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When BC Assessment released their 2016 home assessments yesterday via e-value BC, many homeowners were excited to see an increase in the value of their home compared to last years assessment.
“I only recently purchased my house and was very excited to see the assessment is well above my original purchase price,” said first time home buyer Nicole Holt.
“I found the assessment reassuring after hearing so much about the economy going up and down.”
The release of the 2016 assessments caused quite a stir, with heavy internet traffic causing the e-value website to crash temporarily.
But real estate experts are cautioning homeowners to be careful about how much stock they put in the annual assessments.
"Agents who deal in market value put no stock in these assessments whatsoever" said real estate agent A.J. Hazzi.
"Their assessment is based on the amount of square footage, the age of the home and the land it's on, it does not consider what's inside"
BC Assessment doesn’t take into account renovations that may have been made inside to modernize an older home.
A higher property assessment means better home equity, but it also means higher property taxes.
"When you’re selling your home it’s a big asset to have a high assessment," said real estate agent Luke Cook.
“"But you’re also going to pay more tax.”
The situation for condos, especially newer developments such as The Waterscapes, is slightly different because the option of extensive indoor renovations isn’t the same as in a regular family sized house.
"The city does a very good job of assessing the value of the land,” explained Hazzi.
“But they have a hard time assessing the value of buildings because they don't know the condition of the inside, they’re basically just working off of averages."
For those interested in receiving a proper home assessment, there is an easy and effective method.
"Call a reputable agent, have them see the house from the inside and have that agent create a comparative market analysis based on the true condition of the home."