Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Home Buying Myths You Have to Stop Believing

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

Finally feeling ready to take on the responsibility of being a homeowner? If you've decided to move on from renting or are looking to move out of the house you grew up in, let us remind you that not everything you hear or read will be accurate. That said, it's super important to really do your research before making any major decisions!

To help you out, today we're debunking some of the most common myths that home buyers believe - don't fall into these traps!

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Myth #1: Always go with a 30 year mortgage - it's the best option.
Sure your monthly payments are going to be lower when you opt for a 30 year mortgage, but choosing a loan with a longer lifespan can just result in you paying back more in the long run. While 30 year mortgages certainly aren't bad and are often chosen by homeowners, if you really want to be smart with your money and have the funds to take on a larger monthly payment, consider all options before making a decision.

Myth #2: You HAVE to put down 20% on a house.
Putting 20% down on a home will help you avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance), but there's no rule that says you MUST put down this much. In fact, many lenders will offer loans when you put as little as 5% down - it's you who just has to be prepared for the additional cost of PMI. Additionally, you can always see if you qualify for a government-backed loan that could only require 3.5% down.

Myth #3: The asking price is always non-negotiable.
If you don't ask, the answer will always be no. While some sellers will be less willing to negotiate than others, keep in mind that the amount you offer doesn't always have to be an exact match to the asking price. Especially if your home inspection brings back concerns, there's no reason why you can't try to come up with a better deal.

Myth #4: School districts aren't important if you don't have kids.
School districts always matter, even if you don't have kids currently and aren't planning to in the future - particularly for re-sale. If this is not going to be your forever home, you have to remember that future buyers could have kids or have plans to have kids, so you can bet that they'll be looking for a home in a neighborhood with great schools.

Myth #5: As long as you have enough for your down payment, you're good.
We wish this were the case, but it most definitely is not! In addition to your down payment, there are going to be closing costs that you may have to cover (unless the seller is super accommodating and takes care of them for you). Additionally, you should expect to pay taxes and fees for inspections, insurance and more.

Something else important that we want all homebuyers to remember is that the property taxes on a home's listing are typically a summary for the current year. When homes are sold assessed values tend to change, and since assessed values are considered when it comes to property taxes, there's a chance that YOUR property taxes will be different once you live in the home.

If you'll be moving into a home on Long Island, take a close look at your first property tax bill - if you suspect that you're paying too much, it's time to file for a tax grievance.

For more information about tax grievances and how our company can help, please call (516)/(631) 484-0654 or email

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Places You Must Visit on Long Island at Least Once

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Long Island is a place like no other, and even if you've lived here for years, we bet there are still some hot spots you haven't checked out. On the other hand, if you haven't lived here for years or will just be visiting soon, then you have even more places to start looking into!

Below, learn a few of the attractions that we think make Long Island as great as it is, and if you haven't been to one or more yet, find some time in your schedule to get to them at least once when you can.

Sagamore Hill
Home to United States President, Theodore Roosevelt, Sagamore Hill is filled with such rich history that even people who aren't history buffs will love it. During your visit you can take a tour the home that Teddy Roosevelt lived in from 1885 until 1919, stroll along the paths and nature trails, and even host a picnic outdoors! 

Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum
Open 7 days a week from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving, promoting and interpreting the culture of Sag Harbor. Within the museum are collections of historical objects that have to do with the village's whaling history, as well as various other contemporary exhibits and events that also reflect the village's culture.

Nassau County Museum of Art
Art lover or not, you'll be amazed by all of the incredible works of art that are found the Nassau County Museum of Art! This museum has been ranked among some of the nation's largest, most important suburban art museums and is just a short ways away from New York City. While exhibitions do rotate, there is a permanent collection of more than 500 art pieces available for viewing throughout the year as well as a sculpture park for you to walk through.

Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium
Located in Centerport, New York, the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium offers a ton to do - there's the planetarium itself, the mansion and the museum exhibits! Regardless of whether you take a guided tour, view one of the planetarium's shows or check out an exhibit, there's plenty to experience here and is well worth the trip!

