Are You Needlessly Giving Away Thousands for Your Home?

As featured on HuffPost

Layout - check. School district - check. Commute time - check. Smart home features - double check. Property taxes - wait, what?

Finding your dream home can be a wonderful life-change. It's starting a new chapter with hopefully some new and happy life moments and memories to fill the halls and rooms. But this thrilling occasion can turn ugly fast when intimidating bills begin showing up in your new-to-you mailbox. Your new home-honeymoon may end abruptly with your first "Dear John the Taxpayer" letter.

If this is your first home purchase in a particular state, before you start swooning over your new abode, check the property tax details. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy offers a national at-a-glance tool to see how taxes stack up in each state throughout the U.S. For example, a homeowner thinking about relocating to Florida, can learn about Florida's unusual and complex assessment "Save Our Homes" without having to scour various resources.

On the brighter side, some states also have resources for you to SAVE money on your property taxes. For example, in Georgia, there are exemptions up to thousands of dollars for those over the age 65, veterans, surviving spouses of U.S. service members, peace officers, and firefighters, and general owner-occupant homeowners. Are you taking advantage of this? If you want to apply for a Georgia exemption, here is the application. Not in Georgia? Check out this guide from the National Association of Counties (click for access) to see what is available in your state. And, then please be sure to confirm all data with your local officials.

Typically, there are deadlines to take advantage of various savings, including exemptions. In Georgia most counties have deadlines between January 1st and April 1st, meaning time is of the essence. So be sure that you look for the fine print and mark your calendars with all applicable deadlines.

Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor.  And, be sure to tell the real estate agents you know to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan.  Here's to your success!
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