Checking the price before agreeing to buy

The following was a real post on a neighborhood email list:"Hi, Does anyone know how to get the real estate taxes lowered? I am purchasing my first home in Woodmere. YIKES!!! I am wondering if there is a way to bring the taxes down - Prior to closing? Or after?? It's
very expensive (Over budget)Any ideas would help? Thanks"

There seems to be an assumption here that you can appeal to get your taxes lowered on the basis of entering into the contract without having actually reviewed the numbers and factoring it into the expenditures connected to the house. But the only basis I have ever heard of for lowering property taxes is conclusive proof that the assessment is out of line with comparable properties in the neighborhood. Inability to pay the taxes is not viewed by the powers that be as grounds for their reduction. While they may have been able to attempt to negotiate a lower purchase price from the sellers on the basis of the high taxes being a liability on the house, they already set their price. I just can't believe that people enter into contracts for what is probably the largest purchase they will ever make without reviewing all the relevant numbers.

It's like ordering whatever takes your fancy in a jewelry store without checking the prices. When you get the bill, you could hardly expect sympathy for suddenly discovering your purchases cost more than you had anticipated.


Orthonomics said…
I'm presuming the poster is young and inexperienced. But, it does highlight the need for greater attention to finances at a younger age.

Now that she has discovered she has bought a home beyond the budget, what does she plan to do when the circuit board blows, the sink springs a leak, the toilet backs up, the heater has a gas leak, the sewer pipe collapes, the water heater breaks???? (Yes, in some location or another, we have paid for all of the above repairs!)
Ariella's blog said…
I know, SL, that houses are veritable money pits. Gas leaks are scary; I hope that went ok.

We were fairly young when we bought a house, too, but we knew enough to calculate the property taxes in our monthly expenditures, as they are collected with the mortgage payment. In fact, when we moved, one of the things I told all real estate people we contacted is that I wanted property taxes on the lower end, for they tend to go up -- not come down -- and, unlike your mortgage, you can never pay off all taxes forever.

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