Montauk Point State Park
It may be all the way out at the end of the island, but you'll be glad you traveled to it as soon as you get there. Here you can fish, hike, surf, wind surf, go paddle boarding and even hunt! The park is great for children too and is equipped with playground and picnic tables for groups who want to take a seat and have a bite. And of course, don't forget to check out the lighthouse while you're there!

Looking for more? Here are some additional attractions and activities, courtesy of USA Today!

P.T.R.C. Inc. has been helping Long Island homeowners reduce their property taxes since 1990. For information about how to file a tax grievance or how P.T.R.C. Inc. can help, please call (516)/(631) 484-0654 or email

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving on Long Island

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

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Thanksgiving is just one week away, and even if you have plans to have friends and family over for a Thanksgiving feast, there are still so many other fun things you can do on Long Island to celebrate. With that said, if you're looking for ways to enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend right here in town, we've got you covered:

What: 41st Annual Port Washington Thanksgiving Day 5 Mile Run (Turkey Trot)
Where: Manorhaven Park, Manorhaven Boulevard, Port Washington 11050
When: Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 8:30 AM
Details: Join community members on Thanksgiving morning and participate in a 5 mile run that benefits the Community Chest of Port Washington! This organization is committed to improving the lives of Port Washington residents, and by taking part in this run, you can contribute to their efforts!

What: Garden City's 2016 Turkey Trot
Where: St. Paul's School, 285 Stewart Avenue, Garden City 11530
When: Thursday, November 24, 2016, starting at 8:30 AM
Details: For everyone in Nassau County, the Garden City Turkey Trot features a fun run, a 5 mile race and a challenger division race, and all proceeds will directly benefit The Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Inn, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These events are scheduled to be held rain or shine, and pricing varies depending on the event you'd like to participate in.

What: Make Room for the Turkey Hike
Where: Caumsett State Park
When: Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 8:30 AM
Details: If you'd prefer to walk rather than run, then consider spending Thanksgiving morning participating in a 6 mile hike! The route will be hilly and of moderate intensity, and it will certainly help you burn some calories to prepare you for your Thanksgiving feast!

What: Westbrook to Connetquot Hike
Where: Westbrook Sports Complex
When: Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 10:30 AM
Details: After you've had time to digest from your Thanksgiving feast, grab your friends and family and participate in the Westbrook to Connetquot Hike! The hike will begin at Westbrook Sports Complex and will be a total of 4 miles long.

Looking for some more Long Island fun? Here you'll find additional events, as well as Thanksgiving dinners you can check out if you'd prefer to eat out!

All of us here at P.T.R.C. Inc. would like to wish you and your family a very, very happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for all of the homeowners who have put their trust in us to help with their property taxes and are looking forward to another successful tax grievance season!

P.T.R.C. Inc. has been specializing in reducing property taxes for Long Island homeowners since 1990. For more information or to download an application, please visit

Monday, November 14, 2016

Nassau County Homeowners: Submit Your Application Today!

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

We're only about a month and a half away from the new year, and that means that the deadline for Nassau County homeowners to submit their grievance application is really just around the corner. While March 1st, 2017 seems like lightyears away, especially with so many holiday happenings to tend to before that, we cannot stress enough how important it is for homeowners to get their applications in not just on the deadline, but well before.

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For those of you who are not familiar with the grievance process, in Nassau County, it can take anywhere from 18-24 months from start to finish. Although your main role in the grievance process is simply submitting an application, there's a lot more that takes place afterwards that can take quite a bit of time - let's break it down for you:

After we receive your application for your Nassau County home, we will represent you before the Assessment Review Commission (ARC). If they decide you are eligible for a reduction, we will accept, but if not, we will proceed to Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR).

SCAR is the only way to obtain a reduction if we are denied at the board level, but the great news is that we have been very successful at this step! At this point an index number will need to be purchased to guarantee that your case will be heard - we'll take care of this for you. Once this is complete, the Supreme Court will schedule a hearing, but this is where a lot of time is eaten up - this part of the process can take up to several months since so many SCAR appeals are being filed at once.

When the time comes for your hearing, our team will appear on your behalf and present all of the evidence we've accumulated in an attempt to find you some savings!

