Everything You Wanted To Know About Property Taxes

property taxes

Understanding property taxes is essential for all homeowners!

Property taxes are something that many property owners don’t think about until it’s too late (and those steep taxes are due!). Whenever you purchase a new home or refinance the home that you own, property taxes are one of the things that your title company will research. Your specific property taxes are based on your home’s location and the assessed value of your home. Beyond that, your property taxes could also be influenced by the city, county, school district, or all three of those. Every year, your property taxes will go towards paying for things needed to keep the community going, like snow removal, garbage collection, and police and fire department operation.

Who Decides What My Property Taxes Are?

Your property taxes will be decided based on the assessed value of your home. As a result, property taxes are higher when the real estate market is doing well and home values go up. When the market is doing poorly and home values go down, your property taxes will also go down.

When Do I Pay My Property Taxes?

Property tax due dates depend on the exact rules of where you live. Some places require property tax payments every year, semi-annually, or tri-annually. To find out more about the property tax system where you live, contact your local taxing authority.

What Happens If I Forget To Pay My Property Taxes?

Just like other types of taxes, there will be a monetary penalty associated with not paying your property taxes or missing payments. If you miss payments for an extended period of time, you might end up with a tax lien assessed on your property.  Tax liens are placed on properties by the government to get the tax payments from the owner. Tax liens can occur from a variety of problems including:

  • Delinquent taxes
  • Failure to pay other taxes, like federal or state
  • Purchasing a home with an existing tax lien on it, as property liens do not travel with the owner like personal debt

A Title Company You Can Trust: Colony Title

At Colony Title, we will help you through the process of getting your property’s title and help you avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs while you buy your home. We are also well trained in identifying any and all errors in public records and helping you resolve them. We specialize in real estate title insurance in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and we will perform an expert title search, check through all past documentation, and examine records for any fraud or forgery. For more information on how we can get you into the home of your dreams, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 884-1160. To get more updates on housing markets and how to get into your home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.


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