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Delaware is the #6 state with the lowest property taxes

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January 14, 2022
Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

Delaware is the #6 state with the lowest property taxes

Ask any homeowner about expenses and they’ll tell you: If you’re a first-time buyer, you need to carefully calculate the total cost of owning a home before taking the plunge into homeownership.

Owning a home comes with dozens of additional costs, from mortgage payments and interest to upkeep, renovations, and household utility bills. It doesn’t take long before expenses add up—especially when they come on top of potential property tax costs.

To determine which states offer the lowest in property taxes, Roofstock analyzed 2021 data from Wallethub and the U.S. Census Bureau. Costs were then determined for real estate property tax rates, median real estate tax payments, and median home prices for every state and Washington D.C. These amounts were then contextualized with what first-time homebuyers need to know about property taxes.

Delaware by the numbers

- Effective real estate tax rate: 0.57%
- Annual taxes on $217.5k home: $1,240
- Delaware's median home value: $251,100
- Annual taxes on Delaware's median home: $1,431

Delaware is a tiny state, and the homeowners in the three counties that comprise this Northeast state are paying equally tiny real estate taxes each year on the properties they own. That’s because while local governments are responsible for setting the tax rates for their counties, these local governments do not reassess property values on a regular basis. Rather, the property taxes are based on the values calculated the last time all property was reassessed—and it’s common for counties in Delaware to go several decades without a reassessment.

Taxes paid by homeowners are not based on the full market value of the home; they’re based on the assessed values, which are typically just a fraction of the full value. For example, in Kent County, the assessed values are equal to 60% of the 1987 market value, which means that homeowners in that county are paying taxes on just a fraction of the value that was determined several decades ago.

In some states, the high cost of property taxes can cause a home with an otherwise affordable price tag to be well out of someone’s price range. In others, the low cost of property taxes could give you a little more wiggle room in your budget—which is never a bad thing.

If the idea of weighing the estimated costs of property taxes seems overwhelming to you, start by looking at the states with the lowest property taxes listed below. The national list is reverse-ordered by effective real estate tax rate, with Hawaii as the state with the lowest property taxes, though the results would look different if it was ordered by the taxes on the state's median home. Whether you're looking for a dream home or next big investment, owning a home comes with several additional costs, property taxes being one of them.

States with the lowest property taxes

#1. Hawaii: 0.28% effective real estate tax rate
#2. Alabama: 0.41% effective real estate tax rate
#3. Colorado: 0.51% effective real estate tax rate
#4. Louisiana: 0.55% effective real estate tax rate
#5. Washington, D.C.: 0.56% effective real estate tax rate

This story originally appeared on Roofstock and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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