New Yorkers who recently purchased a home and are paying more in taxes than expected might have more control than some think.

Cynthia Fairbanks is a homeowner who has mastered the ability to take things into her own hands.

"Saving money is never boring,” said Fairbanks.

When her family moved into their previous home in 2009, she was shocked at how high the taxes were.

"The town had just been reassessed and nearly all the homes had doubled,” said Fairbanks.

What You Need To Know

  • Filing a tax grievance allows homeowners to challenge their tax assessment

  • Many towns allow grievances to be filed by the end of May

  • Some homeowners save tens of thousands of dollars

The assessed value was tens of thousands of dollars more than the sale price. Fairbanks educated herself about tax grievances and found everything she needed in order to make her case for a reduction.

"The appraised value from the bank, the assessed value and the sale price, and I went down to the courthouse to the town clerk and I filed the grievance and it was reduced,” said Fairbanks.

Realtor Traci Cornwell is a friend of Fairbanks and helped find her home.

For a decade, she's been helping people make the biggest purchase of their lives.

"I would say taxes are something that gets brought up quite a bit. People are always concerned with their taxes going up when they purchase a home,” said Cornwell.

She suggests homeowners arm themselves with all the necessary documents when filing a tax grievance, like Fairbanks did. Check in with your town to find out when the deadline is to file.

"I think it's important to know what the previous owner had as far as exemptions, whether they were a veteran, whether they had a senior STAR exemption, because that's going to dictate what your taxes look like,” said Cornwell. “So before purchasing a home you're going to want to talk to your local mortgage lender, your real estate expert and make sure you know exactly what your mortgage is going to look like."

In Fairbanks’ case, the reduction allowed her family to save $22,000 in taxes over the years.

"It's not a plea for sympathy,” said Fairbanks. “It's based on the documentation. We had three young kids at the time and it was actually our second home because we hadn't sold our other one. It was during the fall out of the 2008-2009, and it was a bit of a crunch for us during that period, so it was very helpful."