Buying your first house can be a confusing process. You often need to deal not only with the mortgage company, but also homeowner's associations, property taxes, and potential liens on the property itself. Though property taxes are usually fairly low, there are still a few things you should know about them in advance.
You Can Get Them Adjusted If You Live in the House
If you're an occupant owner -- someone who lives in their house full-time -- you can usually get a very sizable deduction on the amount of property taxes you pay. This deduction isn't automatic, however; you need to file with your state so that they know you are living in the property rather than renting it. You also need to consider the fact that property taxes will go up if you start renting out your place.
You Need to Pay Your Property Taxes Before You Sell Your House
If you have failed to pay your property taxes, it's likely that a lien will be placed on your home. Once a lien is placed on your home, you can't transfer the title to another person -- in other words, you can't sell your property until those taxes are paid. This is one reason why making sure you're current is so vital.
You Can Potentially Settle Your Property Taxes
It is possible to settle your property taxes, though property tax settlements aren't easy to get. In order to get one, you should go through an accountant or a debt attorney. A property tax settlement will settle your taxes for a portion of the amount due, but you'll need to pay it immediately in cash. Contact a company like Tax Assessment Xperts Inc to learn more.
Your Mortgage Company May or May Not Pay Your Property Taxes
Many homeowners get confused when paying their property taxes because they assume their mortgage company will handle it. Some mortgage companies take money into an escrow account and pay property taxes for you. If your mortgage company does this, you do not need to pay taxes separately. You need to call your mortgage company and make sure.
Property taxes may seem fairly trivial but not paying them can have widespread ramifications. Not only could your credit be hurt, but a lien could be filed against your property. If the situation becomes dire, the government may even try to foreclose upon your property. It's in your best interest to make sure you know who your property tax needs to be paid to and how much it is.