Monday, April 11, 2016
Over the last few days my wife and I have received a few letters in the mail regarding our house... another couple of firsts… which were equally good and bad. The first letter that we received was something that we knew was going to show up eventually and we weren’t looking forward to it… our property tax bill. It is almost like being lulled into a false sense of relief when looking at this total with the knowledge of what our total annual taxes are on the property. This was obviously the first and much smaller bill… the school tax bill will arrive this summer.
Having paid our taxes up front at settlement… actually, our mortgage includes the funds being held in escrow that we need for our annual taxes… I scanned and sent the invoice off to the bank. While it means a pretty significant increase in your monthly mortgage payment I do recommend having the bank hold these tax related funds in escrow as the last thing that I wanted to pay this past month was a rather substantial property tax bill. It was reassuring to see this invoice taken care of without a big hit to our account and without any impact on the amount we still owe the bank.
Another piece of mail that I scanned and sent to the bank was our official approval for our Homestead Exclusion. Essentially, since we own this property which serves as our primary home, we are entitled to a slight reduction in our school taxes. And when I say slight I mean very, very small. But, at the end of the year, whatever that amount may be, it is still money that stays in our account. Given the size of the invoice that we are bound to receive, about 2-3 times more than the initial bill from the township, it will be nice to be able to hold on to a few extra dollars.
I guess you could say that these are a few of the unpleasant first time experiences as new homeowners but, in the end, we wouldn’t change a thing. There are some ‘negative’ things about ownership and the responsibilities that we now have as partners in this endeavor but, in the end, they are minor in comparison to the benefits and security that we now have in our home. We know where we are going to be for the long term. We know where our son is going to grow up. We own our home and we have land that we are free to enjoy (after taxes).