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Spring Cleaning, Home Renovations & Property Taxes on Long Island

By timhoughten
Thursday, February 18, 2016
What are the best moves for making over your home on Long Island this spring?

Spring is coming up fast. It’s a great time for clearing out the old, brightening up your spaces, and upgrading the enjoyment of your Long Island home. Yet, if homeowners aren’t careful they could end up upping their annual property taxes too.

The Pitfalls of Permits and Property Taxes

Many property owners are choosing to stay in place and redecorate instead of buying new properties while prices are high. However, with many major home remodeling projects comes the need for building permits. Obtaining building permits can in turn trigger higher property taxes each year.

A building permit showing value adding improvements like extra square footage, or bedrooms and bathrooms can lead to higher tax assessed values. That’s what your property tax bill is based on. So if you build out a new master suite, or finish the basement and add a sunroom, you might be paying a lot more for you home each year, in addition to the contractor’s bill.

Building Permits

The above does not suggest homeowners should skimp on a permit when they need one. That can lead to serious daily fines, and liens against your property. Check with local building authorities to see exactly what you need a permit for, or not. If you’ll be changing the exterior look of the property, making structural changes, or are doing anything which may deal with safety i.e. electrical, expect to need a permit. You probably won’t need a permit for simple cosmetic upgrades like painting.

The Alternatives

Those that don’t want to go through the permitting process or make their homes more costly, may choose to stick to cosmetic makeovers. Consider a spring clean out to maximize space. Then if budget allows consider painting, new accessories, and upgrading furniture to new trends. Even cabinets, appliances, and fixtures can normally be upgraded and replaced without needing a permit. This way you can get a completely new look, without hurting your wallet for the long term.
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