Jeremy Drobeck ~ (269) 488-9494 ~ Apply Now ~ Contact Us

On January 22nd at the Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS® will be hosting a presentation by Alan C. Jeffries from
Advanced Property Tax Services. Mr. Jeffries will talk about why you would and/or should appeal your property tax, how to appeal and the process involved.  This is sure to be a great event.  I've personally used their services and am happy to say they have saved me thousands of dollars a year.  Disputing property taxes is hands down best left to the pros.  But understanding the process is equally as important so that you can properly advise your clients.  Don't miss this event!

Breakfast begins at GKAR at 8:30am. Presentation is from 9:00am to 10:30am. RSVP with GKAR

Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS® 5830 Venture Park Drive |Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 382-1597

More Tax appeal videos

Published in Jeremy's Blog

When it comes to tax foreclosures real estate investor can find some great buys.  However often investors go in blind and don't find out about a major pitfall with tax sales until they go to resell the home.  In a previous post we did about the tax auction we explain the basic process of how to acquire one of these properties and with the sale right around the corner (Aug. 18, 2014) it time to hear the rest of the story.

Check out the video below where we interviewed some people who know first hand what's involved with passing clear title.

Most of the times a property purchased at the auction will have a clouded title.  The basic problem is that when the property is resold the title company wont insure it and therefor the buyers lender won't lend on it.  This is because the county didn't notice the previous owners property, well they did according to their rules, but not enough to get the title company comfortable issuing insurance.  The county is only required to mail out a notice, rather than have the previous owners actually sign acknowledging they received it.  So its possible to have someone comeback years later claiming they have an ownership interest in the property.  Not good!!

So what's the solution.  Really there are two options, if the county is willing to help, the investor can deed the property back to the county and the county can go in front of a judge and have things cleared (this takes about a month).  The other option if the investor doesn't want to hand the property back over the the county is to hire an attorney and private investigator to properly notice the former owners.  Assuming they don't make a claim the investor can get clear title.

At the end of the day none of this is all that big of a deal as long as the investor does all this upfront.  Investors should do the following:

  1. Budget for these expenses it can cost $1,200 to $2,000 to get clear title.
  2. Start the process right away - don't wait till the house is fixed up and you have a buyer to start what could be a 3 month process.  Start it immediately after purchasing the property.
  3. Do your homework - many title companies can help determine what steps will be necessary before you purchase the home.  So if you are drooling over a particular property talk to your local title company about it prior to the auction.

Check out our interview with Mary Balkema (Kalamazoo County Tresurer), Curt Dinkelmyer (head of Devon Title Company),  Jeremy Cole (Tax Auction Investor), & Martha Wilbur (home buyer).

 

To view properties for sale at auctions in Michigan visit www.tax-sale.info

Published in Jeremy's Blog

On May 1st, 2012 Governor Snyder signed Public Act 114 of 2012.  The Act established two deadlines by which Principal Residence Exemptions may be filed. 

The deadline for a property owner to file a “Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) Affidavit” (Form 2368) for taxes levied after December 31, 2011, changed from May 1 to June 1, and a second deadline of November 1 was added. As a result, property owners that occupy a property as a principal residence and submit Form 2368 to the local tax collecting unit on or before June 1, 2012, may qualify for a PRE beginning with the 2012 summer tax levy. If a property owner occupies a property as a principal residence at any time from June 2, 2012 to November 1, 2012 and submits Form 2368 to the local tax collecting unit on or before November 1, 2012, that property owner may qualify for a PRE beginning with the 2012 winter tax levy.

So whats all that mean to you as a buyer purchasing a home. . . .

Lets say your buying a bank owned property that is nonhomestead and has the first higher tax bill coming out 12/1 with a tax bill as example that will be $1,200 higher due to not having the PRE.

The title work and therefore escrow account is going to be based on the prior year taxes.  If you close by 11/1 and get the form filled then you have nothing to worry about the taxes will not go up they will be billed at the lower amount and you will be good to go.  If however you close after 11/1 then you are going to get stuck with that higher tax bill.  Now here is the real kicker.  From what I have seen the tax prorations will be based on the prior year so buyers closing between 11/1 and when the higher tax bill comes out will get stuck paying the entire amount of the bill the seller will not pay any of the higher tax amount.  To boot a few months later the buyer will end up with a shortage in their escrow account because of this and see a large increase in their house payment.  The good news is that is only temporary so the following year they will adjust back down.  However, an unexpected bill for 1200 or so dollars is never a good thing nor is a large payment increase!

This is something we look at with buyers purchasing homes this time of year, if you would like to discuss it more or have questions give us a call.

Published in Jeremy's Blog

Jeremy Drobeck of Amerifirst Home Mortgage meets with tax expert Dennis Greenfield to help people learn about some of the benefit's to home ownership. Having the ability to take the mortgage interest deduction can in turn open up a whole bunch of other write-offs. Things such as state & local taxes that were paid, property taxes, charitable contributions, etc. . . Watch this video to learn more about these possible deductions.

Published in Jeremy's Blog

What Do You Do When The Board Of Review Says "NO!"?

