The relationship between your home’s annual assessment and property taxes, and the effect that valuation may have on the market value of your home, can be confusing.
For example, changes to the assessed value of your Langley area property don’t necessarily send your municipal property taxes up or down. Not only that, the assessment can be far different than the price your home could sell for, says Matthew Rufh, with the Rufh Real Estate Group and Royal LePage Wolstencroft.
“Assessments went down in some parts of Langley and actually went up in others,” he says. “If your assessment has gone up but the selling prices of homes in your neighbourhood have come down, there may be a good argument to appeal.”
To dispute or not to dispute?
You’ve got until Jan. 31 to file an appeal with the B.C. Assessment Authority, but is it worth it?
Contacting Matthew and having him perform a complimentary comparative market analysis/home evaluation (CMA) can be the best way to answer that question. He’ll turn around the CMA in less than 24 hours, leaving you enough time to appeal online or through B.C. Assessment’s toll-free phone line at 1-866-825-8322. “A CMA can give homeowners a good idea where they’re at in the marketplace and where their home currently sits for value,” he says.
Sellers vs. buyers
Changes in assessments sometimes lead highly motivated parties to take steps to get into or out of the market, Matthew says. “All my sellers want to get out before it goes down like it did this year, and buyers question the selling price when the assessment drops significantly.”
He explains that B.C. Assessment uses an algorithm and sales data from the previous July, data that may not reflect the current market. Sitting down with an experienced professional can give you a clear picture on which to base buying or selling decisions. “It always comes down to education, providing people with good, accurate, up-to-date information,” Rufh says.
Assessments seldom affect refinancing bids
If you’ve built equity in your home and want to use it to finance renovations, travel, opening or expanding a business or even going back to school, you should know that financial institutions don’t use your home’s assessment to approve or reject a refinanced mortgage, Matthew says.
“If you’re trying to get a line of credit or doing debt consolidation and you want to leverage your property, the banks will not look at the assessment,” he says, adding lenders use independent appraisers to thoroughly evaluate your property.
Want to learn more about assessments or get a CMA done? Contact Matthew at 604-506-1664, visit matthewrufh.com, or drop by the office at #135-19664 64th Ave. in Langley City. And follow the latest on his Facebook and Instagram pages.