New Jersey Residents Look For Lower Tax Assessments

The Sfarras in Teaneck disputed the tax assessment on their home last year, which helped the value fall by almost 12%. This let them save almost a grand a year in property taxes. Dorthy Monooopli also did something similar, reducing the value on her home by 30k.

These are only a few of the people who are trying to get lower tax assessments due to the falling prices of real estate over the last few years. As the filing date for tax appeals gets closer, many people are trying to file the proper documents.

William Dressel, in charge of of the League of Municipalities, says that that such efforts are lowering the amount of property taxes that a town gets, which might reduce the services citizens get because of lack of funds.

A common strategy is for towns is to do an area wide assessment of real estate, so everything is in line with current market values. This makes it more difficult for homeowners to dispute the value of their homes.

Home prices have fallen about 20% since the housing bubble. However, an appeal is not guaranteed. Towns determine the value by using a ratio that takes into account the current state of the economy.

The city of Teaneck has a current tax ratio of near 104 percent. This means that lower tax assessments are possible, because the assessment is more than the real value. If a home was valued at $100,000, it would only be worth $96,000.

The Cheapest Place to Live in the U.S.

The United States of America is large in size and rich in diversity, so finding the cheapest place to live in the US may be easier said than done.

Perhaps you are a person who has always dreamed of living in the beautiful country side far away from loud and teeming cities: think Montana.

Maybe your dream is to buy a large, beautiful house on the cheap: think Detroit. A recent count of houses for sale found quality properties as low as $37,000.

How do you find that locality in which you wish to reside? The Internet is your best friend when determining what is important to you. There is most likely an answer online to speak to nearly every question.

Quality of life issues, such as unemployment, violent crime, median income and even more fundamentally important data are reported online. The price of a pint glass of beer: Texarkana, Arkansas, for example, charges $1.50. Allentown, Pennsylvania beats it at $1.25.

How do you make a living in your rural dream locality? Health professionals, for example, have an easy time relocating; other folks may have to use some imaginative and daring planning to find their niche.

Here again, the Internet is invaluable. Online work such as editing or blogging requires excellent grammar and imagination. Retail over the Internet can be highly successful should you recognize trends and present the right product.

If you have a green thumb, you could join a growing trend and raise organic herbs, micro sprouts, mushrooms and specialty greens for restaurants and the public.

The best places to live are a highly subjective matter depending on each person. It can be a scary proposition, leaving a familiar place you’ve grown weary of, and stepping into the vast unknown. It takes imagination and nerve, but should you succeed, you will have accomplished something wonderful and courageous indeed.

How To Use Your IRA To Buy Property In Central America

A growing number of North Americans are using funds from their IRA to purchase foreign real estate. While the process may appear convoluted at first, all it involves is a few steps taken in sequence. The steps have been followed by hundreds of investors purchasing real estate in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. The same process works for 401K investments, Roth IRA and other retirement plans.

The first thing you need to do is to set up what is called a “self-directed IRA”. You’ll typically need a new custodian to do this. So either search online for a self-directed custodian or review the three main firms offering this service: Entrust, Equity Trust and Lincoln Trust.  As you decide on your custodian make sure that their program allows investment in foreign real estate.

Practically all types of real estate in Central America are eligible for purchase using the funds in your IRA. So this will include raw land, condos, multi-unit apartments or a house. The key factor to bear in mind is that the property needs to qualify as an investment rather than as a personal use purchase. But that’s only before you retire. Once you retire you can take the property as an IRA payment and live in it full-time. Many investors who are of pre-retirement age use their IRA funds to buy rental real estate as an investment with a plan on moving into the property once they retire.

Although in some countries it’s possible to buy property in the name of your IRA account, across Central America the local legal systems do not recognize these account names. The solution is to set up a corporation to own the property. Your IRA invests all of its funds in that corporation and then you as the manager of that corporation purchases the real estate that you have chosen.