Higher Property Taxes Impacts Everyone

If you live in King, Pierce, Snohomish or many other Washington state counties, you have some sticker shock when you see your 2018 property taxes.  King County is reporting that the average home will see their taxes increase by 17%.  The City of Sumner in Pierce County may see a whopping 22% jump to their property tax.

The increase in property taxes is taking place due to rising home values, initiatives passed by votes attached to property taxes as well as our state legislature deciding to use property tax as a way to fund the McCleary decision funding public schools.

From King County:  “Low-income seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners may qualify for a property-tax exemption offered by King County. Information on how to apply for an exemption, along with other property-assessment-related information, can be found at kingcounty.gov/assessor. Property taxes vary depending upon location, the assessed value of the property, and the number of jurisdictions levying taxes (such as state, city, county, school district, port, fire district, etc).”

Property taxes for 2018 notices are arriving in mailboxes and really catching some off-guard. The Seattle Times reports “The owner of a median-valued home in Seattle ($597,000) will pay about $825 more than the owner of a median-valued home last year. Across the lake in Bellevue, the owner of a median-valued home ($791,000) will pay $1,300 more than the owner of a median-valued home last year.

If you are in the process of buying or refinancing a home in Washington state, you may want to check with your lender and make sure they are working with 2018 property taxes. Borrowers who have higher debt to income ratios may have issues with qualifying if the property taxes are significantly higher.  This is one example of why it’s so important to obtain an updated preapproval when you’re getting ready to make an offer on a home (especially in a rising mortgage rate environment).

Homeowners who have property taxes included in their monthly mortgage payment may find their payments adjusted higher by their mortgage servicer and/or that they have a shortage in their escrow account because of the spike in property taxes.  If you are a home owner and wish to appeal your property taxes, you can do so here. I can tell you that it’s a pain in the behind and that the county assessor does not treat the valuation of your home the same as the lender does with a traditional appraisal.

And if you’re currently renting a home, don’t be surprised if you find your rent increasing (again) because of the increase in property taxes.  Affordable housing becomes more challenging with a 15-20% jump to property taxes.

Are you considering buying or refinancing a home located in Washington state? I’m happy to help you! Click here for a no hassle mortgage rate quote.



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