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I'm very late in coming to your question but believe my comments might help clarify some of the problem for you and others who are perplexed by increasing escrow amounts. First of all Real Estate Mike gave an excellent reply (I would choose it as the Best Answer). He touched on both reasons that the lender would adjust the escrow: insurance and real estate taxes. What I can add is that escrow companies typically miss the mark when they estimate how much they will need to pay the property taxes.
Here's why: they have to estimate how the assessed value will change AND how much the real estate tax rate will change. Because of the timing of when assessed values are known and tax rates are set your escrow company is probably estimating about half the time. In their defense, they hold mortgages on properties that cover many assessment jurisdictions.
Advice: Whenever you get a notice of assessment, read that real estate tax rates have been adopted in your community, appeal your assessment and get a reduction, or get a real estate tax bill call your escrow company and let them know. These are the real determining factors in how much you'll pay in real estate taxes.
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