Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taxes, Survey, Forward...

Something to think about if you plan to buy and hold land for future building - no matter what you plan to put on it - is the cost of owning the land after you've paid it off. Make sure you check the rates and expected taxes on the property and consider what that does to the long-term affordability of the land. If there's already a house on it, you'll have a good idea of what the taxes are going to be, but consider that taxes almost always go up. If there isn't a building on it, consider that the taxes may make a significant jump once there is a structure there. Double or more. Our taxes aren't that high in the area where the land is, total sales tax (local and state) is around 8% (clothing items less than $110 are not taxed) and the food tax is low. Not that high I say, compared to other urbanized states. New York also divides property taxes up into two separate bills, the actual property tax and a "school tax". They hit at opposite ends of the year, which is nice that you aren't getting hit with a big bill once a year, and at this point it isn't very expensive because the land is unimproved. We'd expect a 50-100% increase in the total tax once there is a structure. Keep these things in your plan. It's better to know about them rather than have your plans dashed because of the unexpected or long term expenses. The survey is finalized and we have a rough idea for building areas. ...and lastly I've deleted the SOPA/PIPA post. Due to internet-wide backlash and motivated individuals communicating with their representatives the legislation has been shelved. Not dropped, just shelved. It will return, possibly under a different name, again. If you'd like a good explanation of why SOPA/PIPA is a bad idea, I recommend viewing this TED talk by Clay Shirky.