Home Buying in 15218>Question Details

Rachel, Home Buyer in Pittsburgh, PA

We have been looking for houses in the Regent Square area. I am confused by the range of property taxes. We

Asked by Rachel, Pittsburgh, PA Wed Jul 9, 2008

have looked at houses in the $200,000 range that have annaul taxes as high as $8,000! It would be like adding a second mortgage payment to our monthly bill (i.e. ,an extra $700 a month for the tax). I don't know how people afford this. Any suggestions?

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The disparity in property taxes is due mainly to the fact that the Regent Square area is served by three different school districts - Wilkinsburgh, Woodland Hills and Pittsburgh. Each school district has different tax rates, with Wilkinsburgh as the highest followed by Woodland Hills and City of Pittsburgh. If you limit your search to the Pittsburgh school district you'll have better luck finding properties with lower taxes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
You are right that taxes in some areas are a significant consideration in purchaseing a new home. Sometimes there does not seem to be a direct correlation between property value and taxes due to the time differences in when a property was last assessed. In other cases it is a matter of the specific taxing entity that is levying the taxes. Some areas provide more services and therefore taxes are higher, or the property values are lower, therefore tax base is smaller but cost of services still needs to be paid.
What to do?
1) Check if moving into the next taxing jurisdiction lowers taxes on a home in your price range.
2) Call the taxing authority or assessment office and see if there is a chance of contesting a high tax. Sometimes you can get an adjustment. (ask your Realtor if you don't know where to call.)
3) Make sure you take note of current tax structure when you decide on the house you will buy.
Best wishes in your house hunting.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
To add to what the other agents of told you below, you also need to keep in mind that taxes shown on the properties you are looking at are what the current homeowners are paying, and that you could be re-assessed after your purchase. Right now, taxes are supposed to be based on the 2002 base rate. There is much controversy reagrding that however, and on occasion the disparity may simply be that different homes were assessed differently. Also, many people take the homestead exemption which lowers their assessed value as well. Sales price here in Pittsburgh generally has absolutely nothing to do with the assessed value, and that is perhaps the number you want to look at. Your annual taxes will be 2.941% of your assessed value if you are in the City of Pittsburgh School district.
I hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
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