property tax equation, you may experience higher property taxes the next time yours are due as a result.

It becomes an economic necessity.
Property taxes are a major source of funding for local governments, so if your county or city is having budget troubles, raising property taxes could be their solution to make up the money that they need.

School districts also rely heavily on property taxes for funding, and if expenses become too much that they require additional help from the local government, again, raising property taxes for homeowners may be their solution.

Although it can be unavoidable at times, there is something you can do if you feel that your property taxes are too high - file a tax grievance! Here at P.T.R.C. Inc., we work with homeowners in both Nassau and Suffolk County to try and find savings on their property taxes - you could be next!

When the application period opens (check our website for updates on this), all you have to do is submit a signed application to us, and then we'll take care of the rest.

For more information about how we can help, please give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Budget-Friendly Ideas to Increase the Value of Your Home

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

P.T.R.C. Inc. | Property Tax Reduction Consultants | Long Island Homes

Regardless of whether you're looking to sell your home soon or not, it's always a good time to make improvements that can increase its value. However, you've probably heard that the best improvements you can make are those done in the bathroom and kitchen, and we know that a complete remodel can be pretty expensive.

But what if we told you that you could increase the value of your home using approaches that are a bit more budget-friendly? It's true! Keep reading to see what we're talking about.

Add a fresh coat of paint.
Cosmetic improvements are some of the easiest and most cost-effective to consider when working on your home. Rooms that are freshly painted with colors that are trending make your home appear to be much more updated - just remember to choose trending colors that would appeal to everyone, such as neutrals.

Update your landscaping.
Installing major landscape lighting or a brand new patio will certainly add value, but there are some other easier solutions that don't cost as much - plants and flowers! It's so important for your home to have great curb appeal, and adding some more color with plants and flowers can do the trick.

Replace your fixtures and appliances.
How efficient are the fixtures and appliances in your home? If you still have ceiling fans and shower heads from when you first moved in, it's probably time for an update. To start, you can look for things like low-flow shower heads. Then, if you have extra room in your budget, you can inquire about energy-efficient appliances - even if you don't update your entire kitchen, having energy-efficient appliances throughout could still make a big difference.

Clean.
This might sound obvious, but a clean home is going to be a lot more attractive to anyone who sees it - guests or potential buyers alike. So, for example, if you have an unfinished basement that's filled with clutter, clean up your belongings and do a thorough sweep to eliminate dirt and dust. Should you decide to sell, people will be much more impressed if they can actually visualize potential.

See? Although many home improvement projects are quite the expense, there are plenty of opportunities for you to increase your home's value without going over budget - all you have to do is be strategic and look for small opportunities that produce large results!

P.T.R.C. Inc. has been specializing in reducing Long Island property taxes since 1990. For more information about the services offered, call (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

How Is a Home's Assessed Value Determined?

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Home Assessment | Property Value | P.T.R.C. Inc.

You don't have to be too familiar with property taxes to know about a home and property's assessed value (though it helps, as it's a part of the property tax equation) - if you've bought or looked for a home before, then you've probably heard the term. But even if you have heard it and used it in conversation, do you know how it's determined? No worries if not, today we're here to explain it.

Determining a Home's Assessed Value

Look at the comps.
Assessors begin their assessment of a home by taking a look at comps, which are similar properties located nearby one another in the neighborhood. In doing so, they take a look at recent sales to see what the market value is of those similar homes to get an idea of where the neighborhood stands.

Look at the home's features.
According to the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), the size of your home and its layout have a lot to do with its value - things such as square footage, garages, number of rooms, and pools are all important here. If you've ever heard of someone's property value going up due a home improvement, such as a kitchen or bath remodel, this is why - assessors look for things like this!

Consider the economy.
Assessors also take the local economy into consideration when determining what a property is worth. Let's take a look at an example - if the local economy is strong, there may be more job opportunity, which makes that particular neighborhood a more desirable place to live. In this case, the assessed value of a home is likely higher, since there is more demand.

Consider infrastructure.
Nearby infrastructure is also important - if a new highway is being built, the surrounding neighborhood could see increases in property values since transportation and getting from point A to point B is a bit easier.

So why is your property's assessment so important? This is where property taxes come in - your property's assessment is one of the factors considered by local governments and school districts to figure out your property taxes. The official equation for calculating property taxes is your property's assessment X the tax rates for school districts, municipalities, courts and special districts. Thus, if your property's assessment changes at any time, your property taxes could go up or down.

Speaking of property taxes, do you have questions about what you're paying for your Long Island home? If so, contact the experts here at P.T.R.C. Inc.! We've ben specializing in reducing Long Island property taxes since 1990 and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

To get in touch with a member of our team, please call (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.

Monday, August 8, 2016

4 Myths About Property Taxes

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Whether you recently became a homeowner for the first time or are moving onto owning your second home, there's one thing that should never be overlooked - property taxes. What have you been told about property taxes before? Between word of mouth and the massive amounts of information out there in the world today, there could be a chance that some of what you've heard isn't necessarily 100% true. That said, today, we're here to clear up some of the most common myths we've found to ensure that the information you have is right - take a look below.

