Assessing Your Property Taxes

Property Taxes

By Jon McCreath, NPI Property Inspector, Emerson, Georgia

In the last few years, most property taxes have risen in step with the increase in home values. But it never hurts to find out if your taxes are higher than they should be. Getting them reduced is a chore that’s worth the effort.

* First, look for errors that may be inflating the value of your house. Check the list of factors used to come up with your assessment on the property record card, which is kept at your assessor’s office. Look for obvious errors, such as the incorrect square footage or the wrong number of bathrooms.

* Because many appraisals are done on a drive-by basis, the assessor may have overlooked defects that could lower your tax bill, such as a wet basement or cracked walls. If you can show that the assessment was based on erroneous information, you may be able to get your tax bill reduced without going through the appeals process.

* Check out similar properties. Talk to your neighbors or property owners to see whether their tax bills went up as much as yours did. The homes you check should be of similar size and age as your own. If your assessment is considerably larger than theirs, you have a good shot at winning an appeal.

* Some localities base assessments on the cost of a home replacement plus the value of the land. An amount for depreciation is subtracted. Others use recent sales of comparable homes in the neighborhood. You might be able to challenge the assessment by doing your own research. A real estate agent could provide recent sales prices for comparable properties.

* Check to see if the assessor credited you with all the property tax relief available to you, including credits for senior citizens and veterans, or any local benefits.


McCreath PhotoJon McCreath is a professional National Property Inspections home inspector in northwest Georgia.
If you live in the area, call 404.426.3661 to schedule your home inspection with Jon.
NPI and GPI home inspectors have the tools and knowledge to assess your home.
Consult with your local NPI or GPI inspector for an assessment of your home.

United States:

Tagged: ,

Inspecting Brand-new Homes

Submitted by Randy Yates, Technical Training Administrator, NPI/GPI Corporate

Inspector + ACNew home buyer or first-time home buyer: “I’m buying a new house. How could there be anything wrong with it?”

Realtor: “You don’t need a home inspection; it’s a brand-new house.”


The misconception of both of these statements is that they think because the buyer is purchasing a brand-new house, everything was done right, completed as planned — like a new car. But new cars go back to the dealers often enough, so why assume that everything in a newly constructed home is perfect?

Actually, some statistics state that there can more problems with a new home than an existing home — not that existing homes don’t have problems, too, when it comes to an inspection. It’s just that the dust has settled, so to speak, with an existing home.

So, where do the problems lie with a new home? Inexperience in construction, quality of or the wrong materials, improper engineering and architecture, defective materials and components from manufacturers, improper installation of components, and lack of communication. One would hope that a contractor takes great care in how he builds a house, but you need to take into consideration that he may not have.

So, what’s the difference in inspecting a new home compared to an old home? There is no difference. And, how long does it take to inspect either a new house or an existing house? The inspection takes as long as long as it takes.

Tagged: , , , , , ,

How Should a Realtor Decide to Recommend a Home Inspector?

Submitted by Doug Kendall, Global Property Inspections Franchise Owner, Kanata, Ontario, Canada

IMG_4520The Realtor has the strongest relationship with the consumer, as they have spent more time with the buyer to best understand the nature of the client and the type of home the buyer can afford. But as a Realtor, you should have a team of professionals you trust and can call on, whom you feel good about recommending.

When recommending a home inspector, you should consider some of the following:

  • Take time to meet some of the inspectors and get to know them like you would a client.
  • Know the way in which the home inspector delivers reports and what a report will look like.
  • Every home inspector is different: Some are very analytical, some are team players, etc., and you need to know which home inspector to recommend to best serve the type of buyer you are working with.
  • Does the inspector carry E&O insurance and general liability insurance? They should.
  • Does the inspector have a current background review?
  • Is the inspector part of a franchise? This does add value to your client, as franchises normally have a high standard of professionalism. They want the public to be confident in their services.
  • Know how the inspector will perform the inspection. We all have a system of doing things, so try to know whether an inspector’s system is good for you and your home buyer. This keeps everything on track.
  • What services does the inspector offer — radon, air quality, termite, infrared, energy inspections? These are all added value to you as a one stop shop and a professional resource.
  • Building a rapport with the inspector gives you a source of help when you need information or a question answered during an open house or showing. A quick photo and email can save you a lot of time and energy and look very professional. Your team works, and you look great.
  • Know what tools the inspector uses to ensure that your customer and you are protected. The first thing wrong after a sale means a phone call to you and an unhappy client. And that means lost referrals.

Take time to build your team and review inspectors’ websites and referral notes posted. Call an inspector or take time if he or she drops into the office to chat and get to know them. If they are at the office, then they, too, are doing cold calls and building a referral base of agents they trust.

Tagged: , ,