The number one question I am asked upon showing a house, after, of course the asking price, is how much are the Real Estate taxes. After all, most buyers when considering what they can afford view the price through the lens of their monthly carrying costs. This would be your mortgage payments and in many cases the monthly contribution towards the Real Estate taxes.

So, I  tell the prospective buyers what the taxes are and then there will be many follow up questions. These are some of the top ones I have heard:
  • Can I appeal the taxes on a home after I purchase it?
  • How does the sale price of the home I am purchasing impact my future Real Estate taxes?
  • If I purchase a home for lower than the assessed value will my taxes automatically go down?
Construction/renovations is also a pressing topic as homeowners have questions regarding its eventual impact on Real Estate taxes:
  • If I am buying a home from a builder that is completely brand new (including new foundation) will that automatically result in having higher taxes than a home that is renovated or where part of the original structure remains (aka – the chimney trick)?
  • Should I buy an existing house and do my own construction – will that result in my paying less taxes than If I bought a finished product from a builder that has a higher sales price?These are all great questions and while I have gained expertise in how to answer many of them I thought it might be time to have our first guest join us in this column to help  get to the bottom line.

I had the opportunity to pose these and other questions directly to Teaneck’s Tax Assessor James Tighe. He has responded to me in writing so that I may publish his answers directly in this column over the next few weeks. I trust this will be a worthwhile read as these questions impact us all.

Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and Owner of V and N Group LLC. V & N Realty is located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck, NJ. Feel free to email Nechama at nechamapolak@gmail.com or call 201.826.8809.