Appealing Your Property Taxes? An Appraiser Can Help

Is there an error on your property taxes? Although uncommon, if your assessment is based on inaccurate information, your home can be over or undervalued. This can adversely affect your property taxes.

According to the Appraisal Institute, if you’re appealing your assessment, an accredited appraiser can be a helpful resource. Your appraiser can coordinate with consultants and/or lawyers who specialize in taxes, increasing your odds of success.

“Homeowners should keep in mind that assessors are usually adept at spotting faulty valuations with values that appear to be unreasonably low,” says Stephen S. Wagner, president of the Appraisal Institute. “That is why it’s important to choose an appraiser who conforms to a strict code of ethics, such as one governing the actions of Appraisal Institute Designated Members.

“Homeowners should consider having an independent appraisal prepared and then present the appraisal report to the assessor because appraisers…are independent, third-party experts who provide credible, reliable opinions of value,” Wagner says.

As always, before beginning the process, check with your local municipality as to the necessary steps.

Source: Appraisal Institute

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8 Good Reasons a Property Needs a Termite Inspection annually?

8 Good Reasons a Property Needs a Termite Inspection annually?

Termites are one of the most interesting but devastating creatures on the planet. When it comes to our properties, the financial heartache and the sheer damage termites can do to a property would truly amaze you. In some cases, your home or property would be better of being hit by a cyclone.

People truly underestimate how prevalent these ants are. They have in fact adapted to urban landscapes the same way rats have adapted to our cities. They thrive in the environment us humans have built. The fact is that our homes or the structures at least are made of wood. Termites love to eat wood, make sense!

By having a simple professional cost-effective termite inspection, you can save yourself and possibly your family a lot of grief.

Termites act fast they really don’t mess around. So, don’t let termites mess with your life and your home. The other thing you need to know is that most property owners are concerned with storms, electrical and plumbing issues.

The fact is you should be just as concerned with termites. One in three homes will be affected by termites in Australia and in the US the cost of termite damage is in the billions.

Note – Termite inspections should be done every 12 months to be safe.

Check out 8 reasons why you should think about having a termite inspection soon on a property.

Have you encountered termites before?

1 The first thing to mention is that if you have had a previous case of termites on your property. You are going to need regular inspections. Termites can return to the scene of the crime even after they have been killed. Meaning just because you have had termites once. Does not mean you will never have them again. Termites will decide what’s easiest for them. So, there could be several facets as to why your home is a target for termites. Be safe have an annual inspection.

2 Have you seen mud tubes or unusual evidence of termites?

If you suspect or have are you have a problem. Do not waste any time. Termites once they are in action and breeding. Once they have a good source of food. Will devasted the structure primarily of your property in a very short amount of time.

Contact a professional and get the situation under control now.

Prevention is better than the cure when it comes to termites.

3 Nipping the situation in the bud or finding out sooner than later you have termites. Is going to be first much cheaper or hit your pocket much less hard. In a sense, you are dealing with a disease connected with your property. If you get to the bottom of the issue early. The repairs can be minimal, structures can be patched and repaired easily.

When termites devastate a property it can become too dangerous to live in? It’s better to get yourself an inspection.

Your neighbors have termites, or you hear termites are close by

4 If your neighbors have termites, we suggest to immediately contact a termite expert. The same thing goes when you hear that someone has termites on your street or in the near vicinity of your property.

Are you buying a new home or property?

5 If you are amid purchasing a property then its imperative that you have a professional inspect your home for termites. The last thing you want is hand over your hard-earned money for a property infested with termites or has the potential to be.

It is strongly advisable to book a pre-purchase inspection to put your mind at ease.

Have you seen damage to the wood in your home anywhere?

6 If you noticed any changes in the wood in your home such as holes, pieces breaking away. Termites will eat the structure of the home from the inside out. If you are looking at this type of damage, then you may have had the problem for quite some time. You are going to need a specialist to assess the damage and stop any further damage straight away.

Why not have peace of mind?

7 By having annual inspections of the property. You are never going to be wondering if you have termite infestations or not. Sometimes the signs are not always visible and can be difficult to detect. This why its best to use the services of a termite inspector.

Like most people, you may go to the doctor on a regular basis. Your home or property needs them same sort of TLC.

Other signs of termites on your property.

8 Some possible signs that you may have a termite infestation are sagging floors or sagging ceilings, you may see bubbled paint on the walls. You may also see very small holes in the plaster or drywall. Loose tiles can also be a sign of termites and as mentioned crumbling wood structures.

Courtesy of ABC Pest Control

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Make Your Home Winter Ready

Getting yourself ready for winter is a snap. Gloves? Check! Scarf? Right here. But readying your home for a long, cold season is another story. So, until someone invents a turtleneck sweater you can put around your house when it gets cold, there’s some organizing to do. We’ve got the tips to help you.

Strategy for Saving

Organizing your home for winter can seem like an annoying and perhaps unnecessary chore. But the financial benefits will outweigh any feelings of being “put out.” Winter heating costs can skyrocket if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks, or if the heating system is out-of-date. Ensuring your home is prepped properly can save you a nice chunk of change while protecting your property for years to come.

Break It Down

Looking at a giant to-do list is overwhelming. To save frustration, break it down into two or three jobs you can tackle over the next three to four weekends. First up, windows. Check each one in the house for drafts and insulation needs. The following week, inspect pipes to avoid an unfortunate burst in January. You can make things even easier by dividing the job among the family. Assign each person a room to inspect and report back on whether it’s ready for winter.

Three Steps to a Safe Season

#1: Prep the Plumbing

Drain the water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Roll up the garden hoses and store them inside. Identify any “problem” pipes that are prone to freezing in the house and consider using heat tape to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. If the worst happens, ensure everyone in the family knows how to turn off the water at the source. This will minimize leaking when and if a pipe bursts.

#2: Heat Things Up

Everyone enjoys cozy evenings by a crackling fire?  Ensure your fireplace is ready to provide warm nights all winter. Be sure to have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before the first frost. Also, have a professional perform a routine check of the heating systems before cold weather arrives. This should include vacuuming the vents and other heating components. If your furnace has a filter, check to see if it needs replacing. For more energy savings, consider installing a setback thermostat that keeps the home cooler when you are asleep or away.

#3: Seal the Leaks

Keep drafts to a minimum this winter. If you have them, install storm windows and doors — and don’t overlook the basement. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, replace them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, be sure to use caulking and weather-stripping around all entry points. These steps will block any potential entry points for cold air. That’s an idea you can warm up to.
Courtesy of HGTV

By: Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore


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Home Prices: The Difference Five Years Makes

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | MyKCM

The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009.

One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,

“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now.

Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”

The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state.

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | MyKCM

Nationally, the cumulative appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

According to the December 2012 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 23.1% by December 2017. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 33.6%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?

Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 18.2% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 27.4%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 8.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even higher than before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, let’s get together to discuss conditions in our neighborhood!

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

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