Last week I discussed the basics of how tax bills are calculated. As part of your due diligence before buying a home, it is a good idea to have a look at the tax bill for that new home, so you don’t get any surprises later. I described last week how most lenders and escrow officers use 1.25% to estimate your tax bill, but some homes in East County are taxed at much higher rates.
Thankfully Contra Costa County has their tax bills online so you can check them very easily. Here is the link - https://taxcolp.cccounty.us/taxpaymentrev3/lookup/
Once you are there, the best way to search is by the Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN). If you don’t have that, you can search by street address. However, it is a little picky as far as how you enter the street address as it tries to match it EXACTLY to what is on the tax bill. Let’s say the address you want to check is 123 Main Street, but it is listed on the tax bill as “123 Main St.” So, if you enter “123 Main Street” in the search box, it may not pull it up. Just try some different variations until it verifies the address is found.
Once it does locate the property, the first screen you come to will be a list of the current tax year installments and their status. At the bottom will be the assessed value of the property listed as “gross.” To see the assessments, under “Payment Status,” look for the words in blue, “View Bill.” Click on that and it will pull up the actual tax bill, complete with a breakdown of the Ad Valorem Taxes and Assessments and Special Taxes and Assessments. Next week I’ll tell you how to look at the current tax bill and then estimate very closely what your tax bill would be in the event you buy this property.
If you have questions on this or any other real estate topic, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). To search the MLS for free and view virtual tours of homes for sale, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty