The long-awaited moment has come—your BC Property Assessment has arrived! We can picture it now: You’re holding the letter in your hands; with anticipation, you rip open the envelope. You pull out the paper and scan the writing until you find the dollar sign. Cue the gasp and wide eyes as you exclaim: “That’s what my home’s worth?!”
The assessed value of your home is likely significantly higher than it was last year seeing as property values of BC Assessments in the Lower Mainland have increased an average of 20% from the year prior. We have even heard from some people that their assessment went up 47%! Alternatively, your value may have decreased or is lower than what you expected. Don’t fret!
Is that really the value of my home?
The short answer is no. It’s not. The main purpose of the BC Property Assessment is to determine how much municipal or provincial tax the government can get from you. These property appraisals are all done through an algorithm online. Appraisers don’t walk through every home and therefore they do not take into consideration renovations or interior layouts, etc. They base their assessments on a property’s location, size (of both the lot and the home), age, garages, and any add-ons made with permits.
Timing is also key. BC Property Assessments were done in July of the previous year. That’s six months’ worth of appreciation and other factors that aren’t reflected in the property value assessment. In many cases, as of January 2022, current values may already be hundreds of thousands of dollars higher than they were in July 2021, especially for homes over $900,000.
What actually determines the value of my home?
Unlike the BC Assessment, market value is determined in real-time and changes much more frequently depending on supply and demand. When your REALTOR® comes up with a price for your property, they take all of the following factors and more into consideration:
-Location and proximity to businesses, schools, restaurants, parks, etc.
-Lot size for detached homes
-Strata bylaws, contingency funds, etc. for condos and townhouses
-Interior layout, sizes, age and desirable features
-Upgrades and maintenance done to the home, especially more recently
-Recent comparable sales
That’s great, but what if I think my assessment is unfair or way off compared to my neighbour?
There are pros and cons to having a property assessment that’s either too high or too low for your property. Taxes are based on your assessment, so if it’s lower you can expect to pay lower taxes than other comparable homes in your area. On the other hand, if your assessment is much higher, you can use it to negotiate a better price when you sell. If neither of those scenarios suits you, you can always appeal your assessed value, but you have to do it before the deadline of January 31.
What could I put my house on the market for?
Regardless of what your property has been assessed for, there is no doubt that it is currently a Seller’s Market, which means you have the advantage. If you’re curious about what you could get for your home today, you can fill out the Home Evaluation form on my website by clicking here. We do a Comparative Market Analysis to evaluate the prices of properties similar to yours that have recently sold in your area. This analysis will give you a better idea of your property's market value, one of the first and essential steps as you prepare to sell your home. All it takes is less than a minute to complete and submit the form. Then, let us do the work for you!
If you haven’t received your BC Property Assessment in the mail yet and are curious about your property value, you can search for your property online at www.bcassessment.ca.
Lower Mainland — Highlights