BUFFALO, N.Y. — This upstate New York city is known for its stable prices when it comes to buying a house and a very affordable cost of living, which is why families are more inclined to raise their children in the area.
Property taxes in Buffalo may seem high to homeowners coming out of state, but the tax rates are low and you get much more value and space for your money than you would in another city.
Carol Esposito, a real estate agent ranked in the top 1 percent of Realtors in Western New York, says the prices in Buffalo are very stable because it’s a smaller market.
“Buffalo has a very stable market that escalates every year,” said Esposito. “Supply and demand for move-in ready houses have brought up the prices drastically, so when there is a $200,000 to $300,000 move-in ready home, it’s gone in a second.”
Although taxes may be high for people coming from other parts of the country, Esposito explains that residents get a lot of perks for what they pay in taxes.
“Taxes vary from town to town; however, for the taxes you pay, there are advantages such as a town pool and really phenomenal school systems,” said Esposito. “Our tax money goes toward education for the children in New York State where schooling is prioritized.”
What is most attractive to those looking to buy a home is how much space and square feet you can get in Buffalo for less than you can in other cities, such as New York City or cities in California. Also, the cost of living is so low in Buffalo, that high property taxes seem less important when you look at the cost of living in other cities.
“In Buffalo, you can get three times a bigger house for half the price of a house in California,” said Esposito. “Certain areas sell better than others, but overall, the market in Western New York is great.”
Fred Floss, Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at Buffalo State College and CEO of Tempe Op, says the housing in Buffalo is relatively cheap compared to other cities and that his taxes on his house in Albany are three times what they are in Buffalo.
“Buffalo does have high property tax rates but especially low tax rates,” said Floss. “As a young adult looking to buy a home, you can get one for about $100,000. It is one of the cheapest and most efficient places to live.”
Floss explains that although the property taxes in Buffalo are high, the tax rates are low and very affordable to accommodate new homeowners and families.
“There’s a difference between tax rate and how much property taxes you pay,” said Floss. “The property tax rate in Buffalo is relatively high but the actual dollar amount you pay is relatively low because the value of our houses is so low.”
For homeowners in Buffalo, residents get a lot for what they pay for. Floss advises families and those who own homes in the area to understand what they are actually getting for the money they pay in taxes.
“You’re getting schools, garbage collection, snow plowing and more,” said Floss. “That’s why people in Buffalo are starting to realize that what you get is of very good value. From an economic standpoint, it’s a cost and benefit thing. That’s why you’re starting to see Buffalo come up again in the rankings.”
Not only do homes have high property tax, but leasing space for local businesses also may have high property tax in Buffalo. Owner of Deja Lu Boutique on Hertel Avenue, says she has overcome high property taxes by working at least 12 hours a day, wearing many hats and being passionate about her business.
“The North Buffalo property taxes, both business and housing, are high,” said the owner of Deja Lu Boutique. “In the last year it has been off the charts especially, but you just have to keep your passion for what you do and be determined to make your business successful.”