You did not specify a property, but it doesn't matter because the only way to get an accurate assessment of the mechanical, structural, electrical, and plumbing conditions is with a thorough home inspection.
As far as taxes, the only way to lower the property taxes is to lower the assessed value of the taxing authority. To do this, you must protest the value and show up to any scheduled informal or formal hearing with substantiating proof that the assessed value is too high. Typically, comparable properties of a lower market value is a good route, along with photographs if the home is distressed. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. In my local area, I know an investor that lost at both an informal and formal hearing and had to take legal action to have some of his properties re-assessed. If it gets to that point, it could become costly.
Darrell D. Drouillard
Home Team of America
16719 Huebner Rd., Bldg 4
San Antonio, Texas 78248
'Serving all Your Real Estate Needs'