How is my property value assessed?

At the beginning of every year, BC Assessment sends each homeowner their property assessment in the mail. You may be wondering how BC Assessment comes up with the property value for your home and how this value will affect your property taxes and real estate market value of your home should you want to sell your home.

BC Assessment will take in consideration the location, market condition from July 1st of the previous year, age of home, condition of home, improvements or lack of, neighbourhood influences, layout of the home, and the size of home. Once this data is collected then your property is compared to similar homes that have recently sold. It's important to note, that in most cases BC Assessment (unlike a property appraiser that your financial institution hires when a mortgage is required or a real estate professional when listing your home for sale) has not physically walked through your home. There are times when BC Assessment will have an appraiser enter your home to conduct an inspection of the property ensuring that the condition and description of the home are accurate.

BC Assessment does rely upon municipal records for when a permit has been pulled to conduct work on a home. This is how they will know you have added an improvement to your home, thus giving your home more value. If a permit was not pulled then the information BC Assessment has on a home will not necessarily reflect a home's full value.

My assessed value is much different than what I know I can sell my home for, why?

The real estate market is ever changing and is by far the biggest influence on the value of your home. BC Assessment's value is based on what the value of your home would have been if it sold on July 1 of the year previous. Has the market increased or cooled since then? What is the demand for housing? Is the market over saturated with homes for sale? All of these factors will quickly change the value of a home.

You can always check the BC Assessment value of other similar homes in your neighbourhood by typing in the address in the search box. Keep in mind that a home of similar style, age and size could have a different value based on what improvements have been done to the home or lack of and whether BC Assessment is aware of any improvements or not.

My assessment went up in value, will I pay more taxes?

Property taxes are set by your municipality. The municipality sets a roll rate which is adjusted each year and is used as a multiplier against your assessed value when calculating the property taxes. Improvements to your home will affect the amount of taxes you will pay. If the municipality needs to increase their revenue to meet their budget needs, then you will also see an increase to your property taxes. If there has been no improvements to your home and the municipality sees no change in their budget needs, then you won't necessarily pay more taxes just because the assessed value went up.

How does my assessed value affect the sale price of my home if I want to sell?

Since your assessed value is based on what similar homes would have sold from the previous year it is not an accurate reflection on today's real estate market. Your real estate professional will do a thorough walkthrough of your home and take note of your home's unique features and compare your home to other homes that have recently sold to get an accurate current market value of your home. If BC Assessment isn't aware of major home improvements that you have done, then it is possible that your home will sell over the assessed value. The same goes for homes where there has been deferred maintenance or located in a neighbourhood where many homes have added improvements to their home and your home is in it's original state, then your home could sell well below the assessed value.

I am thinking of selling. How can I find out how much my home is worth?

You can request a FREE home valuation of your home. Tammy Marcoux, a Real Estate Professional is constantly watching the market and up-to-date with trends and conditions that affect the value of homes in the southern Vancouver Island area. Fill out the contact form here.