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See how low property taxes in Virginia are

Written by:
January 14, 2022
Andrei Medvedev // Shutterstock

See how low property taxes in Virginia are

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.

Virginia by the numbers

- Effective real estate tax rate: 0.82%
- Annual taxes on $217.5k home: $1,779
- Virginia's median home value: $273,100
- Annual taxes on Virginia's median home: $2,234

Virginia's low property taxes come as a surprise when contrasted against the fact real estate there has to be revalued by local assessors on a regular basis. According to state law, cities with more than 30,000 residents must reassess the value of real estate every two years, and counties with more than 50,000 residents must reassess the value of real estate every four years. What that means is that residents are regularly subjected to the possibility of their home values—and therefore their real estate tax bills—increasing every few years.

What helps to keep the overall real estate tax rates low in the state is a law that limits a tax district to no more than a 1% increase because of a reassessment, so areas with historically low tax limits tend to stay that way. However, taxes on individual properties can increase by any amount: Residents of traditionally high-dollar areas like Alexandria City and Fairfax County typically pay real estate taxes that are much more in line with the national average.

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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