04 Mar Property Taxes In The Houston Area
Relocation buyers have a lot on their minds when moving to the Houston area. One of them includes property taxes. From my perspective, property taxes should be the least concerning. Generally speaking the tax rate for all of Harris County is about 2.8%. The rate is lower in Montgomery, Waller and surrounding counties. Harris County is big. Over 4 million residents live Harris County. It’s by far the biggest county in Texas and the third largest in the United States.
Some of the higher tax rates can be found in newer developments in the suburbs. Some neighborhoods like Rock Creek, Bridgeland and Cypress Creek Lake Estate can hover over 4%. Sugarland also has newer developments with higher tax rates.
In Texas we have Homestead Exemption rights which gives homeowners the opportunity to claim Homestead Exemption. You can only claim Homestead on the home you reside in and you can only claim it on one property. The tax break usually equates to a small discount on your property taxes.
When shopping for your next home in the Houston area you shouldn’t pass on a house because the tax rate is 3.7 versus 3.2%. This might sound like an insignificant topic to discuss but I’ve witnessed and heard of buyers who literally walk away from the home of their dreams because they are so focused on the .6 tax rate difference. .6% of 100k is a very small amount to use as a deciding factor to not purchase a home.
There are many other factors that should weigh in more when making a purchase. The price trends, school districts, lot location, condition of the home, future area development and the company who built your home should all rank higher on your list of importance. Taxes are important, but your search shouldn’t solely revolve around the tax rate.
Texas no state-income tax.
Don’t waste your time researching TAX VALUES when it comes to property values. The local county tax assessor never enters homes to determine value. Texas is a non-disclosure state, so what homes sold for are not released to the public like they are in many other states. The tax values can be off by as much as 40%! Like Zillow and a lot of “online home valuation sites” the tax value really is just a guess.
The tax value can be important. If you buy a home for $200,000 but the tax value is $350,000 then you have reason to be concerned. Your tax rate will eventually go up and 3% 150k is significant.
In Harris County you have three taxes (typically) water, property and school. The better the schools, the higher the tax rate. All three taxes are typically incorporated into your mortgage payment so you shouldn’t be worried about paying taxes at the end of the year.