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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
194 posts, read 125,195 times
Reputation: 284

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Hi all,

I am originally from PA. I grew up in Broomall, but currently live in Raleigh, NC. My wife and I both work from home, and have the ability to live practically anywhere we want as long as high-speed internet is available. We are considering making a move back north to be closer to family. Our primary areas of interest are anywhere in the northern half of the mountain region of Virginia, and just about anywhere in the southern quarter of PA (the goal is to be closer to Hagerstown, MD).

We want a place with a decent amount of land. Two acres is the absolute minimum, but the more the better. Put a trout stream on it, and I'll be in heaven. Have a Home Depot and/or Lowes nearby, and that would be an awesome bonus. Good hospitals close, and we can breath easier. Airport to fly out of to Tucson, AZ within an hour's distance is a super bonus (lower on the list than the rest).

BUT ... while looking for homes in PA, I have noticed a trend. The property taxes seem to have skyrocketed! When I search for houses on Zillow, for example, I see homes with property taxes of maybe $2,000/year for the past four or five years, and now suddenly the taxes on those same houses have shot up to $6, $7, $8k a year!!!

What the heck is going on!?!
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:45 PM
 
4,074 posts, read 3,032,530 times
Reputation: 1227
Which municipalities are you looking in?
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
194 posts, read 125,195 times
Reputation: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dequindre View Post
Which municipalities are you looking in?
Honestly, I am looking at the whole southern 1/3 of the state. The tax issue isn't everywhere in PA, but it is widespread.

I did a very quick search on Zillow this morning, and found these examples:

Taxes on this one went form about $700 to over $3400 in 2018
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9...78639760_zpid/

This one went from about $1500 to about $6500
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7...60453312_zpid/

This one went from $1500 to almost $6000
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1.../8912930_zpid/

Here we see less than $1000 to almost $5000
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4...08699500_zpid/


I'm not necessarily interested in any of the above houses, but they are good examples that show the steep and sudden jump in taxes. I don't see this in any other state. Just good ol' PA.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
299 posts, read 408,668 times
Reputation: 339
Some of the places you looked at were near or in PA's equivalent of a city. If you want a reasonably good school district, then you will have to pay for it.

We found equivalent priced property that had half the school tax, 8 miles out of Gettysburg. So, try looking at some of the small towns if you don't mind a half hour drive for amenities and you don't have children school age. PA has a lot of small towns
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
194 posts, read 125,195 times
Reputation: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by medievalbooks View Post
Some of the places you looked at were near or in PA's equivalent of a city. If you want a reasonably good school district, then you will have to pay for it.

We found equivalent priced property that had half the school tax, 8 miles out of Gettysburg. So, try looking at some of the small towns if you don't mind a half hour drive for amenities and you don't have children school age. PA has a lot of small towns
Hi Medieval,

Thanks for the response. The houses I gave as examples were just ones that I found quickly, but I see the same thing even in small towns. But really, my question is about the huge increase over the past year or two. I understand that some places have high taxes, and always have had high taxes, but why have so many areas of PA gone up so drastically only recently?
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:21 PM
 
27 posts, read 34,808 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2002wgn View Post
Hi Medieval,

Thanks for the response. The houses I gave as examples were just ones that I found quickly, but I see the same thing even in small towns. But really, my question is about the huge increase over the past year or two. I understand that some places have high taxes, and always have had high taxes, but why have so many areas of PA gone up so drastically only recently?
It's possible some areas have gone through reassessments. I'm in the Harrisburg area and am not aware of some large overarching issue that's going on.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:20 PM
 
587 posts, read 266,909 times
Reputation: 2107
I would be a bit suspicious of the quality of data you are looking at. I frequently look at zillow listings in several areas of the country. I have noticed a lot of odd data in the property tax info. I have seen the opposite of what you report, including one market where every listing I looked at, show drastic year to year reductions in tax bills. As in last year $5K this year $1.5K. Be aware that the majority of a property tax bill here in PA is school tax, and as such, has state enforced limited to the percentage of increase. Reassessments are similarly limited. This pretty much prevents a property seeing a 250% increase, like zillow is telling you. Having been a property owner in both northeast and now south central PA, my guess is that the $6-7K is probably the right number, and a true listing of the last decade or so of yearly tax bills will show a slow climb in yearly figures, and no huge jumps. Unless you go to some remote corner of the state, and end up with nothing on your wish list but the lot size and trout stream, you are pretty unlikely to be looking at a $2K a year tax bill. In my area, a decent home on the land you want is a $5-8K tax bill.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Phila
518 posts, read 937,453 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2002wgn View Post
Hi Medieval,

