Rampant Long Island Real Estate Fraud Could Push Property Taxes Higher
Thursday, July 31, 2014
More headlines of massive real estate fraud in the last week highlight on of the most significant factors which could push Long Island property taxes to new highs.
A rebounding Hamptons real estate market is great for investors, but manipulation of the market is also responsible for new threats to the sanctuary of homeownership for many others. So what are the first two steps for Long Island homeowners to take in protecting themselves?
Bloomberg reports the Hamptons housing market has seen home prices rise 35% since the crash to mid-2014. Local real estate brokerages report new inventory coming to market is fueling more sales in the luxury market, with a coming boost expected in the $20M plus price range. For many, this in itself may be a knee jerk to other types of fraud in investment markets causing wealthy individuals to hide money in their own homes. However, soaring Long Island property prices, mean higher tax assessments.
Also in the news is the $18 million dollar foreclosure rescue fraud which has seen 6,000 homeowners duped out of upfront money with little to nothing done to help save their homes. Two additional Long Island couples were arrested last week for short selling homes, and receiving undisclosed profits. All four, including the homeowners face 30 years in jail if convicted.
Now that homeowners, and straw buyers going to jail, this will change the dynamics of the real estate industry. Hopefully fewer will attempt to defraud banks after seeing the extensive penalties handed out. With more than 18 million empty homes in the nation, many of which are on Long Island, and fewer finding an exit other than foreclosure distressed properties, and homes not delivering tax revenues could put further strain on public services.
The fix starts with personal responsibility and due diligence. This means being wary of real estate and mortgage scams, as well as getting educated about the real options out there. Many could avoid falling behind on housing payments, and keep their property taxes down by taking advantage of the help of local property tax adjusters who can help correct unfair tax assessments.