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Property Taxes

It's Tax Appeal Time – What You Should Know

“Should I appeal my tax assessment?”

As the April 1st tax appeal deadline approaches, that’s the question du jour.

Town-wide re-valuations are done every 5 to 10 years in an effort to fairly distribute the tax burden across all property owners according to the value of each property. However, sometimes the system fails. If your home was measured incorrectly or if an extra bathroom was inadvertently added into your assessment, you may be paying more than your fair share in real estate taxes. 

Over-assessment can also be the result of a neighborhood that declines in value relative to other neighborhoods, or a shift in buyer preference for a certain style of house. If you believe you’ve been assessed unfairly, you have the opportunity to challenge your assessment, and this is especially important to do if you’re planning on listing your house soon.

According to Jeffrey Otteau, one of New Jersey’s most respected appraisers, there’s not only a direct relationship between an over-assessed house and its selling price, there’s even a rule-of-thumb calculation you can apply to determine how much it will affect your selling price.

Otteau says that when selling, a home’s value is reduced by 7.5 times the excess valuation. So, for example, if most of the 1,800 SF, 2-Bath houses in the area have yearly taxes of $16,000 and the taxes on your 1,800 SF, 2-Bath house are $18,000, all other things being equal, that additional $2,000 translates to a $15,000 reduction in value in the marketplace.

The key in evaluating your tax burden is understanding how your home – and assessed taxes – compare with similar homes/taxes. I’m always happy to meet with sellers a year (or more!) before they put their house on the market to determine whether it’s worthwhile to challenge their current tax assessment. Call or text: 973-809-5277  

Tax Appeals Due April 1 !!

tax season

I pride myself on being with my clients for the long haul. Not just showing properties and taking someone through the sale, but also helping them get acclimated to the town. The schools, the arts scene, the night life, the outdoor recreation - this area has so much to offer (truly SO MUCH) that I often feel like I get to know some of my clients better after they're settled in and they call on me for info.

This time of year is especially busy as the market starts to explode with listings, and also as the deadline looms for filing tax appeals. Many of my clients call on me for comps - one of the many factors involved in filing an appeal. The deadline for filing is April 1.

I'm also happy to talk to my clients about what kind of improvements will yield the best return when it's time to sell. Some folks worry that they're asking me for too much extra customer service. Hardly. In fact, that's what I've built my reputation on!

Is Your Glen Ridge House For Sale? In the Eye of the Beholder it Looks Like This:

Your house as seen by...


Your Buyer...

Your Lender...

Your Appraiser...


Your county tax assessor





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      Where's my NJ Homestead Rebate?

      Homestead rebateLast week I received my 2008 Homestead Rebate Application.  While I dutifully filled out the worksheet, I remembered my rebate from last year as being very minor, but better than nothing.  Lot and block number? Check.  Filing status number? Check. NJ Homeowner as of Oct 1, 2008? Check.  Only upon reading the fine print did I realize that I am no longer eligible.  As it turns out, one of the casualties of NJ's 29 Billion dollar budget is the homestead rebate check for New Jersey homeowners making more than $75,000/year.  NJ residents who are elderly or disabled have a household income threshold of $150,000.

      The deadline for filing an application for the 2008 NJ Homestead rebate is September 1 of 2009.  Worksheet packets were mailed to non-senior and non-disabled residents during the last week of July. If you did not receive your application call the Homestead Rebate Hotline at 1-888-238-1233 or on the web at

      "The Homestead Rebate program provides rebates for homeowners and tenants who occupied their principal residence in New Jersey on Oct 1st, paid property taxes on that dwelling either directly or through rent, and whose gross income for the entire year does not exceed certain limits"