Monday, October 10, 2005
What it's really worth: a look at the British Columbia Assessment Evaluation Process.
- BCA sends property Assessment Notices each January based on BCA's estimate of market value of the property as of the previous July 1st . On the other hand, the value a Realtor places on the property is current as of today's date, thus resulting in a more up-to-date estimate.
- BCA maintains a database of 1.6 million properties. When a new property is created through zoning, re-zoning or construction, or the classification of an existing property changes (as in the case of industrial warehouses turned into residential lofts), a BCA appraiser visits the site and takes into account lot or strata lot size, structure, cost of construction, replacement value, selling data and other factors. To update values, BCA appraisers do not visit properties annually. Instead, they use a mass appraisal system. Values are calculated by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighborhood around July 1st and then by applying the data to get an average price. BCA, furthermore, uses a broad range of variables that add up to sixteen screens of data for each property.
A Realtor, conversely, scrutinizes the most recent comparable data for homes sold in a neighborhood, or apartments sold in a certain complex. Realtors also examine the exterior and interior of properties in detail, noting alterations and major renovations such as a new kitchen or bathroom that affect the value of a home. They also take into account view lines and architectural styles. In the eventuality that every home and every lot on the street are essentially the same, both BCA's and Realtors' evaluations will be similar. Differences will be more likely to occur in neighborhoods where every lot on every street is different, every home's architecture is unique and every view is distinct.
Real Estate Chronicle