I used to think that buying a home was a smart financial move because mortgage payments didn’t increase every year like rent. Silly me, I left the greedy government out of the home-ownership equation.
Ever since we bought our first home in 1997, our mortgage payment has increased every year because of property taxes. As our property increased in value, the taxes pegged to that value did as well. That reality has been a serious pain in our family budget the past few years because of skyrocketing property assessments in Northern Virginia.
These days the housing market is in the tank. That’s never a good thing, but there is an upside to it: lower taxes. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a hefty rebate from our escrow account yesterday.
The government is sure to get a slice eventually, though. We can either splurge by spending our windfall — and paying sales taxes. Or we can dump it into a savings account — and pay taxes a year from now on the interest we earn.