Depending on where you’re buying, taxes could sway the affordability of your new purchase.

The closing process can be incredibly time consuming and exhausting, especially when you’re unprepared. Many unsuspecting buyers are thrown for a loop when yet another additional cost is added to the closing, especially if it’s the first time property taxes have been discussed. This is especially frustrating because you are not paying the government during the closing process — the government already collected money from the property for the current tax period. In reality, the previous homeowner (the seller) is likely attempting to recoup a portion of the property tax payment depending on where they are in the current tax period. This is not unusual, but it’s necessary for homebuyers to know how much they will be expected to pay for property taxes before they reach the closing process.

We’ve highlighted a few of the frequently asked questions about this issue below.

Why do I need to know how much the property taxes are?

Most mortgage companies will make the buyer escrow their property taxes, therefore making it a part of their monthly payment. This is a huge factor in determining if you can afford your mortgage payments consistently. What’s more, it’s possible for property taxes to increase due to a reassessment of the home’s value after it’s purchased. You do not want to be left paying an increased rate on your new home year after year because you overpaid for the home initially.

Is there a limit on the amount a home can be reassessed for?

This depends on the state and city in which you’re purchasing. Some states and local areas have laws that cap the amount that a property can be reassessed. In Florida, there is a homestead exemption that limits reassessment after the first year to increase no more than three percent a year.

What factors affect the cost of my property taxes?

Property taxes are typically evaluated based on the assessed value of the home, as determined by the local government tax appraiser, the current budget of the local government, and a mill rate. A mill rate is the dollar amount assessed in tax for every thousand dollars of the assessed value.

How can I find out what my property taxes are?

Property taxes differ from town to town, which allows prospective homebuyers to compare these rates to get the best housing value for their money. A government’s budget should reflect the condition and quality of the area’s schools, the police force, and fire department, recreational areas and other local responsibilities. For example, a town in need of a new elementary school may have higher taxes than the town nearby with a fairly new elementary school.

Because of the various factors that go into determining your property taxes, it is best to get as much information as you can on the towns with relatively high taxes as well as addressing this issue with the potential seller up front.

In order to be prepared and well informed, it’s best to consult a trusted and knowledgeable Realtor in the towns you are looking to buy a residence. If you’re planning to look for a new home in Naples, let Dante Disabato be your property-taxes adviser. With years of experience in Southwest Florida, he knows all there is to know about real estate in this area. Fill out a contact form and get started on finding the town and taxes that best fit your budget.

This material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. These offerings are subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, changes, including but not restricted to, price or withdrawal without notice. A buyer should be represented by legal counsel and have a professional inspection and a survey of the property certified to the buyer to verify information contained herein and all other information upon which a buyer may intend to rely. William Raveis Real Estate.