GREENVILLE, N.C. (Stacker.com) – Ask any homeowner about expenses and they’ll tell you: If you’re a first-time buyer, you need to carefully calculate the total cost of owning a home before taking the plunge into homeownership.

Owning a home comes with dozens of additional costs, from mortgage payments and interest to upkeep, renovations, and household utility bills. It doesn’t take long before expenses add up—especially when they come on top of potential property tax costs.

To determine which states offer the lowest in property taxes, Roofstock analyzed 2021 data from Wallethub and the U.S. Census Bureau. Costs were then determined for real estate property tax rates, median real estate tax payments, and median home prices for every state and Washington D.C. These amounts were then contextualized with what first-time homebuyers need to know about property taxes.

North Carolina by the numbers

– Effective real estate tax rate: 0.84%
– Annual taxes on $217.5k home: $1,833
– North Carolina’s median home value: $172,500
– Annual taxes on North Carolina’s median home: $1,454

While real estate tax rates are low overall in North Carolina, the property tax in this state is “ad valorem,” meaning what you pay is based on the value of your property at the county level. A county assessor is responsible for determining the value of the properties in the area, and properties in this state must be revalued at least every eight years. As a result, if the current market value of your property increases after the county appraiser revalues it, you’ll be stuck with a higher tax bill.

The good news, however, is that there are certain exemptions that can cut down on the total real estate tax bill, and there’s also an appeals process for revaluations that owners deem too high. That helps to keep the total real estate rate for this state generally low, as do the counties within North Carolina that are taxed at a much lower rate than the metro or more populous—or high dollar—areas.

In some states, the high cost of property taxes can cause a home with an otherwise affordable price tag to be well out of someone’s price range. In others, the low cost of property taxes could give you a little more wiggle room in your budget—which is never a bad thing.

If the idea of weighing the estimated costs of property taxes seems overwhelming to you, start by looking at the states with the lowest property taxes listed below. The national list is reverse-ordered by effective real estate tax rate, with Hawaii as the state with the lowest property taxes, though the results would look different if it was ordered by the taxes on the state’s median home. Whether you’re looking for a dream home or next big investment, owning a home comes with several additional costs, property taxes being one of them.

States with the lowest property taxes

#1. Hawaii: 0.28% effective real estate tax rate
#2. Alabama: 0.41% effective real estate tax rate
#3. Colorado: 0.51% effective real estate tax rate
#4. Louisiana: 0.55% effective real estate tax rate
#5. Washington, D.C.: 0.56% effective real estate tax rate