August 27, 2015

As a property owner in Florida, every August you will receive your TRIM notice.  Not sure what TRIM stands for?  It’s your truth in millage statement that is sent out annually by the County Property Appraiser’s office that shares with you their opinion of your property value on January 1st of 2014 and 2015 as well as includes your Homestead Exemption and accumulated Save Our Homes benefits, if you qualify. Right at the top of the notice it says in big BOLD print that this is not a bill and DO NOT PAY which is where a lot of people likely stop reading and I did too, until I was educated on what they actually mean.  I want to share with you what I learned to save you some frustration and hopefully some money.

Reading the TRIM Notice Could Save You Thousands

When I took a look at our notice, it showed that our taxes this year were going to be substantially higher than last years taxes, I mean like over $1000 more than 2014.  We bought our home this past year so I was definitely having palpitations when I saw the numbers.  I noticed there weren’t any Homestead Exemptions or Save our Home benefit listed.  A few years ago I would’ve opened it and said, ok, no biggie, it says not a bill and dealt with it later.  But here’s the thing it was a REALLY big deal!  When my husband and I moved we knew we had to file for portability and for our Homestead Exemption and did over 7 months ago.  My husband handled it by fax and even confirmed receipt.  The problem was that it was never applied and had I thrown away our TRIM notice or filed it under I will handle that later, I would’ve lost the savings altogether.  Luckily I had been educated by my broker on the importance of these notices and was able to call the Property Appraiser’s office and take care of correcting the situation right away.  Luckily we are still able to qualify for all of our savings.  Here’s the thing though…. the deadline for corrections is September 8th.

It’s Not Too Late

Have you looked at your TRIM notice?  If not, pull that baby out and make sure it’s correct.  The deadline is coming up quick and there is nothing worse than finding out a month or two too late that a small oversight will cost you more on your mortgage every month next year. This is also a great time to have a real estate professional provide a complimentary market analysis to give you an actual current market value especially if you think that the value is not correct and you want to appeal.

Here are a few other reasons you may want to evaluate your home’s value:

  1. To compare to your insurance amounts to determine if any adjustments are needed.
  2. If you are thinking about possibly refinancing.  A pool does sound nice, right?
  3. If you have enough equity you can eliminate your PMI (private mortgage insurance) and lower your monthly mortgage payments.
  4. To determine if now is a good time to sell.

If you need any assistance let me know and I will be happy to help!