Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Why Don’t They List The Taxes For The Condo?

house money 3dSometimes when you’re looking through the real estate listings of condos for sale you’ll come across condos where no amount for the property taxes is given.  Or maybe there’s a bunch of nines – “99999” is often used to fill in a required field when there’s no info to enter.  So why don’t they list the taxes for the condo?

Typically a lack of property tax information means that this is a new condo – either a newly built condominium or an existing building – often a multi-family – that’s in the process of being split up and converted to condos.

In the case of an existing building sometimes the listing will show a number that seems too high – much more than you expect to see for annual taxes for a condo in this price range. That may be because the agent has put the tax bill for the entire building in the field.  However, as a condo owner you’re only going to be responsible for taxes on your unit – not on the whole building.

When an existing multi-unit building is converted to condos there is typically some lag time before the town or city Assessor assesses the individual condos.  Until then your tax bill will be your portion of the bill on the entire building.  Your condo’s percentage of ownership is defined in the condo documents. 

percentageLet’s say you bought a condo in a triple-decker that’s just been converted to condos. If the units are all the same size your ownership percentage is probably 33.3% – so you would be responsible for one-third of the building’s tax bill until the city recalculates the taxes by unit.

You’ll want to talk to your new neighbors in your building to find out how the tax payment should be handled.  Perhaps one person will collect everyone’s checks.  Often your lender is collecting money from you each month in an escrow account that will cover your taxes.  You want to make sure that your bank only pays your portion – not the whole building’s.

The City of Somerville website has a really good page about taxes for new condos. While much of the information is specific to Somerville, there’s also a good description of what happens tax-wise when new condos are created.

Wondering what your taxes are likely to run? To get a rough idea you can look at the taxes on condos that are assessed for amounts close to the purchase price of your condo.  Or check the city or town’s property tax rates and multiply by the sales price of your condo to get an estimate.

Have more questions about your real estate search? Email me or call me at 617-504-1737 – I’m happy to help!

Categories: Buyer Info

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