We frequently are asked from home owners (as well as some buyers) what is the difference between an appraisal and the assessment value of a property?
The two are completely different and are used for different reasons. They have no correlation to each other at the current time.
St. John’s Property Assessment Value
The municipality you live in will have an assessed value on your home. This value is how they calculate your annual property tax. Assessment figures however, are nothing more than a gauge or price line guide for a city or town to collect an appropriate amount of taxes from those that reside in the community. The official nature of this may encourage you to rely on the assessed value of your home for pricing purposes, which could be a big mistake. Real Estate assessed value almost always has no correlation to current market value. One of the biggest problems with the assessed value is that it is often not current. Municipalities will usually assess value once every 1-3 years. The market can change substantially during this time frame. VERY rarely is your property assessment value over the appraisal or market value. If it is, there are measures you can take for a re-assessment of your home. In St. John’s The ‘Assessment Act 2006’ is the legislative authority governing assessment and taxation in the City.
How are the property taxes calculated in St. John’s?
For the taxation year 2015, residential property tax is calculated at the rate of 8.1 mils, or 0.81 per cent of a property’s total assessment. A property with a total assessed value of $100,000 would be charged an annual property tax of $810, calculated as follows:
Assessed Value = $100,000
X Mil Rate = .0081 (8.1 Mils)
Annual Tax = $810
The water tax portion is a separate flat rate of $615 / yr
To search for your property assessment value for St. John’s click here.
To search for all other municipalities outside St. John’s visit the Municipal Assessment Agency
An appraisal is a method of valuation that compares similar properties in a similar area usually within a shortened time frame. This is similar to a REALTORS® Comparative Market Evaluation (CMA) but not as in-depth. While both are using essentially the same information, they can vary depending on the property, location and appraiser/REALTOR®. Sellers can be very fixed on this figure, especially when it benefits them. (think refinancing) The problem with a high appraisal value is that it can be an unreliable means of what the value really is today’s market. Nothing worse then over pricing your home to list. Just because you have listed your home with the an appraisal in place or not, true market value is what a buyer is willing to give and a seller is willing to accept.
Contact me if you have any questions
About Steve Winters
Stephen Winters is a second generation Realtor® and has been with RE/MAX since 2003. Growing up and being active in St. John's he knows the area.
You will find his approach down to earth and realistic using the latest technology as well as old fashion service.
Stephen Winters prides himself in providing a wealth of real estate information and market statistics to help his clients learn more about buying and selling real estate in St. John's, Newfoundland.