Myth #1: Assessments are the only reason property taxes can be high.

Yes, your home's assessment does contribute to your property tax bill, but it's not the only factor that goes into it - property taxes are determined by multiplying the property's assessment by the tax rates for school districts, counties, special districts and municipalities, so you need to consider what your current tax rates are too. More information on this is available here.

Myth #2: An assessor determines property taxes.

An assessor's job is to figure out what your property's market value is, not what property taxes will be. While the assessment is a part of the property tax equation, the assessor's primary responsibility is to figure that number out - property tax rates are determined elsewhere.

Myth #3: Tax rates can help you figure out if you should expect an increase or decrease in property taxes.

Since tax rates are just one factor that goes into determining property taxes, you can't assume that your property taxes will go up or down just because the tax rate does. For example, even if the tax rate decreases, you could still see an increase in your property taxes if your home's assessment has gone up.

Myth #4: There is nothing you can do about your property taxes.

If you feel that you're paying too much in property taxes, you may file a tax grievance in an attempt to find some savings. Tax grievances are formal complaints against the assessed value of your property, and filing for one allows your assessment to be reviewed by the assessor to determine if there is any room for a reduction.

Live on Long Island? If so and you think that you're paying more than necessary in property taxes, the P.T.R.C. Inc. team can help! Each year during the application period, we accept applications from both Nassau and Suffolk County homeowners and then take care of the grievance process on their behalf - we only charge for successful cases too!

To learn more about what we do and how we can help, please give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654 or send us an email at info@ptrc.com.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tips for Cutting Monthly Homeowner Expenses

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Property Taxes | Homeowner Tips | P.T.R.C. Inc.
Even if you're feeing comfortable with your current budget, it never hurts to try and cut costs where you can - after all, any extra money in your pocket at the end of the month is a major plus! Specifically focusing on the costs that are associated with being a homeowner, there are a ton of ways that you can save, and for the most part, they only require a few simple changes - here's what you can try:
  1. Research service packages. Have internet, phone and cable service through different providers? You may be able to lower your monthly bill by bundling your services together! Try researching a few different companies to see what packages and deals they are currently offering, as some may offer the same services at a lower price.
  2. Be smart with your home's energy. Did you know that when you leave appliances and electronics plugged in even if they aren't turned on, you're still drawing power? No matter how small the electronic or appliance may seem, start making it a priority to unplug all items that aren't being used.
  3. Always grocery shop with a list. When you go food shopping without a list of items you absolutely need, it can be more tempting to throw just about anything in your cart. However, all of those items that look good at the time could add a significant amount to your bill! To prevent this, go through your fridge and cabinets before you leave and write down what you must buy - then stick to that list.
  4. Monitor your water use. Are you guilty of doing laundry or washing dishes when you don't have a full load of dirty clothes/dishes? If so, adjust your habits and make sure that you only turn these appliances on when it's time to. Similarly, make an effort to limit your time in the shower and turn off the water when doing things such as brushing your teeth!
Our fifth tip for cutting your homeowner expenses is to file a tax grievance! If you are one of the many Long Islanders who feels that you are paying too much in property tax, you might be - we can help! When the application period is open for Nassau and Suffolk County (check our website for updates), you can submit an application to us and we'll take care of the grievance process on your behalf to try and find you some savings.

For more information about the tax grievance process, click here or give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

3 Quick Tips for Lowering Your Property Tax Bill

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Being a homeowner certainly isn't cheap - there are a ton of expenses that come with it! The good news, however, is that there are ways to minimize expenses and reduce costs, so long as you have the right tricks up your sleeve.

Focusing on one of the bigger expenses, today we're here to share some tips on how you can work on lowering your property tax bill - take a look at our recommendations below.

P.T.R.C. Inc. | Property Tax Reduction Consultants | Property Tax Tips

1. Get your property tax card.
Property tax cards are something that a lot of people overlook, but if you want to ensure that you're paying your fair share in property taxes, you shouldn't! Essentially, your property tax card is filled with information such as your home's square footage, the property size, and features such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms - this (and more) is all used to determine your home's assessed value.

What we're getting at here is that there could be mistakes on your property tax card that have resulted in an inaccurate assessment and potentially higher property taxes. So, you'll want to review yours carefully to check for errors - if any are present, you may be a candidate for some savings.

2. Research the neighborhood.
Do you know how much other homes in your neighborhood have been assessed at? If not, you should. The reason for this is that there is always a chance that you have neighbors whose homes are valued for less than yours despite having more square footage or additional features. By discovering information like this, you can raise questions about your property's value to see if it has been assessed wrong - if it has been, again, you may be a candidate for some savings.

3. Apply for a tax grievance. 
When applications are being accepted (check our website regularly as we'll announce when this is), there's no reason why you shouldn't file a tax grievance - after all, if you don't try, you'll never know! Here at P.T.R.C. Inc., we'll carry out the grievance process on your behalf and represent you in hearings to determine if you are, in fact, eligible for a reduction.

Have more questions about how the tax grievance process works? Or, are you interested in learning more about how we can help with your efforts to lower your property taxes? To speak with one of our consultants, please give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654, or email us at info@ptrc.com today.