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Old 08-04-2012, 08:46 PM
 
912 posts, read 860,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarichter View Post
I've recently read many threads about how awful some tax rates were. I think people forget the relative nature of such facts and figures. For anyone complaining about real estate tax anywhere in the country other than the northeast, please take a look at this wonderful little table.

Table: Who Pays America's Highest Property Taxes? - Forbes.com

Passaic County, my place of origin... and I can attest to how expensive it is to live there!

It's so nice to see NJ at the top of the lists again

I do love my state, but jeez...
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Maui County, HI
4,131 posts, read 6,321,964 times
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That list is skewed because it looks at TOTAL tax paid, not percentage. Sounds good in theory, except median home value means absolutely nothing.

Let's say you have two towns with 1000 houses each. Town A has a nice neighborhood with 100 houses valued $300k, and 900 houses in a rough area valued $100k. Town B has has 900 nice houses valued $300k and 100 in a rough area valued $100k.

The median home value of a house in town A is $100k, and the median in town B is $300k.

Yet in either town, you'd only WANT to live in the nice neighborhood so the low property value of the crappy neighborhoods means nothing to you.

That's why it's misleading when we see average or median house prices for big cities with large undesireable areas like Houston, Detroit, or Chicago.

The typical 3 bedroom house in a decent Houston suburb is worth about $250k, and therefore has a property tax around $7000. That puts it at the very top of this list.

The current MEDIAN price is $172k and that INCLUDES the ghettos. That comes out to about $5000 property tax which is still near the top of the list.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:48 PM
 
56,908 posts, read 81,260,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkosmosis View Post
That list is skewed because it looks at TOTAL tax paid, not percentage. Sounds good in theory, except median home value means absolutely nothing.

Let's say you have two towns with 1000 houses each. Town A has a nice neighborhood with 100 houses valued $300k, and 900 houses in a rough area valued $100k. Town B has has 900 nice houses valued $300k and 100 in a rough area valued $100k.

The median home value of a house in town A is $100k, and the median in town B is $300k.

Yet in either town, you'd only WANT to live in the nice neighborhood so the low property value of the crappy neighborhoods means nothing to you.

That's why it's misleading when we see average or median house prices for big cities with large undesireable areas like Houston, Detroit, or Chicago.

The typical 3 bedroom house in a decent Houston suburb is worth about $250k, and therefore has a property tax around $7000. That puts it at the very top of this list.

The current MEDIAN price is $172k and that INCLUDES the ghettos. That comes out to about $5000 property tax which is still near the top of the list.
It may still depend on the area, as a home in a decent/average suburb in some place may actually be 150k or even a little less. So, while I understand that the median is the middle number in terms of home prices, it can still give an idea as to what a solid home would cost in an area.

Also, property taxes can vary even within a municipality or even a neighborhood, as individual aspects may come into play in that regard.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,227 posts, read 36,432,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkosmosis View Post
That list is skewed because it looks at TOTAL tax paid, not percentage. Sounds good in theory, except median home value means absolutely nothing.

Let's say you have two towns with 1000 houses each. Town A has a nice neighborhood with 100 houses valued $300k, and 900 houses in a rough area valued $100k. Town B has has 900 nice houses valued $300k and 100 in a rough area valued $100k.

The median home value of a house in town A is $100k, and the median in town B is $300k.

Yet in either town, you'd only WANT to live in the nice neighborhood so the low property value of the crappy neighborhoods means nothing to you.

That's why it's misleading when we see average or median house prices for big cities with large undesireable areas like Houston, Detroit, or Chicago.

The typical 3 bedroom house in a decent Houston suburb is worth about $250k, and therefore has a property tax around $7000. That puts it at the very top of this list.

