In California, each county's assessor's office sets the property tax levels. Property taxes are a function of the county and the area where the home you'd like to purchase is located. In some cases, such as Mello-Roos districts, the property taxes might be slightly higher than in other surrounding sections.
If you are working with a real estate agent or professional, a quick call to the agent will provide you with the information you need to determine the current property taxes, and more important for you as a buyer, what your property taxes will be at a specific purchase price. Most of us have access to data base programs that can provide us with a quick estimate of property taxes. For more precise information, the title company with which you may be working--or in the case of Southern California, the escrow company--will likely have this information.
If you are not working with a real estate professional, make a quick call to the office or a visit to the website belonging to the County Assessor's office for information.
Good luck and happy house hunting!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty, San Jose, CA