The Robert J Fischer Team Blog

You may have just been looking for fun things to do in Round Rock or Austin because you’re new in town, or you may have actually been looking for real estate updates. Regardless, we’re glad you have come to our blog and hope that these help you along the way as a buyer, a seller, a realtor professional, or just someone looking for some fun in the city!

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Protest Your Tax Appraisal

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In shock from your property tax appraisal notice? Think about challenging that appraisal by filing a property tax protest. These annually evaluated appraisals are sent to homeowners with the amount owed and how it was determined, including information like the land value, the type of property and if it had any improvements made from the prior year.

With these values continually increasing, the values set by the government appraisers aren’t always correct and the National Taxpayers Union Foundation even estimated that between 30% and 60% of the taxable property is over-assessed, causing some homeowners to lose hundreds and even thousands of dollars. The bottom line is, if your property valuation is too high then the homeowner may have to pay higher taxes, and no one wants to lose money.

How to File a Property Tax Protest

After receiving a notice of appraised value in the mail, you can either agree or disagree with the value assessed for your home. If you disagree with the value, then a notice of protest needs to be filed. This notice should include reasons why you’re filing the protest and must be filed by the May 15th deadline.

Once this notice is filed, a hearing is scheduled by the appraisal district. This hearing can be either informal or formal. An informal hearing will take place with a representative from the district, an appraisal staffer, while a formal hearing takes place in front of the appraisal review board.

When meeting with the representative, ensure you bring all necessary documents with you, including any independent appraisals, photos, and estimates for repairs, as well as any records showing a devaluation of your house. The district representative may offer to revalue your property after going through the documentation. If you accept this new value then you will not need to appear before the review board.

If you are still not satisfied with the value after reassessment, you can choose to keep your hearing date with the review board to further appeal the decision. Once this hearing is completed, you once again have the option to either accept the value set, have a binding arbitration, or file a suit in the district court.

Important Deadlines for Filing a Property Tax Protest

On January 1st your home value is appraised. This value is based on the condition that your property could sell for on this exact date and any damage or improvements after the first of the year won’t affect the value for the current year.

In Late April or Early May, your appraisal will arrive by mail telling you the home value for your property taxes. Make sure you take a close look at this. If your appraisal looks incorrect, you will want to protest it.

May 15th is the deadline for filing a “notice of protest”. This can usually be done online and by mail. If you received your notice of appraised value after April 15th, then you have 30 days from that date to file a protest. The following month is when homeowners begin to see their letters from the appraisal district to inform them of their hearing dates.

Click Here to Download a Copy of Our Flyer

 


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Community News Part 2: Round Rock ISD

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The Round Rock community is flourishing just as quickly as the season is turning to Spring!  From proposing new bills to winning gold medals, Round Rock has been hard at work. Read some of the amazing things that the students and staff of Round Rock Independent School District have been a part of since our last community news overview.

Kindergartens Visit Seniors for Valentine’s Day

Some Meridian Elementary kindergarteners went out to spread joy in the Round Rock community this past valentine’s day for the second year in a row! The group went over to the Poet’s Walk Memory Care Community to sing songs and pass out handmade cards. It seemed to be a fulfilling day for all generations involved. Watch some footage of the special day. 

Round Rock High School Student Save a Life

Two Round Rock High School students were recently honored by the Round Rock City Council after they saved another man’s life in January. The two high school juniors were honored with Outstanding Citizen awards after using CPR, that they learned in class, to rescue the man that collapsed. Read more and watch the news segment.

PIE Foundation Beats Previous Year Numbers at Fundraising Gala

In the foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year, Round Rock ISD Partners in Education (PIE), raised $276,000.  This was the 18th annual Shining Stars Gala and all proceeds go to the enhancement of the quality of education for all Round Rock ISD students. These funds can usually be seen going towards things such as scholarships, grants and awards. Learn more about this annual gala.

Round Rock Junior Wins Gold

The state title for the 200-yard individual medley at the UIL State Swimming and Diving Meet was taken home by Round Rock High School junior, Vincent Riberio. He also took home silver in the 100-yard breaststroke. Read more on how Round Rock students are excelling in swimming.

