All About Property Taxes

Property taxes can be a significant portion of your monthly house payment, yet most people are painfully unaware of the ins and outs of property taxes and are happy to just be able to pay the bill each month. When you’re looking to buy a home, the property tax information is available on most real estate websites, but that information is not always accurate.


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Property taxes can be a significant portion of your monthly house payment, yet most people are painfully unaware of the ins and outs of property taxes and are happy to just be able to pay the bill each month.  When you’re looking to buy a home, the property tax information is available on most real estate websites, but that information is not always accurate.  Although the information listed about property taxes may have been the amount paid in the previous year, property taxes are calculated according to the value of the property.  These are calculated yearly, and generally, when you buy a home the sale price is considered to be the assessed value.  The issue is that there are state laws that only allow the property value to be assessed at a small increase each year, so if the home hasn’t been sold in a long time, the home may have appreciated more than the assessed value shows, in which case a buyer’s property taxes can be much higher than the current taxes.  Of course, if the home has depreciated, this can mean your taxes are much lower.  On top of that, there are also lots of different tax exemptions that you or the previous owner may or may not be eligible for, so if you’re eligible for a different amount of tax breaks, that’s another reason that your property taxes will end up being higher (or lower) than the previously paid amount.

To best estimate what your taxes may be ask your realtor and/or mortgage broker to help you find out what the tax rate will be in the areas you are looking at then multiply your estimated purchase price by that rate.  Just keep in mind that this is only an estimate and that laws, assessment rates, and values can all change in the future.

Although it is difficult (or impossible!) to know exactly what your property taxes will be, these tips should help you be able to estimate more accurately than the tax history you find on a real estate website.  Happy house hunting!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Property Hunters: Georgetown Condos

Georgetown is described by its Chamber of Commerce as a “community with small town charm, historic appeal, cultural diversity and excellent educational facilities-just west of Delaware’s award winning beaches, just 16 miles from anywhere in Sussex County!” If this ideal location sounds good to you, check out these two properties…


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Georgetown is described by its Chamber of Commerce as a “community with small town charm, historic appeal, cultural diversity and excellent educational facilities-just west of Delaware’s award winning beaches, just 16 miles from anywhere in Sussex County!”  If this ideal location sounds good to you, check out these two properties:

11 Jacqueline Drive
This 3 bed, 2.5 bath townhome is just over 1500 square feet of living space in the beautifully maintained, traditional community of Northgate Court.  It offers a convenient open floor plan, beautiful spacious kitchen, breakfast bar, back deck, laundry room, basement, and much more, and is currently listed for $160,000.  For more info and pictures, check out this link.

16 Mulberry, Unit 19
This 3 bed, 2 bath townhome offers plenty of living space in the Village of Cinderberry, an active 50+ community.  This home offers a dining room, laundry room, and attached garage as well as plenty of other amenities, including use of the community clubhouse and pool.  This home is currently listed for $195,000.  For more info and pictures, check out this link.

If you are interested in either one of these homes, or in looking at other homes in Georgetown or the surrounding areas, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Tips for Buying Your Retirement Home

There are many reasons to choose a purchase a home to retire to, but moving can be tricky and it can be difficult to feel like you’ve made the “right” decision when it comes to a retirement home. Here are some tips that might help make the decision easier.


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Retirement often means moving.  After retiring, many people wish to move to a smaller home or a home that requires less maintenance.  Others finally have an excuse to move to their dream location after years of being stuck in a certain area because of their job.  Still others choose to make a vacation home their full-time residence.  There are many reasons to choose a purchase a home to retire to, but moving can be tricky and it can be difficult to feel like you’ve made the “right” decision when it comes to a retirement home.  Here are some tips that might help make the decision easier.

“Active Adult Community” vs. Traditional Community
 They can be called active adult communities, 55+ communities, or a myriad of other things, but the truth is that these types of communities can be a great option.  If you are interested in having a lot of recreational and social activities to choose from then an active adult community might be for you.  These communities usually offer golf, tennis, swimming, and/or other recreational activities for a monthly fee.  This fee is usually a fraction of what it would cost you to pay for all of the individual amenities yourself.  When you are trying to decide whether or not to look at 55+ communities or purchase a home in a more traditional community seriously consider how often you think you will use amenities such as tennis courts, a swimming pool, or a clubhouse.  If the answer is “not often” then it might be worth it for you to live in a more traditional community and pay a-la-carte for the things you desire, such as someone to mow the lawn or take care of snow removal.

Location
Make a list of all the things that are most important then look for a home that is located near all of the amenities.  This list might include the beach, quality healthcare, shopping, golf, restaurants, and much more… whatever is on your list, do your best to find a home that is in the vicinity of your top choices.

Amenities
If you choose an active adult community the amenities should be part of your consideration, but don’t forget to consider amenities if you choose a more traditional path as well.  Is it important for you to have a garden?  Do you dream of sitting on a porch in the evenings?  Do you plan to host large family dinners? Consider what is most important to you and look for a home with these amenities or the ability to add these amenities easily and within your budget. 

Monthly Upkeep
When you are determining where to buy a home be sure to factor in the “hidden” costs of ownership.  For example, how much will it cost you monthly to have someone mow your lawn and keep up with the yard maintenance when the time comes that you no longer want to do it yourself?  If you choose an active adult community, be sure you know what the monthly fees are, what they cover, and when they were last raised and by how much.

Safety and Layout
Not only do you want a house in a safe and secure neighborhood, but you also want to consider the future.  If there comes a time in the very far future when you need a wheelchair or other medical equipment, will the home you choose be able to accommodate you.  These are things that nobody wants to think of when they retire and have plenty of life left in them, but the time to plan for these things is before they happen to you.

Cost
Everyone’s goal should be to retire debt-free, so the overall cost of your home is, of course, something to keep in mind.  Be sure you can afford your home.  Just think of the freedom you will have in retirement if you are living mortgage-free!

Above all, when considering where you will live after retiring, be sure to evaluate and consider both your current desires as well as your long-term needs.  And, of course, hire a real estate agent to help you through the process!  Recently, Delaware Today published an article about why Sussex Counties is such a great place to retire.  If you are thinking of retiring to Sussex County give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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HOMEOWNERSHIP RISES IN 3RD QUARTER!!

“After falling to a 13-year low during the second quarter, the homeownership rate posted a highly unexpected rise in the third quarter, according to a Census Bureau report.”


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There have been a growing number of reports announcing the death of American homeownership over the last two years. Some have said we are evolving into a rental society and even challenge the long standing belief that homeownership should be a part of the American Dream. They look at the falling rate of homeownership as proof of their point. Others say that the younger generations no longer see the value in owning over renting.

However, this past week, two news items might refute these points. First, DSNews reported the homeownership rate actually increased in the last quarter; the first quarterly increase in two years.

“After falling to a 13-year low during the second quarter, the homeownership rate posted a highly unexpected rise in the third quarter, according to a Census Bureau report.”

Then, Fannie Mae released their 2011 3rd Quarter National Housing Survey. We will cover this report in more detail on Wednesday. But we do want to mention a few findings the report highlighted. Both Generation Y (birth date mid-1970s to mid 1990s) and Generation X (birth date mid 1960s to mid 1970s) have stronger beliefs in the importance of homeownership than those of the general population.

Here are the numbers for the three major reasons to buy (as per the survey) with the percentage who believe in each reason:

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Call Cooper Realty Associates to help you enjoy the dream of homeownership!!

302 629-6693/302 644-2266/302 856-6434

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