While we cannot guarantee reductions, we've handled over 230,000 assessment challenges and have secured millions of dollars in refunds and reductions for our clients, so you know that you're in great hands when you choose to work with P.T.R.C. Inc.! You can find properties where we've saved near you here, and should your case not be successful this time around, we will not charge a fee - that said, you really have nothing to lose by submitting an application!

If you're ready to get started, visit our website to access the Nassau County applications. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us by calling (516)/(631) 484-0654 or send an email to

Friday, November 11, 2016

Reasons Why Your Property Taxes Keep Rising

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

As a homeowner you'll have both fixed and variable expenses - fixed meaning they'll stay the same month after month/year after year, and variable meaning they can change. And while you may assume that your larger expenses, such as your mortgage and your taxes, will stay the same throughout your time in your house, your property taxes (unfortunately) are something that can continue to change.

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

Now we know what you're thinking - why is it that property taxes can keep rising every year? Truth is, there are a lot of factors that go into determining how much you pay in property taxes, and if those factors change, your property taxes will naturally change too. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons:
  1. You've made home improvements. Many people complete home improvement projects to increase the value of their home, but this in turn causes property taxes to rise too. That's because making changes will directly effect the outcome of your next property assessment, and property assessments are a part of the property tax equation!
  2. Your government depends on it. Property taxes are a huge source of government funding, so if your county or city finds itself in need, raising your property taxes is often the solution. 
  3. Your schools depend on it. Just like your local government depends on your property taxes, so does your school districts and community colleges. When schools require more funding for their operational needs, it's not uncommon for your property taxes to change.
  4. Property values are rising. If in general, your neighborhood or community is starting to see a rise in property values, it's completely normal for your property taxes to change (though we know you may not always welcome the increase). And what causes property values to rise in neighborhoods and communities? A big factor is if there are neighborhood improvements or new homes being built.
With all that said, the next time you receive a property tax bill and notice that it's higher than the last one, don't be surprised - property taxes can continue to change year after year. But, the good news is that if your property taxes do keep rising, you may be able to do something about it by filing for a tax grievance, and we can help!

To learn more about tax grievances and what the P.T.R.C. Inc. team can do for you, please click here or call (516)/(631) 484-0654. Emails can also be sent to

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Common Mistakes That Hurt Homebuyers

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 | Home Buying Mistakes
With a new year right around the corner, you may be making big plans for what you'd like to accomplish in the months that follow - is one of those plans to buy a home? Whether it'll be your first home, your second home or maybe your third, we want to remind you how important it is to steer clear of certain mistakes if you want the experience to be as positive as possible. So, with that said, let's take a look at some of the most common that hurt homebuyers so you know what to avoid:

1. Getting emotionally attached.
Many people fall in love with the first house they see, but that doesn't mean it's the right house. By making a promise to yourself to not get too emotionally attached,  you can avoid a lot of disappointment that may occur if things don't work out.

2. Trying to do it all yourself.
It's one thing to go to open houses and search around on the web, but at the end of the day, working with a professional is always recommended! After all, they're highly trained in what they do, so they can answer any questions you have and guide you in the direction that is best for you.

3. Forgetting about closing costs.
Your down payment is not the only payment you'll make before you move into your new home - there are closing costs to prepare for too. Many times, though, homeowners forget about this detail, and thus budget for all of their money to go towards the down payment - this, however, can lead to some pretty big issues when it comes time to address closing costs!

4. Not knowing your credit score.
Your credit score plays a big role in things such as what loans you'll be eligible for, and not having any idea of what yours is can put you in a pretty sticky situation. Before you even begin to look at houses, it's a good idea to review your score so that you can gauge what type of loans you'll be approved for.

5. Failing to get pre-approved.
Even when you know what you can afford, it's always a good idea to get pre-approved before starting to look and make offers. This is important because it shows the sellers just how serious you are, and it also shows that you truly can afford what they're asking/what you're offering!

Once a deal has been made and you're all settled in to your new home, we have another mistake that we certainly don't want you to make - not filing for a tax grievance. If you think you're overpaying in property taxes, there's a good chance that you are, and filing for a tax grievance can let you know if you're eligible for any reductions and refunds! Remember, the worst you can be told is no.