Texas Representatives Are Banding Together for the “Whole Student Agenda”

The Texas House of Representatives along with Round Rock State Representative, James Talarico, is currently pushing for a series of 24 bills called the “Whole Student Agenda.” This bill would expand mental health resources and allow for a more practical curriculum.  Representative Talarico who was once a teacher himself said he, “knows firsthand how badly these things are needed in Texas schools.” Read more about the bill that is currently being introduced.

Round Rock Educator Raises Money for School Library

For students at Round Rock ISD’s Early College High School, even though educational opportunities were in abundance, students were still missing a library. English teacher, Stephanie Martin recently turned to a crowd-funding website for teachers to achieve this goal and in 3 short weeks the community was able to raise money for new books of all genres! Read more on how this has benefited the student’s lives.

Round Rock ISD Upcoming Parent Program Events and The Empty Bowls Festival

On April 13th, Round Rock ISD is having a celebration of families! This annual resource fair offers demonstrations, activities and access to community resources and learning opportunities. It also features the Round Rock Empty Bowls Festivals which is a service-learning project that brings awareness to hunger in the Round Rock area. For a small donation, students can make a ceramic bowl that is then available for purchase.  Proceeds for the event go to feeding the hungry in the Round Rock community. Learn more about the event.

We love to see all the amazing things that continue to come out of the Round Rock community and are excited to see the school district finish off strong as they head into the end of the school year!

 

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Community News: Round Rock ISD

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Round Rock Independent School District (ISD) is making headlines in Texas and around the country. This amazing district gained some national recognition, a new board of trustees and some big achievements recently! Students are also taking charge in their communities and being incredible ambassadors of Round Rock ISD.

A New Board for a New Year

Round Rock ISD brings a new board of trustees in for the new year! At its final meeting of 2018, Charles Chadwell was elected as the board’s new president with Nikki Gonzales as the VP. Steven Math was appointed board secretary as well as sworn into the board with, Amber Feller, Cory Vessa and Amy Weir. Read more about the officers elected.

Round Rock ISD Gains Recognition from College Board

In December of last year, Round Rock ISD was honored by College Board with a place on the Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll. This is the College Board’s 9th annual list and RRISD has made it for the second consecutive year! Only 373 school districts in the US and Canada earned a spot on this list that helps recognize growth and effort in the AP program. To become a part of those honored with this title, RRISD had to not only improve and maintain the percentage of students earning an AP exam score of 3% or higher, but they also had to increase the number of students participating in the program since 2016. Read more about the recognition.

Westwood High School’s Speech and Debate Team Win Big

The Westwood High School Speech and Debate team brought home gold after receiving first place and being awarded champion at a recent Speech and Debate tournament held at the University of Texas at Austin. The team is top ranking in Texas and the 10th best in the US. Read more about these amazing students.

Round Rock Students Are Determined to Rid Schools of E-Cigs

Students in Round Rock Independent School District are taking charge of the e-cig “epidemic” that many school districts and parents are trying to stop and prevent. The students say that kids at the middle school age are now being exposed to these electronic pens and they are rampant in classrooms. The student advisory board of Round Rock ISD are determined to get rid of e-cigs in their schools. In an interview with KXAN, a junior at Round Rock High School, Blake Herrera, said, “They think it’s cool, their friends think it’s cool, peer pressure. And it just kind of becomes an epidemic.”  Read more about it.

Students Take on the Responsibility of Managing A Restaurant

Fourth graders at Fern Bluff Elementary in Round Rock ISD convert their classrooms into restaurants and the students organize the whole event. The students not only create the menus but also their work schedules, alternating between being a waiter and then being the one doing the reading. This “Reading Restaurant” allows the older students to help younger students with their reading and writing skills. When interviewed by CBS, 4th grader Josephine Nordhausen, said “I remember as a younger student I really enjoyed reading restaurant, so now I am glad that I can return the favor and it’s just really fun for the younger students.” Read the full story.

