RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Property Tax Primer: Is Your Assessment Correct?

December 25, 2015 2:12 am

There are millions of articles out there on the best ways to prepare your home for sale. But what about preparing to stay, and dealing with a reassessment or revaluation that may be inaccurately boosting your local property taxes?

For some answers, I turned to Vision Government Solutions, a supplier of land management software technology and services to local government organizations, enabling efficient assessment, billing, collections, mapping, and permitting.

According to Vision, the following four questions and accompanying information can help you to decide if your assessment is correct.

1) Can I sell my property for that amount?

The first thing that you should do is ask yourself if you could sell the property for approximately that amount.

2) Do assessment officials have the correct information on my property?

You can review the information that the assessing department has collected on your property to make sure the data is accurate either online, or at your local assessor's office. While reviewing your property, make sure that all measurements on the sketch are accurate. Note that all measurements are taken from the exterior. You should also check the land size and interior data to ensure accuracy.

3) How much are similar properties in my neighborhood selling for?

If your city or town has property information available on the Internet, you can do a sales search by going to the appropriate website. Make sure that you choose recent sales that are similar to your own property. For instance, if you owned a 2,000 square foot colonial that is assessed for $350,000 and has one-half acre of land, you would fill out the choices as shown below.

4) How much have similar properties in my neighborhood been assessed for?

If you do not have any recent sales activity in your local area, you can look up the assessed value of similar parcels that are located near your property. Be aware that what may appear to be a similar parcel may in fact be very different from your property.

Whether it's just a few, or hundreds of dollars in taxes saved, it often pays to confirm the agency handling your property information has the most accurate and up-to-date data.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Are You Ready for Winter's Worst?

December 25, 2015 2:12 am

As sure as winter follows fall, winter storms aren't far behind, either. Take time to review a number of important reminders to keep you, your family and home safe during winter storms. Let's review a handy pre-storm prep list recently released by the multi-state utility Eversource Energy:

During/After a Storm

- Be attentive to severe weather warnings.

- Leave your home if authorities order an evacuation, especially if your home is in an area that floods easily.
In frigid weather, if your power is likely to be out for more than a few days, you may want to call your plumber and ask about draining your home’s water pipes so they don’t freeze and burst.

- Your automobile is a good place to charge your cell phone or stay warm during a storm, as long as you keep it well ventilated and don’t go to sleep while the motor is running.

- You can always cook outside on a grill or camping cook-stove. However, never bring grills inside!

- Foods in your refrigerator and freezer should be consumed quickly, particularly in the event of a potentially lengthy outage, before they have a chance to spoil. If the temperature is cold enough outside, food can always be placed in a cooler outside to prevent it from spoiling.

- If you don’t have surge protectors or suppressors, unplug your sensitive equipment. Voltage irregularities can occur for any number of reasons during or after a storm, especially if there has been damage on or near your home. The safest thing to do is to unplug any sensitive electrical devices (TV, VCR, stereo, microwave, computer, answering machine, garage door opener, etc.).

- After a storm, Eversource advises you to stay away from downed wires and trees that might have wires caught in them. Report any downed wire you may see to your local electric utility or call 911 Assume all downed wires are “live” and stay away.

- Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching such as puddles and metal fences.

- If you’re in a vehicle and downed wires are on the car or across the road, stay in your car until emergency crews arrive to handle the energized wires.

- It is safe to use a cell phone while inside your car.

- Don't drive over downed lines, and if a downed line is in or near water, keep your distance from the water, even a little puddle.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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