Have you received your tax assessment yet? If so, is the assessed value of your home less than what you just bought it for? If that’s the case, there’s no need to hit the panic button.
The dollar amount showing on your 2013 tax assessment from the Halifax Regional Municipality is NOT really reflective of what your house is currently worth in today’s market. Let me explain.
What you’re looking at is the assessed value and not the current market value.
The two terms may sound the same but they are different.
The assessed value of your home is solely used by the municipality to determine how much you are going to pay in taxes.
So having a lower assessed value may actually be a good thing.
The current market value represents the amount of dollars you would most likely get if you were to sell your home in today’s market. In other words, what you could (potentially) get for your house now.
Calculating your property assessment value
Each year, homeowners receive a property assessment notice produced by Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) http://www.pvsc.ca, a nonprofit organization responsible to assess all property in Nova Scotia. There are several factors to consider in determining the assessed value of your home: location, dwelling size, lot size, living area, quality of construction, age of your property, etc.
In Nova Scotia, your property assessment value is also determined by looking at house sales in your area two years prior to the assessment year. So this year, your assessment is influenced by the market conditions of January 1, 2011. Any recent fluctuation in the housing market would not be reflected in your assessment.
Determining current market value
The market value is essentially what a willing buyer is ready to pay for a home and what a willing seller is ready to accept. The best way to determine the market value of your home is to hire a real estate agent or to have an appraisal done.
You will often hear real estate professional talk about Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). In our lingo, this means determining market value. To do this we look at such things as comparable home sold in your area recently, square footage, location, lot, condition and style of home, # of bedrooms and baths, competitive home currently for sale, amenities, etc.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, seek the advice of a professional to determine its market value.
What’s the municipal tax rate in your area? Get more information
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• Halifax Property Assessments – How much is your house worth?