DFW BRRRR: Finding reliable annual property tax numbers

13 Replies

Hello Fellow BPers, 

I'm analyzing deals for BRRRR around DFW using the great BP BRRRR calculator. First box of entry that has me scratching my head is the "annual property taxes".

If I'm analyzing a deal off of the MLS, a number is listed under "unexempt taxes" straight from the listing. If I'm not analyzing a deal from the MLS however, where do I find this information? I know the answer is "county tax assessor's site" - but when I look on the Tarrant County tax assessor's site, it makes me fill in a number of different questions regarding my estimate of value, school districts, etc...("tax estimator")


Am I missing a handy website to find out tax numbers quickly?  I was really hoping for a website where I could just type in the address and it would give me the magic number, but maybe that was just a hopeful wish...

Thank you, 

Rookie BRRRR Investor

Update: I believe I found one way, although I'm still not sure if it's the easiest.  Please let me know if you DFW folks have an easier site you use...

1. Go to https://taxonline.tarrantcounty.com/taxweb/account... and enter address.  Enter address under "Property Location"

2. Choose top result (shows owner, owner's current address, etc)

3. Click on "e-statement" to find total appraised value.  Write this down.

4. Take this figure to https://taxonline.tarrantcounty.com/taxweb/taxcalc... (the property tax estimator page)

- Enter the figure from #3 into "Enter the value of your property"

- Choose an exemption if you're going to have one - in most cases, none.  

- Hit submit, and you will see your total property taxes for the year.  

That will do the job, but I'd rather do 1 step instead of 4 steps :)  Anyone have an easier/quicker solution?  

Thanks and happy investing, 


David, if you want to be conservative on the tax number you can use the market value x 3% as a quick calculation. Most total tax rates in the area are between 2.3% - 3%. Also, be careful using the unexempt taxes from the MLS listings. That is based on the prior year's valuation. If you buy the property for less than the tax appraised value you can typically protest it and get it down to purchase price the first year but plan on that going up closer to market value in the coming years. That's why it is always good to base it off of market value, not what you pay for it.

If you need to drill down on the taxes for a certain area or a certain property let me know, I can send you the breakdown.

Also, I'll try to attached a chart that has the combined tax rates as of 2017.  I don't have 2018 yet.  Hope that helps!

Call the tax office directly (817) 884 -1186 to get help with the estimator....Or just ask me; I work in the special collections department there.  If you search for the property by address you can follow links to the estimator that will prefill in your information that you need. The main estimator is for someone who is looking at generic areas not specific properties.

Have you tried dcad.org? I’ve noticed the same pattern used for other counties in Texas like hcad.org and fbcad.org. They all have the same property search engines with the breakdown of all the taxes associated with the particular property. You can even get contact info on current and past owners. Very powerful tool.

@David Schulwitz I’m MILES apart from you in NJ. I use Zillow and am able to find taxes for properties on and off market. Maybe this is a luxury specific to NJ.

Perhaps a local realtor could give you an idea of the local tax rate? I’m sure they would have an idea either from experience or recent listings in your area.

Hope this helps

Is this a property that has never been in the MLS? If it has been then even if it's not currently listed, you can still use a past listing to grab the tax info.

If that's not the case then, unfortunately, you're going to have to do your 4 step plan.

@David Schulwitz

I have MLS access, so I will normally see what similar properties show for their unexempt taxes and plug that number (using recent listings).

If you want to build something into a spreadsheet, you can find out the tax rates for each of the entities that roll up for that property (county, hospital, schools, etc) and apply that to whatever the tax appraised value is/what you expect it will be.  Tarrant County publishes the rates out there on the tax assessor site somewhere.

@David Schulwitz I think you have a great question, I would model my taxes based on the ARV for the property that you want to buy and then use the tax rate.

There is a high probability that any house you buy will reflect market value and hence current taxes that are too low.

Most houses will have the Homestead exemption or other exemptions that have artificially capped property taxes. Also the appraisal will reflect a lower condition of the property etc.

I know Dallas, and I believe most of Texas appraisal districts have gotten really aggressive at raising the appraisals to get them closer to market rates, we have had a couple of our properties property taxes double in 2-3 years.

You can, and probably should contest the taxes every year, but plan on the appraisals to getting close to market value in a few years.

Hope it helps and good luck.

@mike ventura be careful using zillow for estimating numbers. In stable markets zillow can be useful but in markets like North Texas that have had high appreciation, these numbers will be skewed. For instance, my broker's personal house (North Dallas neighborhood) doubled in taxes between 2016-2017 due to our appreciation. Zillow's estimate was no where near this amount. 

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