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Disputing Your Livermore Rental Property Value Assessment to Lower Tax Liability

Property Manager Meeting with Property Owners in Livermore, CA, to Asses their Rental PropertyIt is well worth the effort to take every opportunity to lower the tax liability on your Livermore rental property. Whether you are a new investment homeowner or experienced in renting property, it is important that you take the time to address your property value, so you can determine if it is accurate.

At Real Property Management One we advise all our landlords to take the time to do this because you might learn that your assessment is way too high, which once reassessed can result to lower property taxes. There are numerous ways to check whether your current property assessment is correct.

How a Property Should be Assessed

Properties are generally assessed yearly by a town or city’s assessor. Typically, the assessor surveys the current shape of your property and any improvements made, and the current market conditions for same homes in your area; then they multiply that by the area’s level of assessment as determined by the municipality. If you own a multi-family building, the assessor will factor in the income earned from the property over the last year minus maintenance and repair costs into the valuation. The cost of replacing the home is also a consideration in determining its valuation.

If you open your annual property tax bill and see the figures, you might just about collapse from shock, but relax and then carefully ponder the options you have to lower the tax bill. One thing to remember, though, is that you’ll have a deadline to question the assessment. Most municipalities will give you a month or a couple of months after you receive the assessment to challenge it.

How to Understand an Assessment

See carefully what the assessment says about your property. You might find out that you’ve suddenly become the owner of Livermore property that is nothing at all like the one you actually own. For example, the assessment might, by mistake, give your house four bedrooms when it only has three, or locate your address in a rich neighborhood adjacent to your actual location. In one case, a homeowner’s one-story home with vaulted ceilings was erroneously listed as a two-story house and charged twice the actual square footage because the assessor only observed it from outside rather than doing a more walk-through assessment.

The cost of similar properties in your neighborhood can tell you much about your own property’s assessment. If you know your neighbors or are friends with them, you may be able to learn from their assessment. Otherwise, it’s a good plan to compare your property with four or five in your general location that have the same amount of square footage and the same property size.

Look into Exemptions

As you’re taking the time to make certain the valuation of the property is correct, also find out whether you’re receiving any exemptions to which you’re entitled. Some states and many municipalities offer breaks to owners who are senior citizens or veterans, homes located in certain areas, and several other exemptions. Your local tax assessor may be able to assist you in finding any tax breaks to which you’re entitled.

If your first tax bill after you’ve bought your property shows that its tax assessment value went as high nearly 50 percent in one year, as happened to an owner in Georgia, you’ll want to ask for a re-assessment to help you clarify any changes. Most tax assessors are willing to informally discuss your assessment. If you’re not content with the informal explanation, you can create a formal appeal. Property owners who have followed this path say they’ve been able to reduce their assessments greatly.

When you work with Real Property Management One, we support you in getting the most out of your property and navigate it to success. To learn more about the services we offer contact us online or call us at 925-794-8339 today!

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