This complies with Washington State laws that were formed for the sole purpose of insuring that local government can rely upon a predictable amount of revenue each year so they could process a balanced budget. If the tax revenue had large fluctuations the result would be chaos for the local government services.
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Another factor to keep in mind when considering your tax bill is the number of acres and percentage of total acres in San Juan County that are either exempt or pay a reduced amount due to being in a special use program. The taxes that would have been paid by these properties are shifted to the taxpayers based on public policy decisions by the State and County legislature.
As in the case of all my really long, boring articles, this article is for informational purposes and is not intended to be inclusive of all components of the assessing and appraising process. One of the first steps in purchasing real estate on San Juan is to select an agent to represent you. Ideally you should select ONE agent that you feel will provide you with the level of customer service that you require. It is important for you to understand the Law of Real Estate Agency. The State law allows for three types of agency representation:. If you intend to finance your purchase, it is prudent to meet with your lender and determine the maximum loan amount you are qualified for.
This amount, coupled with the cash you have allocated, will determine the maximum sales price. We have numerous lenders that are active with financing in the islands if you are interested.
One of the best ways to do this is to develop a list of your desired property features, and a list that details how you intend to use the property. Then prioritize those lists. For example, when I am working with a waterfront purchaser, I obtain the following information:. The responses received may direct me to property in different locations on the island.
However, it may be that until a buyer has an opportunity to view the various types of properties, they may not be able to narrow down or develop their priorities. You need to become acquainted with our market and inventory level in the categories that hold your interest. Even if your purchase plans are sometime in the future, it is beneficial to take the time to view property because it will save you time in the long run. This process allows you to get acquainted, relate your preferences and develop your knowledge of the market. This will also help me to customize all future information sent to you.
Buying property is a process of elimination. You will view many properties which you will determine are not suitable; then you will buy the one that is. You can also sign up for the service on my website located at www. You need to stay in touch with the inventory and market trends until the right time or right property becomes available. If you have viewed property with me or communicated your preferences, I will establish an account for you in our IDX and all new listings that meet your criteria will be emailed to you upon their origination.
Purchasing property in the Islands can be a one day or ten year process — which is totally subject to your time frame. Once you have located the property you desire to purchase, I will structure a written offer to purchase containing the terms and conditions you have specified. The seller will either accept your offer as submitted or submit, through their agent, a counteroffer containing terms that are acceptable to them.
Important elements that should be included in the Purchase Agreement under the feasibility study provision are listed below:.
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You want to make sure that the property you are purchasing is not located in an archeological sensitive area such as Indian Midden or near a cemetery. To confirm this information you need to contact the San Juan County building department. They will look up the property on their maps and confirm the results. The maps are not of public record so you may not access the information yourself. If the property is located within an Archeological Sensitive Area, you will need to obtain a report from an Archeologist.
Property taxes due Oct. 31; plan ahead and mail early
The Archeologist will perform a site inspection, dig test holes and delineate the sensitive areas and their setbacks. Should you desire to dig in those designated areas for any reason, such as new construction, a remodel or landscaping, you must hire an Archeologist to standby and sort through the material while excavation is in process in order to protect any items with historic value. It can add thousands of dollars to the cost of your project. Do you know what you are buying? Corner stakes can be located or re-staked by local surveyors. Full surveys may be required due to lack of original plat stakes.
We have several surveying firms available on the island and I recommend: Andy Holman , Bob Wilson , or Bob Anderson Feasibility Studies can be one-stop reports; addressing conditions of the structures, septic and water questions. Further, a report on relevant land use codes that may impact the proposed use of the property can also be processed; i. I have a list of consultants so contact me if you need one. If you are purchasing on the waterfront, chances are the Flood Zone Determination report will indicate that flood insurance is required. Not all properties need Flood insurance as the improvements are located above the Base Flood Elevation.
Rock Island is currently installing Fiber on all of the major roadways and numerous plats have arranged for their neighborhood installation. We still have a long way to go before fiber connectivity is throughout the islands. Some property owners have found LTE as an option subject to their location to the nearest tower. You should confirm that the service to the property you are considering meets your requirements. You can download a free app called Speed Test and run it while on the property you are viewing. The best cell service providers in the islands are T-Mobile and Verizon.
Some remote locations in the islands do not have cell service.
Island County property taxes among lowest in state | South Whidbey Record
T-Mobile has been installing towers in the County so cell service will continue to improve under their account. Rock Island can be reached at Was the home constructed under a permit and does it have a final certificate of occupancy? You should obtain copies of the permits from the County Permit Center to confirm the permit status.
If the home was build prior to no permit may exist which was at no fault of the owner. Our Permit Department was not formed until the middle of the s. These homes are considered grandfathered-in and non-conforming.
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If you are buying unimproved property then you should confirm the distance from power to the proposed building site. OPALCO will provide you with the distance and you can obtain a bid from a local contractor for the installation. Installing through rock can be costly.
There are some exemptions to the law for Estates or Trustees. Buyers should share it with the Home Inspector so they may focus on any issues that the seller has disclosed. Ultimately, it is up to the buyer to process their due diligence and confirm if the property is suitable and the condition is acceptable. This will indicate the number of bedrooms the system was installed for and its approximate location, which is helpful for future improvements or repairs.
If you are purchasing an unimproved parcel, you should obtain a perc test, design and permit approved by the County. Seller is required to have the system inspected; pumped if needed, and install all maintenance components required by the code.
Typically, all costs for inspection, pump, and installation of maintenance components shall be the responsibility of the seller. Generally, systems installed after are in compliance with maintenance components.
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