Sunday, January 27, 2019

Why It’s Important to Understand Your Property Tax Numbers

When a person buys a home for the first time, they may overlook a critical factor associated with home ownership: their property taxes. Property taxes have a significant impact on your life, in addition to real estate ownership. Understanding property tax numbers is an essential part of ownership, care, and your utmost attention should be devoted to learning about these figures.

Property Taxes Make Up a Major Part of Home Ownership Costs

When you look at the cost of owning a home, the major factors associated with this asset are your mortgage payments, interest, principal, and property taxes. While property taxes fluctuate widely across the United States, in many places property taxes make up a significant amount of the cost of your home and therefore require real analysis. If you don't take the time to understand both what your current property taxes are and what they can be increased to, you may end up with a home that is out of your financial means. This is why it’s extremely important to take the time to understand what your property taxes are, and what they have traditionally been increased by, in order to understand whether they are within your budget.

Understand What You Are Paying for

Take some time to understand what your property taxes entail and what benefits accrue to you (and your community) when you do so. Of course, the answer will fluctuate from community to community — but property taxes typically tend to include the cost of public school, sanitation department/services, and your local fire department. Other costs often included are library services and park maintenance. When you dive further into the details of your property tax numbers, this will allow you to understand the programs that you can benefit from, as well as the returns that you can get on your taxes.

Avoid Overpaying On Your Taxes

Luckily, there are many programs that will allow you to reduce the property taxes you are currently paying. In New York state, for example, the STAR program allows you to reduce the total you owe in property taxes. It’s important to take the time to learn about your current property tax situation and how you can possibly reduce your balance as a whole. While most communities will try to equitably divide the cost of your property taxes, some homeowners may end up being charged an inequitable share. When you thoroughly examine, and learn, every detail of your property taxes, you may be able to have your taxes grieved and ultimately reduce the total cost that you will end up paying.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Historical Places to Visit This Winter


In the wintertime, most people want to cozy up and stay indoors to enjoy their families. While there is nothing wrong with that, you might start to get a bit restless, and that’s where a winter trip comes in! With most people inclined to stay indoors, this is a great time to see some beautiful and historical elements that you may have never seen before. If you are looking for some inspiration, and to beat the crowds these three locations offer a rich history, and very much worth a trip to this winter:

Washington D. C.

From museums to the White House, Washington D. C. is one of the most culture-rich cities in the U.S.  While many may think it could be an expensive trip, here are some of the top enjoyable sights to see that are conveniently free:

·        Lincoln, Jefferson, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials
·        National Gallery of Art where you’ll find the Declaration of Independence
·        Rock Creek Park which is also home to the National Zoo
·        U.S. National Arboretum
·        Gravelly Point & Hains Point
·        Take a tour of the Whitehouse East Wing

Washington, D.C is also home to The National Museum of African American History and Culture and offers an abundance of exhibitions. The displayed artifacts depict the contributions that Black Americans have made through our history and give you a glimpse into history through the African American lens.

Honolulu Hawaii

If you are itching for a warm getaway, with a little history on the side, save up and make the trip of a lifetime to Honolulu, Hawaii. When you begin to plan your sightseeing adventures, add The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor to the top of your list. The memorial commemorates the day, December 7, 1941, that Pearl Harbor received a surprise Japanese attack on The USS Arizona. Today, Arizona rest right where she fell, and it marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and marines that lost their lives.

Navajo Nation
Tuba City, in Arizona, offers a self-guided tour that will let you experience and learn the Navajo culture, explore the scenery, and buy directly from their vendors. Plan ahead though, because this is a three-day tour. If you are looking for more of an art experience, you can find a schedule demonstration in Navajoland. From woven rugs to handmade pottery and jewelry — these works of art are truly a sight to see.

So your winter travels will not be boring. There are some interesting things that we can explore if we can leave this house to do so. Book your trip now, and enjoy a nice winter vacation.



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Property Tax Reductions and Exemptions


There are several ways to save money on your property taxes. Age, disability, and location are just a few factors that can help qualify you for a number of exemptions or deductions. Here are some of the top ways to save a little on your taxes.
Homestead
In some states, you can avoid paying property taxes upon the death of your spouse under the Homestead Exemption.
Seniors and the Disabled
If you collect social security due to being elderly or disabled, you may be able to defer paying property taxes as long as you can provide proof of income and your age.
Military Veterans
If you actively serve in the military during wartime, primarily live in a military-provided home, or were dishonorably discharged, you may be exempt from paying property tax or at least receive a reduction. You just have to meet certain requirements like the length of residence and income.
Renovations
With every renovation you perform on your home, your property taxes will change. Certain kinds of renovations can result in a lower tax amount.
Energy Incentives
Adding green upgrades, such as solar panels, geothermal pumps, or other sources of renewable energy, can help lower your property taxes or be considered exempt from taxes entirely.
Tricks for Lowering Your Property Taxes

  • Ask for Your Tax Card. You can request a copy of your property tax card so you know the amounts you’re working with.
  • Avoid Building Bigger. Any major changes generally increase your property taxes, unless they are more green-friendly and sustainable.
  • Limit Curb Appeal. The more attractive your yard (pools, large lighting, etc.) the higher the assessment on your home’s value and the higher your property tax.
  • Research the Neighborhoods. All home records are available as public record, so do your homework and compare your property taxes to other homes in the neighborhood. If yours are very different, look into having your home reassessed.
  • Stay Close to Your Home Assessor. You know your home best and can help prevent the assessor from overlooking minor details such as small cracks and outdated appliances that equate to lower property value.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Warm Places To Visit In Town

Warm Places To Visit In Town

Wintry weather is good to look at from a window with you on the inside. There is something wonderful about the snow and the ice, but you do not want to spend too much time in it. Visiting your favorite town in the winter close to the holidays is a special time for you. You want to take in all of the sights, and the holiday decorations and festivities, much of which is better while outside. You may get so involved with the spirit of the season and all of the scenery that you forget to go in and warm yourself for a while. 