Central Texas Student Aces All Three College Entrance Exams

A student from Round Rock ISD’s own Westwood High School may be the only Central Texas student to ace all three college entrance exams, the ACT, SAT and PSAT! Pooja Enagala is now adding this accomplishment to her long list of others but is brushing it off as nothing too big.  According to the statesman, “Pooja waves off the achievement as ‘not a big deal’ chiding her mother for notifying the media.” She said the success was due to her school and teachers that prepared her. A third-degree black belt in taekwondo, co-president of Westwood’s choir, secretary of the National Honor Society and in the top 4% of her senior class, she has automatic admission to any Texas public university, but has yet to decided where she will be in the fall.   Enagala also has achieved the highest scores on the six Advanced Placement exams she took, making her a National AP Scholar and giving her college credit! We love to see our community’s children accomplish such great things! Read more about Pooja Enagala.

It looks like Round Rock ISD is in for an exciting second half of the school year! We love being a part of the Round Rock community and can’t wait to see what other great things come from the students and their educators in 2019.

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Planning Ahead With The RJF Team

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How many unfortunate stories about student loan debt have you heard recently? The numbers can be scary. Promising young students all over the country are graduating with upwards of $100,000 in student loan debt, and sometimes even more. It’s not likely to change—college tuition rates are only on the rise. In fact, they’re growing at a startling rate of 5% per year. Those are big numbers. What can your family do to help your children face the mounting cost of college?

The Robert J. Fisher team has answers. Let’s break down the problem.

The Cost Of College

At a 4-year public university, right now in-state tuition is about $15,000 a year. Private universities cost more, out-of-state tuition costs more, and that’s for a basic undergraduate degree. If your child wants any type of graduate degree, that will also cost more. What if your child takes the now-average 5 years to graduate? At the bare minimum, that puts the average cost of college right now at $75,000. With costs rising at 5% per year, in 15 years that number will become $155,919.

That’s a really big number. But, if you’re starting to wonder: each year of formal schooling after high school adds 5%-15% to annual earnings, so those high-dollar degrees are definitely worth it.

You Have Choices

While one could try to pay those crazy college costs out of pocket, even for a well-established parent, that’s a stretch. For a student, working without a degree, those numbers are virtually impossible to reach with lower-income jobs. Statistically, students that work while in school take longer to graduate and are more likely to drop out. Student loans alleviate this issue, but merely postpone the financial struggle until after graduation, when they are faced with looming student loan debt.

$100,000+ is an astronomical amount of debt for any young professional to enter the workforce with, and no parent wants that burden for their child. The question remains—how can you help?

Consider An Investment Property

An often overlooked potential solution for any parent looking to offset the costs of college is to consider the acquisition of an investment property. The equity created by such a property, over time, could even be enough to pay for a child’s college education. This process can be involved, so make sure to reach out to us to learn what to look for in an investment property, how to best capitalize on this concept, or even take a class on it. If you have more questions about how this program works, contact us today, or check out this flyer that covers the basics.

Ready for a plan that will give you control and follow your risk and time tolerance? The RJF team has a system that can help you get 80% of your child’s college paid for through real estate. Ready to learn more about our unique strategy? Contact the Robert J. Fischer Team today, or sign up for our 90-minute class on Jan 31st, “How To Have Someone Else Pay For 80% Of Your Kid’s College Through Real Estate.”

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Coming Soon: 106 Red Oak Court, Georgetown, TX 78628

106 Red Oak Court, Georgetown, TX 78628

River Ridge Home for Sale!

Estimated List Price: $300K
3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 2 Story | 2,646 SF

We will soon be listing this gem in Georgetown with bright open spaces, spacious bedrooms, lots of storage and located on a quiet cul-de-sac street! Entertain in the Formal dining room or the spacious living room that opens to the kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and painted kitchen cabinets with updated hardware.  Interior highlights include custom paint, wood & tile flooring, and recent carpet (Nov. 2018). When the day is done, relax in the large master suite with garden tub and separate shower. Upstairs is a gameroom, perfect for family fun time.  Enjoy the outdoors with a large deck in back and roomy yard. Contact us today to see this home before it goes on the market!

 

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