The following is a reprint of a Time Magazine real estate article, quoting this writer:
Florida's Property Taxes Go Wacky in Housing Slump
By Tim Padgett Monday, Jun. 29, 2009
In Palm Beach County, buyers who find fire-sale bargains at foreclosed-home auctions — picking up, say, $400,000 houses for $100,000 or less — are realizing they're required in many cases to pay the same property taxes if the homes were still valued at $400,000.
In Miami-Dade County, to the south, where 1 in 4 homeowners is 30 days or more behind in his or her mortgage payments, residents are bracing for what Mayor Carlos Alvarez says could be an imminent property-tax hike to fill an almost $400 million budget hole — a move that veteran Miami realtors like Alex Shay insist would set recovery back. "It's out of line," says Shay, who recently took Alvarez to task on his Miami Real Estate blog. "A lot of people here are barely holding on to their properties, using credit-card advances to pay escrow, and the county wants them to take another hit?"
Welcome to Florida, the land of no income taxes — and killer property taxes. Whether it's a nightmare for someone who just purchased a Florida foreclosure or a tax hike that proves the last straw for some struggling homeowner, it's bad news for the individual, and increasingly for the state. It's also a painful reminder of the halcyon days when Florida's economy could lazily rely on soaring real estate prices — and related taxes — to pour ever more money into government coffers. Now local governments say they're broke, thanks to the housing bust, and many are trying to maintain the lofty property-tax rates levied during the housing boom or even increase them — even though that could exacerbate the housing bust.
Truth is, a dysfunctional property-tax system has been haunting Florida, if not many other states, far longer than the recession has. Over the past generation, Florida's explosive but fecklessly managed growth drove up real estate values, and therefore property taxes, beyond the reach of more and more families. In the 1990s the state adopted a "homestead" measure which, when homeowners become eligible for it, caps their assessed property-value increases at 3% a year (part-time residents don't qualify). But when houses are sold, a far higher base assessment usually applies, creating absurd situations in which neighbors with similar properties pay wildly disparate taxes. And during the boom, in expensive markets like South Florida, homeowners who had yet to qualify for the cap often saw their property levies double in just a few years — a big reason half of all South Floridians in a 2007 Zogby International poll said they were considering moving out of the state.
But lately the situation has gone from bad to, well, perverse. "One of the frustrating paradoxes of the recession is falling real estate markets and rising property taxes," says Kurt Wenner, research director at Florida Tax Watch in Tallahassee. A 2008 state reform, as well as another scheduled to go into effect next year, has reduced some of Florida's property-tax burden by making the cap more generous and accessible to more residents. But because of arcane provisions in the homestead law, government appraisers can tell a homeowner that although his house's current market value may be as depressed as a Florida sinkhole, its taxable value is still high or rising. More important, many of the state's county and local governments are raising their millage rate (the rate per $1,000 of assessed value that determines the property-tax bill) to make up for budget shortfalls.
One element of confusion, if not contention, is the tax bill due on dramatically discounted homes bought at foreclosure auctions. Those purchases, which represent about 40% of new home purchases in Florida now, are driving any home-sale revival the U.S. is seeing (even if they also help drive down surrounding home prices). But in many if not most cases, people buying foreclosed homes have budgets "that can afford the taxes on a $100,000 house but not necessarily a $400,000 house," notes Brian Paul, CEO of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. Of course, Palm Beach County executives take a different view. "Introducing foreclosure into the [property appraisal] equation may be an interesting idea," says John Thomas, director of residential appraisal at the Palm Beach County Appraiser's Office, but "people should remember that property assessments are made based on the surrounding neighborhood more than a specific house."
Of course, homeowners can appeal to their county's value-adjustment boards to negotiate lower assessments. And real estate experts like Paul say onerous tax bills aren't proving too large a hindrance to foreclosed-home purchases. The bigger concern is that during the boom, many local governments spent their revenue windfalls like sailors, which makes taxpayers less sympathetic to their budget whining. Mayor Alvarez insisted this month that "it's almost impossible that we can achieve an acceptable budget" without a property-tax increase. But because Miami-Dade residents saw so much official profligacy during the housing bubble — county commissioners were famous for having cops chauffeur them around town, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in police overtime — Alvarez's suggestion is being met instead by calls to further streamline the county's bloated bureaucracy.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Kitchen in one of another important room in a house. Clean, complete, and beautiful kitchen and smart kitchen arrangement is the most people like for a kitchen. A several best kitchen design always use minimalistic design as today's trend in home design. Here are several kitchen gallery, a desire to inspire and share for all of You....
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I think its the best interior design that i put from Aslan Interior, but i believe that there are another best home design on his gallery. The first picture describe us how a carpet make the room looks elegant. But the most important is the sofa and the color combination between the floor tile, furniture, window's curtain and the roof.
