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Tax Assessments: Not the Value of Your Home...

Posted by David Parry on

​BC Assessment's role is to provide predictable base of values for property taxation in British Columbia.  It's critical to understand that BCA's mandate is provide home owners with a fair valuation of their real property against which the government will tax you for its services.  

BC Assessment's value of your home should never be considered as a valid means of determining what a home is worth for re-sale!

To meet its goal, BC Assessment completes an assessment roll every December 31.  An assessment of a property is based on the neighbourhood and comparable market values of property as of July 01 of the previous year.

With the changes in our real estate market happening rapidly as they have been, it is impossible for the assessment authority to keep up with the accurate values and we are finding that most assessments do not reflect market value.

To better understand this, let's say that two identical homes were built side by side on the same size lots. One owner has maintained their home and property and has done around thousands of dollars in upgrades over the years, none of which required a permit.   The other owner however, has a neglected maintenance of their property, never upgraded anything and displays little pride of ownership for their home.  To BC Assessments, both of these properties could very well be valued identically until one of them sells!

Therein lies the value in having a Realtor help you determine a martket price.  They are able to take into account the condition of a property as a whole, inside and out.  They are able to look at directly comparible sales in the area and take the condition of those properties into consideration.

It is virtually impossible for the assessment authority to visit each and every property; the assessments are simply not a good indication of current market value.

Finally, if you feel that your assessment is unreasonable, homeowners are able to appeal their assessments.

For more information visit www.bcassessment.ca 

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