Real Estate

Get information on what is taxed as real estate property and annual tax bills.

Real estate property includes:

  • Land
  • Buildings
  • Structures
  • Improvements
  • Permanent fixtures
  • Mobile homes that are placed upon a permanent enclosed foundation on land owned by the owner of the mobile home.

Real estate reporting

  • Real estate in Wake County is permanently listed and does not require an annual listing.
  • A tax lien attaches to real estate on January 1 and remains in place until all taxes on the property are paid in full.
  • Property owners as of January 1 are required to report any new buildings, additions, improvements and/or deletions that occurred during the preceding calendar year where a building permit was not issued. Please use a Personal Property Listing form to report the changes. These changes must be reported whether made by you or someone else.
  • Maintenance such as painting, replacement of existing structures, landscaping, etc., is not considered an improvement and does not require listing.

Appraisal Visits

Wake County Tax Administration appraisers will on occasion visit a property to verify that the characteristics of the property correspond with the data in our property records. Appraisal visits may include taking outside measurements of new building(s) or addition(s), reviewing story heights, and examining the exterior for updates or changes that could influence the property’s assessed value. An appraiser may also take a photo of the exterior for the property record card.

Tax Administration appraisers will carry county-issued badges and have Wake County magnetic signage on their vehicles. A visit typically takes 15 – 30 minutes but could be longer depending on the size or complexity of the property.

By validating the accuracy and completeness of property information, it allows the County to correct inconsistencies and yield accurate appraisals for real estate properties throughout Wake County. 

Annual Tax Bill Mailing

Annual tax bills are normally mailed to property owners in July of each year.

Real estate accounts paid through an escrow account in the prior year will not receive a bill in July. Tax bills are also not mailed to mortgage companies as the majority of lenders access and retrieve tax data online, which eliminates the need for a paper copy of the bill.

Statements for real estate, business and personal property may be printed using our Online Tax Bill Search.

Annual tax bills are calculated for the fiscal taxing period of July 1 through June 30. They are not based on a calendar year. (Example: A bill issued in July 2023 would cover the period of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.)

Property taxes not paid in full by January 5 following billing are assessed an interest charge of 2% for the month of January and an additional 3/4 of 1% each month thereafter.

Real Estate Sold During the Year

If you sold your real estate between January and June and do not have a remaining interest in any portion of the property, you should not receive the annual tax notice mailed in July. This notice should be mailed to the current owners, and they are responsible for ensuring timely payment.

For real estate sold after the annual July billing and before the bill becomes delinquent in January, a statement for the unpaid tax will be mailed to the new owner. If the seller does not have a remaining interest in any portion of the property, they may disregard the original notice as the new owner is responsible for payment.