Here are a couple Pointers:

  1. In my experience the Board of Review almost shoots you down, but the appeal process at the State Tax Tribunal has a reasonable non-bias person there to look at your appeal - GO TO the Tax Tribunal!
  2. Don't be scared, these are real people there to hear your case!
  3. Be Prepared
  4. Cost FREE if its your primary residence, non-homestead fee is $125
  5. Petition Form (appeal only assessed value)
  6. 35 days after you file you should receive a docket number
  7. 25 days later response from municipality saying they received
  8. Be Prepared to wait for a hearing date! They are are backed up 1.5 - 2 years
  9. Local hearing where both you and the assessor present evidence (same basic thing you brought to the board of review)
  10. 21 days prior to the hearing you will submit your evidence or a packet showing why you are appealing
  11. You will also recive the municipalities evidance so you can review and dispute at hearing
  12. About 45 days after hearing you get the ruling.

Overwhelmed? Alan Jeffries can help for a nominal fee.

Published in Jeremy's Blog

Why Appeal Those Taxes?

There are lots of reason to appeal your property taxes. The main one being that it can save you money. I look at what properties are selling for and what they are assessed at everyday and more often than not they are assessed significantly higher than what they are selling for. That can only mean one thing . . . YOUR paying too much in property taxes! In this video we talk about the why and how to check to make sure your being taxed fairly. For some additional info also check out this document put out by the City of Kalamazoo .

 

How To Appeal Your Property Taxes?

Step 1 - File with the board of review Form L-4035

Step 2 - Appeal in person if at all possible (you only get a small window each year and will need to set that up in February. Don't miss it)

Step 3- Take as much info with you as possible, you must make your case.

  • Check your property record card for accuracy
  • Comparable Properties (get these from your Real Estate Agent, the local county website, or hire someone like Alan Jeffires to help)
  • Appraisal
  • HUD -1 if recent purchase
  • Try to stay away from using distressed sales as comparable (foreclosures)
  • Pictures if the home is a little beat up
  • Invite them out to the property

Don't be scared of these guys! It's easy to do and doesn't cost you anything! Be prepared to get REJECTED!!!!!! - Watch the next video that's where you learn how to appeal and win!

 

What Do You Do When The Board Of Review Says "NO!"?

State Tax Tribunal

In my experience the Board of Review almost shoots you down, but the appeal process at the State Tax Tribunal has a reasonable non-bias person there to look at your appeal - GO TO the Tax Tribunal! This is where many people see their tax reduced.

A couple pointers:

  1. Don't be scared, these are real people there to hear your case!
  2. Be Prepared
  3. Cost FREE if it’s your primary residence, non-homestead fee is $125

The process

  1. Get rejected at the Board of Review
  2. File the Petition Form along with the fee (appeal only assessed value)
  3. 35 days after you file you should receive a docket number
  4. 25 days later response from municipality saying they received
  5. Be prepared to wait for a hearing date! They are backed up 1.5 - 2 years, but it will get scheduled
  6. 21 days prior to the hearing you will have to submit your evidence or a packet showing why you are appealing
  7. You will also receive the municipalities evidence so you can review and dispute at hearing
  8. The hearing
    1. Local hearing where both you and the assessor are present and make your case.
    2. You present your evidence
      1. Same thing you brought to the Board of Review (see above)
      2. Also bring information to dispute the assessors evidence
    3. Assessor presents their evidence
    4. Person hearing the case asks questions to both parties
  9. About 45 days after hearing you get the ruling.

Overwhelmed? Visit Advanced Property Tax Services can help for a nominal fee.

Published in Pages

Last time we talked about why you might dispute your property taxes. Now learn HOW!

Step 1 - File with the board of review Form L-4035

Step 2 - Appeal in person if at all possible (you only get a small window each year and will need to set that up in February. Don't miss it)

Step 3- Take as much info with you as possible, you must make your case.

  • Check your property record card for accuracy
  • Comparable Properties (get these from your Real Estate Agent, the local county website, or hire someone like Alan Jeffires  to help)
  • Appraisal
  • HUD -1 if recent purchase
  • Try to stay away from using distressed sales as comparable (foreclosures)
  • Pictures if the home is a little beat up
  • Invite them out to the property

Don't be scared of these guys! It's easy to do and doesn't cost you anything! Be prepared to get REJECTED!!!!!! - Watch the next video that's where you learn how to appeal and win!

Published in Jeremy's Blog

Thinking your paying too much in property taxes? You might be! I look up a lot of property taxes and find that most homes are selling for less than what the local assessors are saying they are worth. Perfect example would be a home I bought for $25,000, the home was NOT a forclosure and was on the market for 501 days before I purchased it. Yet the City of Kalamazoo says the property is worth $80,000! If that's not over assessed I don't know what is. This next seris of videos is going to walk you thru the process of disputing your property taxes. You only get one shot a year and its comming up here soon at the end of Febuary. In this video I sit down with Alan Jeffries from Century 21 Advance Realty and talk the basics of what home owners need to know. Alan is a Level 3 Assesor in the State of Michigan and has been a licensed real estate agent for years!

Published in Jeremy's Blog

Kalamazoo Township as done it now. It sure looks like they are out to protect their pocket books rather than doing whats right. Rates are up, RD's still has a little bit of money let.

Published in Jeremy's Blog

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