Reverse Mortgage Reminder: Pay Your Property Tax

Tis the season to pay your property taxes…even if you have a Reverse Mortgage.  Property taxes and insurance are the homeowner’s responsibility in a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), a.k.a. Reverse Mortgage. The FHA’s Reverse Mortgage is for homeowners 62 or older and allows them to withdraw funds from the equity in their primary residence in a fixed monthly amount or a line of credit or a combination of both. A Reverse Mortgage can be the right thing in the right circumstances.  Sometimes a Reverse Mortgage can be the best solution to help an older person live more comfortably—able to afford medicine, food, and basic living expenses—however, it is not right for everyone.  There are positives and negatives which the homeowner needs to know and understand, for instance: Even if your lender is sending you a monthly mortgage payment, it is up to you to pay taxes and insurance on the property.    Read More

Four Good Things About Your Property Tax Bill

Receiving your tax bill is good news…paying it may be a different story.  The good thing (1) about receiving your property tax bill is that it means you are wealthy enough to own real estate.  The other good thing (2) about receiving your tax bill is that it means no one has taken that property from you.  Your property tax bill is the official notice that you still own what you think you own. Did you receive a property tax bill?  If your answer is “No” that could mean one of three things: You do not own real estate. Something is going on with your real estate. Your tax bill is stuck in the mail. Property owners are held to know that the taxes are due and payable annually according to Florida statutes.  That is one of your duties as a homeowner or landowner.  If you did not receive your tax bill (or notice) in November, that is your Constructive Notice that something is going on with the ownership title to your property. Another good thing (3) about your property tax bill is that you have a while to pay it, though it goes up with each month you wait.  […] Read More

Rejoice! Your Property Tax Bill Is Here

The good thing about receiving your property tax bill is that it means you are wealthy enough to own real estate and that no one has taken that property from you.  Of course the bad thing is that you have to pay the tax bill if you wish to continue that status. November is the month known for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and property taxes.  If you think you own property and did not receive a tax bill (or notice) recently, that is your Constructive Notice that something is going on with the ownership title to your property.  (It does not mean taxes were not owed.) Someone else may have paid the tax bill in hopes of eventually gaining your property.  Adverse Possession (or squatters’ rights) takes Actual, Hostile, Open, Notorious, Exclusive and Continuous occupation of the property.  The squatter has to change the tax bill to their name and pay it.  While Common Law requires twenty years to obtain Adverse Possession, in Florida it only takes seven. If you did not receive a property tax bill and think you should have, consult an attorney to investigate, or you can go online to the property appraiser’s office for more information.  In […] Read More

Taxes & Insurance o a Reverse Mortgage

Even if you have a Reverse Mortgage you still owe taxes and insurance. A Reverse Mortgage (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM) is for homeowners 62 or older who have paid off or paid down the mortgage on their primary residence.  The program allows them to withdraw funds from the equity in their home in a fixed monthly amount or a line of credit or a combination of both. My perspective on Reverse Mortgages is that it is not a product for everybody.  To begin with, you have to be 62 or older (and there are other requirements), and there may be disadvantages, depending on your circumstances.  However, sometimes a Reverse Mortgage is the best solution to help an older person live more comfortably…and it can be used to purchase a smaller home if you do not want your kids to come back. Remember, with a Reverse Mortgage you still have to be able to pay your taxes and insurance.  Look for your tax notice in the mail in early November, or you can request your bill to be emailed to you from the St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office via the link to their website at http://www.sjctax.us/eBill/index.aspx. Read More

Property Tax Bill is Good News

Did you get a proposed property tax bill recently?  That is good news.  It means you have real estate and that according to the County, that asset still belongs to you.  Your property tax bill is notice to you that you still own what you think you own. If think you own property and do not receive a tax bill (or notice) in November, that is your Constructive Notice that something is going on with the ownership title to your property.  Consult an attorney to investigate, or you can go online to the property appraiser’s office for more information.  In St. Johns County, the link is http://www.sjctax.us/propertytax.aspx. Receiving the tax bill is good news…paying it may be a different story. Read More

Reverse Mortgage & Your Property Tax Bill

It is November, did you pay your tax bill?  Even if you have a Reverse Mortgage, you have to keep paying your Taxes and Insurance on the property.  Do not panic, your property tax bill is not due till late March, but the earlier you pay it the less it costs. If you have a Reverse Mortgage and have not received a tax bill, contact your attorney or your county tax appraiser’s office.  In St. Johns County, the link is http://www.sjctax.us/PropertyTax.aspx.   Read More

Property Tax Bill

It is November, did you get a tax bill on your real estate?  It is not due till late March (though the earlier you pay the less it costs), but it is your notice of ownership. “All owners of property shall be held to know that taxes are due and payable annually and are charged with the duty of ascertaining the amount of current and delinquent taxes and paying them before April 1st of the following year in which taxes are assessed.”  Florida Statutes 197.122. Florida is a Notice State.  That means ownership priority is given to the buyer who lacks constructive notice of earlier conflicting interests.  If Christopher Crook sells a piece of property at Title Company A, and then before it is recorded Mr. Crook sells the same property at Title Company B, who is the owner of the property?  Answer:  Buyer B.  The buyer at the second closing does not have Notice if Title A has not made it to the courthouse yet.  Once the deed is recorded, then Constructive Notice is given. Constructive Notice is a legal fiction that helps prioritize claims. If you own property and have not received a tax bill (or notice), that […] Read More

Sleeping Beauty & Adverse Possession

Once upon a time there lived a very lazy princess.  Born of privilege and richly spoiled, the princess never had to do a thing; she was even forbidden to use a spindle lest she should prick her finger.  And so the princess grew up to be a very lazy person indeed. When she came of age to inherit land, her father and mother lavished upon her a huge lot of prime real estate with good fields for growing crops and the finest palace money could buy.  The princess was very beautiful, but she was so lazy, she fell asleep and did not pay her property tax.  Indeed, she took such a long nap that weeds and brambles grew up around the place, and it appeared vacant and unkempt. Along came a land pirate who spied the fields of good soil.  He put up his own fences, started paying property taxes on the land, and began turning a fine profit on the fertile fields.  He knew nothing of the beautiful princess who was asleep inside the palace. The land pirate had been living there and working the fields and paying taxes on the land when one day a big storm drove […] Read More