Thanks for the response. The houses I gave as examples were just ones that I found quickly, but I see the same thing even in small towns. But really, my question is about the huge increase over the past year or two. I understand that some places have high taxes, and always have had high taxes, but why have so many areas of PA gone up so drastically only recently?
I moved to the outskirts of Philly in 2010 from Raleigh-Durham and taxes in any decent area were easily in the $4500-8000/yr range for a small "cheaper" home. Compared to about $1000-1300 I used to pay in NC.


It's mostly school taxes. It's insane. I suppose the rest of the state is catching up with the big cities.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:41 PM
 
Location: NY
10,381 posts, read 3,019,074 times
Reputation: 6825
Like it or hate it the following is only my opinion:

I have been doing some research as place of possible retirement.
Pa is one option. Access to amenities and city services change values
but for the most part I experienced that suburban towns share common
taxes dispensations.

My studies conclude on average ( call it ball park if you will ) the following:


Homes costing $50,000 annual property taxes of $1,000
Homes costing $100,000 annual property taxes of $2,000
Homes costing $200,000 annual property taxes of $4,000
Homes costing $300,000 annual property taxes of $6,000
Homes costing $400,000 annual property taxes of $8,000

If the home is remodeled on the outside taxes jump to what the appreciated value would be.
If the home is is remodeled on the inside and the outside looks like its getting ready to crumble? No jump.

If the home is hooked up to city water and sewer taxes jump.
Not so much for well water and septic.

The trend seems to be that if you want to a maintain the lowest possible taxes in PA
move to a rural area. Choose well water and septic over city and sewer.
Choose Bottled gas over Oil delivery or gas line.
Keep far away from school districts.
Do Not fix up the outside of your home........strange as it sounds. Only make necessary repairs.
I am open to constructive criticism on this matter..........
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:05 PM
 
Location: NY
10,381 posts, read 3,019,074 times
Reputation: 6825
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2002wgn View Post
Honestly, I am looking at the whole southern 1/3 of the state. The tax issue isn't everywhere in PA, but it is widespread.

I did a very quick search on Zillow this morning, and found these examples:

Taxes on this one went form about $700 to over $3400 in 2018
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9...78639760_zpid/

I'm not necessarily interested in any of the above houses, but they are good examples that show the steep and sudden jump in taxes. I don't see this in any other state. Just good ol' PA.


Like it or hate it the following is only my opinion:
The taxes on this house are currently $3603.00
It has an assessed value of $24,820.00
It's a 2400 sq.ft. home on 2.5 acres of land and attached to city water and sewer.
It's taxes in 2005 were $1,417 and current $3,603 ....a little over double in price in 15 years.

For $229,000 I think it's a fair price compared to New York.Don't go by Zillow.
At times they only show the property taxes not the full ( school, municipality etc.. annual amount).
This is a Zillow Problem ......That jump does scare many people at first glance from 2017 to 2108..
I would feel uncomfortable as a retiree if my taxes were to jump from $700 to $3,400. in such a short time.

As another example:
Owning a home in New York City my taxes tripled in 10 years. The main reason I am looking to leave.
After being a productive member of society for almost 40 years once you retire your income is fixed and
the city does not offer any incentives to stay. It is only interested in giving out free cheese at your expense
( hence the rise in property taxes ).

In Conclusion:
Most people retire in their 60's. If all goes well they hope to get a good 30 years before kicking the can.
Purchase a home with the lowest possible property taxes you can find and take it from there. If you start off
paying $2000 a year today and make it another 30 years you'll be paying $8,000 by the time its all over .
Best wishes.
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