For those of you living on Long Island, we would be happy to help you with the grievance process. To learn more, visit us at or give us a call at (516)/(631) 484-0654; emails can also be sent to

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Important Information for Nassau County Property Owners

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

Nassau County | Nassau County Property Tax | P.T.R.C. Inc.

Attention all Nassau County property owners! Do you have questions about your property's taxes and assessments or what you can do moving forward if you don't agree with your current tax bill? If so, you've come to the right place - below, with help from, we're covering a few frequently asked questions that we think will help you.

Question 1: Where can you go to find your property's assessment?
Answer: Getting this information is simple - it's available on the Department of Assessment's website.

Question 2: How often are properties assessed?
Answer: A property assessment takes place each year. According to Nassau County's website, new tentative assessments are typically published on the first business day in January.

Question 3: When do the new assessments affect the tax bills?
Answer: The assessments that are announced in January will become final on the first business day in April in the following year. These assessments are also used for the school tax bills that come out in October of that year, as well as for the general tax bills that are distributed in January of the next year.

Question 4: What factors affect how much you pay?
Answer: There are a few factors that go into your tax bills. First, there's the tax class - this determines which rates will be applied to your property's taxable assessed value. Then, the budgets that are put in place by your town, school district, special districts, and the County are all considered as well.

Question 5: If a notice is not received, is it okay to assume that my assessment remains the same?
Answer: No - truth is, almost all assessments will change year over year. If you do not receive anything, it is recommended that you look up your assessment every January or February, which can be done here. Remember, if you fail to receive a notice it does not extend your time to file for an appeal, so you should always do some research on your own.

Question 6: What happens if I live in an incorporated village?
Answer: Incorporated villages are usually treated a bit differently, and the villages typically determine their own assessments for village taxes. That said, the best person to contact for more information would be your village assessor or clerk.

Question 7: Can you fight your property taxes?
Answer: Yes! And the team here at P.T.R.C Inc. wants to help you do so!

The grievance deadline for Nassau County property owners is March 1, 2017, so if you're looking to challenge your property taxes, it's time to send in your application! Once you submit an application to us we'll take care of the rest on your behalf, and since we only charge a fee for successful cases, if your case is not successful, you have nothing to lose!

For more information, please give us a call at (516) 484-0654 or email

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Look at 2017: Predicted Home Buying Trends

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

Millennials | First-Time Home Buyers | P.T.R.C. Inc.

With 2017 within reach, now is the time when many people start thinking about what they'd like to do next year - home improvement projects, New Year's Resolutions, vacations, you know how it goes. But with the start of a new year also comes various new trends, and wouldn't it be nice to head into January already knowing what some of them are so that you're ahead of the game? We think so, which is why today, we're discussing what experts expect to see in the real estate world. recently reported that in 2017, more than half of all the homes bought are going to be bought by first-time home buyers - this was determined through a survey conducted by But they also explain that it won't just be any first-time home buyers taking over the market - rather, it's mostly going to be millennials, which is a total change from this year (according to their findings, only 33% of people planning to buy homes in 2016 were first-time buyers, but in 2017, 52% of buyers are expected to be first-timers).

So what does this mean for the housing market?

First and foremost, there's going to be a lot more competition when it comes to starter homes in the suburbs. That said, it may be worth it to consider buying in the winter in order to dodge the higher prices and bidding wars that may occur at other times of the year when millennial buyers are coming into the market in full force.

Additional Trends

Now that you're more familiar with who is going to be buying, let's touch on what they're going to be looking for. According to, millennial buyers are going to be looking for a few things: privacy, safety, and overall more space. Most millennials prefer single-family homes to meet these needs, and furthermore, their desired location is in the suburbs. So, if you live in the suburbs or near the suburbs now, don't be surprised if you see an influx of millennial buyers coming your way next year!

For more details, check out the full article by here.

If you're a first-time buyer that's planning to dive into the Long Island housing market in 2017, when it comes time to sit down and look at your property taxes, keep P.T.R.C. Inc. in mind. Should you feel that your property tax bill is too high, we can help you in your quest for a reduction for future tax years.

To learn more about what we do and how we can help, please visit or call (516)/(631) 484-0654 today.