If you have been in the real esate game very long, you certainly understand the value of knowing the property tax appraisal value on any deal you are considering. And for those of you who know how to retrieve that information online, more power to you. But if you don’t know how to find that information online, I have a great free tool you can use to easily find that information.
The Old School Tax Appraisal Hassle
Here’s the typical situation. Almost all the property taxing authorities are consolodated at the county level. So whever your county’s clerk is located, that is where you will be able to get the tax roll information. So the old method was to contact your county clerk, ask them where they were located, and then drive over or ask them directly about a property’s deed history, assessed value, taxes, etc. I think it is important to note here that the property’s tax value is referred to as an “assessed value” as opposed to a real estate appraiser’s “appraised value”. These two values can, and very often are different.
Technology Easing the Process
But using the phone or driving over to the county clerk’s office, many taxing districts have gone to an online delivery of the information. Now, you can still call them of course, but it is far easier to take advantage of their website (if they have one). So one suggestion would be to contact them, and ask for the link (url) to their automated tax appraisal site. But that is still work to get on the phone or drive over to get the information for the website, and then typing it into your browser, incorrectly, or whatever.
A Simple, Integrated Solution
Here’s the better solution: Zillow.com. Zillow takes the work out of your hands, and has already established the relationships with the various tax districts to collect and store the data online for you to use in one place. And the best part is…it’s free. All you have to do is go to their website, type in an address, neighborhood, city or zip code, hit the go button, and presto – a mapped representation of the homes in the area. And when you mouse over the homes, you will see the tax appraisal information for the individual property.
So now that you have that resource, try it out, and let me know what you think by commenting at the bottom of this page. I know the resource works well, and can help you determine your offer prices and acceptable profit margins when looking for a real estate deal.