While visiting to see the wonders of the outdoors, there are many places where you can be amazed by the holiday setting and still keep warm. Take a tour of the art museum. You will find it full of decorations for the season, plus plays, and other events, for the entire family. The museum has so much to offer that it usually takes at least three to four hours to get around to everything. Meanwhile, you are warm. Another place where there is always warmth is the library. Take the kids for magical stories and holiday treats that will warm the heart as well as the body. 

Going to the mall is the ultimate holiday wonderland. You will stay warm while visiting Santa in his big chair with some of his elves. Hear the holiday musical concert in the center court, and enjoy some hot chocolate from the treat stand. This is one place where you will not get tired. Walking from store to store, stopping to enjoy more holiday entertainment all while avoiding the cold weather outside. The mall has many holiday events, something for both the young and older. 

The town's concert hall is featuring an all-time holiday favorite that the entire family can enjoy. Bundle up to get there, then relax in warmth and comfort. Sing along to some of your favorite songs and know that you are having the time of your life keeping warm in snowy weather. Don't neglect going to visit your favorite place because it is cold. At this time of year, fun can be found on the inside as well as outside. The only difference is that on the inside you will keep warm, and still tour your favorite vacation town.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What Affects the Value of Your Home?

Selling Your Home? Here's How to Get More than Market Value!

We all know that certain qualities and attributes affect the true market value of your home. However, the million dollar question is really, "Which attributes of your home have the most impact on the value of your home?" Which upgrades offer the biggest and best ROI- otherwise known as, "Return On Investment"? 

See below for our top 5:
  1. Kitchen -- This is a big one! Think about it, your kitchen is your gathering place. How often do guests not pass through your kitchen?
  2. Bathroom -- By default, the general population has an expectation that bathrooms are (simply by design and sheer purpose) unattractive. So, intuitively, any bathroom that strikes a potential buyer as "beautiful" is a definite win.
  3. Walls -- Back-to-basics is a trending theme everywhere we look these days. Tried and true, homes that boast freshly-painted walls make for a sure "10" on the first impression scale!
  4. Floors -- Whether your floors are covered with tile, hardwood or carpet (...and, it's best to just forget about laminate!), be certain that you're making the most of it. Similar to walls, just envision the magnitude of the area in your home that is comprised of some type of flooring? 
  5. Landscaping -- This one has to do more with first impressions than anything else. Very simply, think of it as a job interview! Any interviewer truly shapes their first impression of you, the incumbent, within the first 60 seconds of meeting you. Likewise, your yard acts as the first 60 seconds of your potential buyer "meeting" your home! 

Consider where people spend the most time and which areas are the most seen (or high trafficked), and elect to spruce those areas up!

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Best Holiday Events For Kids On Long Island

The holiday season is here and kids, as well as adults, are anticipating the fun and frolic that awaits everyone. 

We may be biased, but New York is one of the best places to be at this time of year! There is something for everybody, young, old, male, female, etc. 

From the many unique holiday performances, gingerbread houses, dazzling light shows, and much much more, holidays on Long Island are magical for kids! 
  • The Magical Polar Express: Families will take the kids on a trolley ride to the magical North Pole. Kids will have fun meeting Santa and his elves, and many other characters. They can drink hot chocolate and have cookies, and hear a fantastic story on the way.
  • Imagination Movers Reindeer Party: This award-winning rock band is preparing a party with many of their hit songs for all of the kids and their families.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: Experience with Charlie Brown what the true meaning of Christmas really is in this holiday classic play. Afterward, take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and do some crafts. 
  • The Girl Scouts Holiday Light Show will return to Smith County Point Park for an amazing time for the kids and adults. They will enjoy the spectacular colorful lights.
  • Grinch Inspired Events: The movie will hit the movies during the month of December. Dr. Seuss will be presenting events for the kids throughout the month.
Not to mention, New York City is a short train ride away! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How to Check What You Can Save


As a homeowner, you are entitled to file a Property Tax Grievance. A Property Tax Grievance allows your assessment to be reviewed by the Assessor to see if a reduction is warranted. 

If the Assessor does not reduce your assessment, an appeal can be filed to have an impartial hearing officer determine if your house is overvalued for tax purposes. If you are curious about what you might be entitled to save, visit our site via this URL: https://www.ptrc.com/property-tax-reductions.html

We've made it very easy for you to check how much you'll save.

Choose your county, search by street number, search by street name, enter your city, and enter your zip code.




You can also manually zoom in on the map to look for your neighborhood. You'll see the street number, the home, and the savings per result.

We hope this is useful to you, if you have any other questions, please give us a call.

(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654