The Upside Of A Down Housing Market

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.


One Response to “The Upside Of A Down Housing Market”

  1. pajkaki Says:

    What you experienced with property taxes is truly Taxation without Representation. I live in Ohio and recently went thorough a re-assesment of our property. State law requires each county to do a tri-ennial property reassesment. Interestingly enough each property is assesed part on the land and part on the structure (my house). The reassesment in my case had the value of the land increasing and the house decreasing, but the total went up. Beats me why the land is worth more today than three years ago…who knew?

    I decided to fight it. BIG MISTAKE! I looked up the law and sure enough there are provisions to protest the reassesment. I called the county auditors office and got the forms (in Government there’s forms for everthing…I know, I used to work for Uncle Sam). But guess what, you can’t fight the reassesment of land separate from the house. It had to be taken as a whole.

    In any event the whole process is so complicated and tilted in favor of the state that it wasn’t even worth filling out the form. Oh well, just grin and bear it I guess!

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