January 16, 2010 Newsletter

A new year brings new beginnings and that is the case with Colony Title Group, and the law firm of Tillman, Shehan & Letzkus. We are moving our offices January 30th to the Parkside building on the south side of the Columbia Mall and we are excited about our new space. Today its taped dry wall and electric fixtures hanging from the ceiling, but GGP has promised it will be ready in two weeks. If you are in the area please stop in.

Many of you have just received your new tax assessment in the mail. Read it carefully and if the assessment is more than houses are currently going for in your neighborhood you have the opportunity to challenge that assessment. Given the fact of the current market conditions, you may have a valid basis for appeal.

There are three basis for appeal. Appeal on reassessment, which you must file with the form within 45 days of receipt of the assessment: petition for review which can be filed prior to January 1 of any year; or appeal upon purchase which must be filed within 60 days of purchase. Go to the state website, by typing in sdat on your computer and it will direct you to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Follow the prompts from there.

To follow the appeal process you must produce evidence of the lowered value, through settled comparables and assessments of neighboring properties. If you need help, call us and we will try to guide you. Having a realtor friend who can assist could be invaluable.

Rates are creeping up somewhat, but you can still get mortgages in the low fives, or ARMs in the fours. Many in the industry believe we have hit bottom, the next six months will be telling as the spring market approaches.

We want to be your title company and legal experts. Call me at 410 884 1160 x3007 or email me at tee.tillman@colonytitle.com.