Archive for April, 2010

Nebraska Property Tax – Why is it so High? What are you paying for?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

One of the biggest concerns for people moving into Nebraska from out of state is the high property taxes. Many current Nebraska residents even consider property taxes a huge burden and the excessive costs are often considered unreasonable.

The biggest question is why? Why are Nebraska’s property taxes so much higher than everywhere else?

Essentially, towns collect most of their operating revenue from property taxes and, therefore, establish a local rate, determining the tax levy.

Just to give you an idea of the Omaha property taxes, a $146,000 home, which was recently sold, will include a yearly payment of $3,258 per year in property taxes. And a $200,000 home in West Omaha has a yearly property tax of $4052.88 attached. In Council Bluffs, Iowa, a similar $200,000 home would cost around $500 less per year in property taxes.

In comparison, a house on the North Fork of Long Island in the Town of Riverhead, priced at $200,000, would have an approximate $3,705 property tax. Meaning, you will pay around $300 less per year in taxes for a home on the coast.

The catch here, however, is that in on Long Island, $200,000 would get you something equivalent to a tool shed. The cost of living is certainly a factor when purchasing a home. You’d have to consider how much more or less the market value of the home is, what your cost of groceries would be and even the possible cost of insurance.

The question of “why?” still remains. Consider the services you receive from the town in which you live. Are you satisfied with the fire department, community colleges, school districts and the work of your town employees? Essentially, this is what your high property taxes pay for.

Sunshine Kids Fundraiser

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Create Curb Appeal for a Quick Home Sale

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The warmer weather has finally melted the 46-plus inches of snow and is now exposing the matted-down grass, sand covered driveways, snowplow-mangled curbs and rusted garden decorations.

And if you’re trying to sell your home you may not have even considered the fact that your curb appeal could be driving prospective buyers away; and a touch of Miracle Grow and a pink-flowering bush may increase the chance of selling your home 100-fold.

In all seriousness, you probably need more than flowers to give your house that little extra pizazz to sell, but sprucing up your yard can make all the difference. After all, springtime is a sellers market.

Let’s start with grass –
You first need to start with a consistent effort to cut it – obvious, yes, but difficult for many. If all you have is a push mower and time is an issue, then get little Johnny down the street to do it for $20. Also, mow diagonally and edge the lawn along driveway and sidewalks – this shows you pay attention to small details. Early spring is also a great time to begin the first round of fertilization and to begin weed prevention.

Yard Debris –
Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. By cutting bushes and tree limbs and cleaning out all the soggy leaves you can showcase the exterior of your home.

Planting –
Though perennials are best planted in May through June, it’s never too early to start planning. When the ground is warm enough, start planning by removing large rocks, old roots and dead plant material from your garden. Then loosen the soil and add two to three inches of well-composted organic matter to get your beds ready for planting. Spring is also a great time to plant rose bushes, berry bushes or fruit trees so they can begin their spring growth.

Driveway and sidewalk repair –
Primarily, you want to start by repairing any cracks or uneven cement that may cause potential buyers to trip as they are coming in for your open house. But small potholes and numerous patchy repair jobs in your driveway won’t flatter the exterior of your home.

If need be, calling a landscaper to improve the appearance of your home is always an option. However, these are just a few easy tips you can do yourself. So grab your kids and some gardening gloves and get your yard in shape for a quick sale!