Online real estate giant Zillow proclaims that renting a home is now half as affordable as buying. Yet, on Long Island just how much cheap owning a home is often all about property taxes. As storms and the foreclosure crisis poured more renters into the marketplace rental rates have spiked.
Even if Long Islanders are able to make it through the exhaustive tenant screening processes that now make it harder to rent than buy, they’ll pay twice as much for the privilege of essentially buying a home and investment for their landlords.
According to the latest data from Zillow New Yorkers now need to earn a minimum wage of $44 an hour to be able to afford the median priced rent. While some might think this is outrageous, it is certainly far less expensive than Silicon Valley, or Miami’s top neighborhoods where renters need to make over $200 an hour. It’s even cheaper than Boston.
What makes buying and owning a home especially cheap today is low mortgage interest rates as of January 2015 advertised rates were barely pushing 4%. Those that already own homes in Nassau and Suffolk County should be taking advantage of this via refinancing home mortgages or loan modifications. Those that have been renting should seriously consider looking into the wide variety of low and no down payment home loans out there.
Both the government and lenders are currently more motivated than ever to push loans through. Still, while there are many good deals on homes and loans, even on Long Island, it is one of the highest property tax rate destinations in the world. Worse; many properties are over assessed and over billed each year. Your attention to property tax bills will make all the difference in how affordable your housing is, and whether you are being treated fairly, or throwing away thousands each year.
Talk to a local property tax adjuster. Find out what you should be paying in taxes and how much less you could be paying with a little help.