The current MEDIAN price is $172k and that INCLUDES the ghettos. That comes out to about $5000 property tax which is still near the top of the list.
The thing is, though, that when you factor in what your dollar can buy when it comes to housing, that evens things out. For instance, the tax rate may be LOWER somewhere else but if you're paying interest on a larger loan over thirty years (or heck, even five years) for a house you could buy for $150,000 less in, say, Houston - then you're really not getting ahead. Of course, you can always buy a lot less house to live in every single day. To each his own. A valid case could be made for either scenario. Personally, I prefer a spacious house on a big lot, which can easily be bought in East Texas for under $250,000 (property taxes roughly $5000 a year). Yes, my property taxes are high but my mortgage is low so they balance each other out.

All I can say is it's a good thing both property taxes and interest on mortgages are tax deductible! For the time being, anyway.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,227 posts, read 36,432,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
The West Coast wasn't on the chart. Does anyone have info for CA (Bay Area, LA) and Seattle? Californians squawk so much about their prop'ty taxes, but several people on this forum and elsewhere have told me CA prop'ty taxes aren't that bad compared to other parts of the country.
The issue in CA isn't property tax amounts - it's MORTGAGE amounts. It doesn't matter if your property taxes are capped at 2 percent of value, if you can't find a home for under $400k.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,227 posts, read 36,432,107 times
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When I'm considering buying a home, I look at what my monthly mortgage payment (including taxes) will get me every month I live there (our goal is to pay our house off completely in ten years and we have a very low interest rate and a good chunk of equity so that helps). I don't look at JUST the tax rate or JUST the sale price. I also look at trends in both sale prices and property taxes.

If I can buy a 2500 square foot, good quality suburban home loaded with amenities on a large lot for $250,000 with a higher tax rate, with a mortgage payment of, say, $1500 a month, vs the same features and a lower tax rate, but a price of $400,000 and a payment of $2200 a month...well, my choice is easy and frankly I don't care what the tax rate is.

Also - you have to figure in ALL your taxes, not just property taxes. What is the state income tax rate? Here in Texas, we don't have a state income tax at all.

I looked at buying property in Hot Springs, AR and moving out of Texas. The property values were amazing - wow, you can buy a lot of house in Hot Springs for the money! The property taxes were lower too. BUT - they have a state income tax. When I put all the figures together, in spite of the lower property values and lower property tax rates, it would cost me $7000 more a year to live there. Uhhhh, no thanks.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,888 posts, read 10,422,571 times
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^ Good points and individual scenarios really can differ when you factor in income taxes, home prices, bang for your buck with house size/land, etc.

But still, property taxes never go away-even when you've paid off your house-so it is definitely something to think about.

Philadelphia County is #437 on the list and I like to think I'm getting ahead paying only $500 a year in property taxes on a home worth $100,000 but then I remember Philly has a city wage tax and PA has a state wage tax. It'll be nice when I'm no longer working but it pretty much evens out now.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:31 PM
 
5,563 posts, read 7,007,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meat123 View Post
The problem with high tax states like Massachusetts is most of the good universities are private, so you end up paying more for college tuition despite the high taxes you are already paying.
Very true. The public universities in Massachusetts are nothing great.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:48 PM
 
5,563 posts, read 7,007,464 times
Reputation: 2807
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
The issue in CA isn't property tax amounts - it's MORTGAGE amounts. It doesn't matter if your property taxes are capped at 2 percent of value, if you can't find a home for under $400k.
I have relatives who live in a small, dumpy house in the SF Bay Area that cost $850,000. Even if there were no property taxes, the mortgage alone is a killer.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,052,968 times
Reputation: 3600
Our house just north of Detroit has no mortgage on it (I think we bought it cash for $40K) but we still roughly pay $3,000 a year in taxes. Michigan also has a 4.25% state income tax and Detroit has a 2.4% income taxes on residents (1.2% for non-residents). So pretty most all the money you save in housing goes straight to taxes (as well as towards high car insurance rates).

Here's an interactive map for taxes rates across the country.

Property taxes: How does your county compare? - CNNMoney.com
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