Saturday, 4 November 2023
by Rose White
One of the big benefits of getting a mortgage loan and buying a home is that you have the opportunity to make the space your own. This means that you can make additions, improvements, or upgrades to your property if you want — and can afford to pay for these changes out of your bank account or get a loan to make the modifications.
When you budget for a renovation, you’re most likely focused on the immediate costs of getting the job done (and how they stack up alongside your mortgage payment and other bills). But you need to be aware that you could actually be increasing your housing costs for years to come. Here’s why.
When you improve your home, you will typically need to get permits to do the work in order to be able to move forward legally. If you don’t, you could face fines and penalties, and the county could order you to stop the renovations or to undo the work that has been done.
When you apply for a permit, this alerts the county or township that you are upgrading your home. And that could sometimes trigger a reassessment of your property taxes. Since your taxes are based on the assessed value of your home, improving your home and making it worth more could make your bill go up.
This is especially true for upgrades that can have a noticeable impact on your home’s value, such as:
The specific increase to your property taxes will vary depending on just how much the county believes your improvements added to your house’s value — as well as on what your tax rates are. The more substantial the improvement to your property, the more likely it is that the upgrade could lead to a big tax bill in the end.
If you want to improve your home, you shouldn’t necessarily let the risk of increased property taxes deter you from doing so. After all, you want to be able to live in and enjoy your space. But you do need to keep in mind that you could face this added cost and be sure there is room in your budget for it — especially if you are also borrowing to do the upgrade and will have that monthly bill to contend with as well.
Remember, too, that when your property goes up in value, that increase in taxes can be a permanent one — so you will be faced with higher taxes than you would otherwise have paid for the rest of the time you live in your home. Just make sure you can afford that — and that the upgrade improves your life enough to be worth this added bill — before you move forward with making improvements to your home.
Our experts vetted the most popular offers to land on the select picks that are worthy of a spot in your wallet. These best-in-class cards pack in rich perks, such as big sign-up bonuses, long 0% intro APR offers, and robust rewards. Get started today with our recommended credit cards.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.