Why do taxes vary for different architectural styles?

Asked by 1st time homebuyer, 07202 Wed Dec 24, 2008

I recently looked at two homes in the same neighborhood with nearly equal square footage but one was a colonial and the other was a split level. The Split level had higher taxes. Is there a rule of thumb to follow for when homes will have higher taxes? It could be very useful for narrowing my search.

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Andrea Webb, , Montclair, NJ
Fri Jan 9, 2009
The taxes could also vary based on the lot size, even if the square footage of the house is similar. If one house is a corner lot, that could be a factor as they tend to be assessed higher. I helped a number of residents in Glen Ridge determine if their tax assessments were fair when a town wide revaluation was conducted last year. I'd be happy to look into this further to help determine why there is a disparity. Feel free to contact me at andrea@andreawebb.com.
Web Reference:  http://www.andreawebb.com
1 vote
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Sun Dec 28, 2008
There is no real "rule of thumb" as it depends upon the town you are looking, if there are upgrades, if there are upgrades and the owner has permits to do them..

Maybe the Split was updated and permits were pulled.. you pay tax on these upgrades
Maybe the colonial was also upgraded.. with no permits, so the tax man does not know what they did... yet.

Again, it depends on the town and many other variables. You Realtor should know how to direct you with your tax questions.
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Dec 25, 2008
Some forget areas "back up to each other" appear to be in the same neighborhood however different subdivision could warrant difference. ALSO tax COULD be based on the condition of home, did you compare those. a home excellent has higher tax base than a home rated fair.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
1 vote
Jack Vollenb…, Agent, Flemington, NJ
Thu Dec 25, 2008
Hi 1st timer,

Your best bet would be to ask the local tax assessor what their assessment criteria are. However, based on the two styles you mentioned I suspect that the colonial may be an older home than the split level. Split level style homes were typically built around the 1950s. The colonial can be as old as the 1910s depending on the area you're looking at. As a rule of thumb newer homes tend to get assessed a ratable that is a bit higher than older homes. This may be a factor in determining the tax amount. Styles typically do not factor in the equation. Hope this helps.

Happy Holidays!


Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser/RE Sales Associate
Vollenberg Appraisers/ERA Statewide Realty
1 vote
1st time hom…, Home Buyer, 07202
Sun Jan 25, 2009
I think I have figured out the answer to my own question. Architectural styles are clumped around similair time periods. It appears, in general, that newer homes are taxed higher than older homes. The colonial is at least 20 years older than the split level.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Jan 10, 2009

It's nice to see that you can be positive......thumbs up to you as well!!!!
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Dec 25, 2008
Sometimes it's the exterior, such as brick over cedar. Ask the county assessor. What do you mean is there a "rule of thumb" to follow? What sort of rule of thumb?
0 votes
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