Here is another best interior design from Aslan, a special wide carpet completed this elegant room, combined with large and high windows with the curtains.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
These are several photos of of Henry Wilson, a famous photographer with a fascination with India and interiors. Decorated and design with combination of ultra-modern minimalist room design, these interior room bring you an inspiration of dream home with black and white color.
Warm color is one of my favorite color, as last year trend, this warm color is still suitable for minimalistic room. By combining this warm color with more dark or more bright, we can achieve special color combination. These photos describe you how to combine the warm color with blue, green or yellow... see yaa.. --martastewart--
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Shaquille O'Neal's house on Star Island, Miami Beach, one of the most exclusive locations in Florida, sold and closed on Tuesday for $16,000,000. The 2-story architectural masterpiece was previously owned by former Miami heat player Rony Seikaly, who sold it to Shaq. According to published reports, the property was purchased by super-model Naomi Campbell's billionaire boyfriend, Vladislav Doronin.
The property located at 26 Star Island Drive, is situated on a very large lot, measuring 106,888 square feet (just short of 2.5 acres) with 312 linear feet of waterfront. The 19,444 square feet house needs total renovation, as it has not been updated in years.
Star Island sits like a floating jewel in the aquamarine waters of Biscayne Bay, between the main land and Miami Beach. The waters surrounding the island are part of the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve. Star Island is not only coveted for its supreme, unspoiled waterfront location and limited number of residents, but also for its extreme privacy. Accessible by just one bridge, the gated enclave boasts many famous residents as well as Miami’s wealthy elite.
Located in Cary, North Carolina, Lanning Residence, is a beautiful residence, at the end of a suburban Cul-de-sac, the home is anchored by an old one hundred year oak tree. Created well and designed with updated style and budgeted for a young couple married or growing family, it offers a viable alternative to a generic speculative home.
The decision in designing of this unique and strong house was made early to utilize a strategy typical to most prefab house construction and style. Maximizing square footage while minimizing the building perimeter.
Several thing that can improve this house's value are the spacious interior values, large windows, plywood shear walls, sheetrock, and another simple material to reduce the cost of budget. --tonic--
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
There are a lot of ways in bathroom remodeling ideas, one of them is creating an artistic wallpaper or wall fabric. On these pictures, Meg and Ross have updated their bathroom with new fabric walls and a little decluttering. This is a smart and creative house remodeling and can be apply on other room interior. You can also see another bathroom ideas and bathroom gallery by visiting my another source.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Fabulously decorated condominium with smart and creative colorful combination as a creative idea in creating a condominium. On above picture, there is a multicolor combination include white on wall and ceiling, green on wall, blue on sofa and red or pink for chair and floor.
Here is another beautiful combined color kitchen, fell the convenience while cooking your breakfast!
Here are another beautiful bedroom with green and blue color combination. --mybeachfrontcondos--
70 Palm Ave, Miami Beach Florida - Villa Ferrari
Miami Beach real estate foreclosures are happening far too often these days, and Scott Storch' s house on Palm Island, named Villa Ferrari, is next. The Miami Beach mansion, 18,000 square feet of house on a 30,000 square feet lot, located at 70 Palm Ave., will be auctioned off at the Miami Courthouse in downtown Miami this Friday, June 26.
Mr Storch, a well known music producer, who has worked with stars such as Beyonce Knowles, Mariah Carey, and Paris Hilton, purchased the Palm Island estate for $10,500,000 in May 2006. As the real estate market began to lose value, and Scott Storch fell on hard times, with a reported drug addiction, his problems began to mount. According to several newspaper articles, the young Mr. Storch is recovering at this time.
The house has been in foreclosure for many months, and is no longer what it was when it was built just 5 years ago. It needs some renovation, and, although a number of prospective buyers have viewed the home, there have been no takers to date. The final judgement against Mr Storch was in the amount of $8,484,836.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Look at these amazing contemporary minimalistic room ideas, with a simple low table and another minimalist furniture decorations, this modern room bring the sense of simplicity and elegance in one place.
Lighting design is the important thing in creating a modern interior, with usual, simple, or unusual lighting, the room will looks different. A simple lighting is suitable for romantic room sense, but bright lighting is suitable for somebody who love an attractive room.
Set your lighting's room as you like, reduce the lighting for the room with a fireplace, but maximize the lighting for kitchen and wet room such as bathroom.
Natural material always be the best material in home design, a smart solution to reduce the lack of metal and plastics. Natural limestone flooring and cladding are the actual trend in the actual architectural mood. Vicenza limestone is a valid solution for Your projects, because of the natural look, the natural feeling when You touch the tiles, for the colours, and also for its cost. -grassipietre-