Realtor Helps Research Information About Properties

A Realtor can be a valuable part of your team and provide important information and insight about particular homes you are interested in.  The following are some important considerations that Realtors can help you with:
How Much are My Property Taxes Going to Be?
The property tax rate can vary, depending on the town in which the property is located. Your taxes are usually determined by taking the assessed value, applying an equalization rate, and multiplying it by the tax rate.
In Ulster County, two types of taxes are imposed—a general (Ad Valorem) tax and a school tax. Towns often re-assess homes in the town, so it is important that you contact the town and school district directly to get the most up-to-date tax figures on each individual property.
Am I eligible for any Tax Exemptions?
There are several different groups that are eligible for tax exemptions on residential homes and property. Some of the more common exemptions are:
* STAR Exemption—The School Tax Relief Program gives every homeowner, who applies for it, a permanent reduction in school taxes on a primary residence. Elderly homeowners may apply for higher ‘enhanced’ STAR reductions, but must reapply each year, since this reduction in based on income.
* Elderly Exemptions—New York State allows local governments to offer partial exemptions from property taxes on a primary residence to certain homeowners aged 65 or older with modest incomes, at levels that change from year to year.
* Veteran Exemptions—Qualified veterans who served during a conflict may receive partial property tax exemption. Those who served in combat are eligible for an additional reduction. This tax abatement is partial and applies to general taxes—not the school tax. It renews automatically every year.
Why is the Zoning Important?
Verifying zoning restrictions for a particular home is crucial because the town dictates what type of use is legal for each individual property. Each town specifies what use is appropriate for particular areas of that town. Typical zoning classifications are residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural. Certain structures that were in existence before a zoning code was implemented can maintain its’ zoning classification for its’ original use. However, one must take extra care in the case were use has changed from the original classification—a property could then lose its’ grandfather privilege.
Why Should I Ask for a CLUE Report on the Property That I’m Buying?
CLUE is an acronym for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange—a national insurance industry database of personal property claims. A CLUE report examines all claims reported to the insurance company for a given property over a five-year period, including water damage, fires, and mold. Reports show the date of loss, type of loss, and amounts paid out.
CLUE Reports let potential buyers know about latent problems that might not be apparent on the surface—even to a home inspector. It will also divulge potential pitfalls for the buyer in obtaining affordable homeowner’s insurance.

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