Home Buying in 77082>Question Details

eladebnebil, Home Buyer in Houston, TX

Hi, I want to buy a relatively cheap place (very old and bad condition). If I will renovate it or recycle it will that raise my property taxes??

Asked by eladebnebil, Houston, TX Sun Jan 20, 2013

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Melody Barlow’s answer
There are lots of factors that go into Harris County Appraisel Districts (HCAD) determination of property taxes (individual property, location, neighborhood conditions, etc). I always recommend that a home owner dispute their property taxes on an annual basis. It doesn't cost anything to do so, and in many cases it can save you money. There are even companies that will dispute your property taxes on your behalf, and you only are charged if they succeed in lowering your taxes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
Depends on how much you are doing? If your adding square footage to the home and/or needing permits to do the work, it might be noticed by the appraisal district and yes, the taxes might go up. A good problem to have if the value of the home you purchased is increasing.

You can always protest your taxes with the accessed values come out in March from the appraisal district. With a Realtors help, you can quickly determine if they have your home overvalued and protest to try and get that assigned value lowered. You will see commercials for companies that do this, but a home owner can do it easily and for FREE. Takes about an hour or two out of your day to visit the appraisal district on Highway 290 (for Harris County/Houston).

A more important question might be how much updating should you do? You need to keep in mind the values and what are the typical updates in the community. If you do too much, you will likely not get any of those investment dollars back. Again, a Realtor can best advise based on the neighborhood your look to purchase in.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
The Appraisal District will assess your property yearly and with improvements there may be an increase in taxes. However if the taxes increased greatly you can protest them with your purchase price or lower comps in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
Texas appraisal districts are required by law to appraised property at 100% of market value as well as value them uniformly. They keep records of each individual property. They also utilize mass appraisal techniques (statistical modeling) to accomplish this task. The official valuation date is January 1st of each year. Harris County has over 1.3 million residential properties to value. According to my calculus, my answer is 'maybe'.

The realistic answer is ... if the property is in Harris County and the property sells, there is a pretty good chance the property value will EVENTUALLY be adjusted to fit within valuation models and many times get individual attention by an individual appraiser working at the appraisal district.

Side note: if the home does not maintain a homestead exemption, the odds are higher that the value will be increased because no valuation cap is in place. Keep in mind, you have the opportunity to protest the value each year. While April 30 is the early deadline to file a residence homestead protest and May 31 usually is the last day to file other protests, a different deadline may apply (http://hcad.org/pdf/forms/41-44.pdf).

If there is any confusion, feel free to call.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
A home that is "very old and in bad condition" will almost certainly require that you purchase it for cash. Lenders are reluctant to finance a property that needs considerable work (other than updating), and there's generally a minimum amount (usually in the $50's).

Do you plan on doing the improvements yourself, or hiring contractors? Be aware that "self-renovation" or using individuals who work without pulling necessary permits can come back to bite you. There's a place to reveal such information on the Seller's Disclosure, so when it comes time to put the home on the market, you must note that information. If you fail to do so, you open yourself to all kinds of litigation, which can cost you dearly. Personally, I would never recommend such a property to a buyer.

We all want to save on taxes ... but there are legitimate ways to go about it. Houston's system of protest (you can do so online at the HCAD website) is quite taxpayer-friendly. Sooner or later, they'll get around to your neighborhood ... just when that will be is a crapshoot. One way or the other, you'll be paying your fair share.

Best of luck ... I get the feeling you'll need it.

Regards ...

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
Depends on the property.... It will likely be taxed at an assessed value that is higher than it is worth...
If you fix it up, you will likely see the county increase the assessed value regardless....
There is no loophole to escape the tax man.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
Well, I don't know what your 'relatively cheap' figure is but were your thinking cash purchase---because too bad a condition would not be easily financed.

Frankly 77082 is between Westheimer/Harwin (east/west streets) and Beltway 8 to a little passed Hwy. 6 (north/south streets) and homes in this area have a few varible decades for ages as well as size. You're going to need a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of any of these subdivisions to decide appropriate investment and renovations.

Willing to help with neighbor comps.

PV Properties
Brenda Peavy, Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
There are some excellent property choices in 77082, but do get a Realtor with experience in home renovations and with investment purchases. Neighborhoods vary, and city ordiances do, too.

Depending on how busy HCAD is, you may never see a sharp increase in your taxes unless the entire neighborhood is undergoing renovations and the number of permits increase.

If you dont have time to protest your taxes in person, you can go to HCAD.ORG for instructions on protesting via mail. Your Realtor can give you up to date Comparative properties to use.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
FYI many upgrades to a home require permits which notifies the city !

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
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