BCA's Assessment and the market value determined by a REALTOR may be different - why is this?

Both BCA assessors and REALTORS calculate market value by analyzing sale fo comparable homes withi a local market, and look at factors that affect value sucha as size of home, view, location, busy/quiet street, number of bedrooms, construction quality, floor level and garage or parking stalls.

Where every lot and every home on a street are typically the same, both BCA's value and a REALTOR's value will be similar during stable market conditions.

Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots have been rezoned or are different shapes and sizes, where architecture and views are unique, and where owners have made changeas that BCA hasn't yet taken into account.

Differences also occur during market instability when prices reise or fall during the six-month period between July 1st and January 1st of the following year.

Information provided by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

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Excellent value is not something that's easily come by these days, but when it happens, it's something that you need to jump on before it's gone, and when it's something this spectacular, you need to act fast! This beautiful unit within the architectural phenom known as Jameson House, is centrally located within the Financial District in downtown Vancouver. If you enjoy downtown living or work in the area, an opportunity like this can't be missed. Close to all amenities that Vancouver offers, this condo is within walking distance to all major attractions, stores and transit, and only steps from the Sea Wall.


Because this building was erected in 2011, it has been equipped with all the modern comforts that make a home luxurious, such as heated floors, built in Sub Zero appliances and furnishings from Italian, German, USA and UK designers. Complete with a 24 hour concierge and boasting Canada’s first and only automated valet parking system, this Jameson House condo must be seen in person to completely enjoy its appeal and to fully understand why deals like this don’t come along very often!


Contact me today!

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This is a fantastic property that we're fortunate enough to be able to list. Located at 1853 West 13th Avenue in beautiful, beachside Kitsilano / Shaughnessy, this property is a leisurely walk to all amenities that any couple or family would need. Sidewalk cafes, upscale restaurants, grocery stores, schools and more.

This is an amazing 3 level townhome with 3 sunny bedrooms with easily accessible washrooms on every floor. Contrasted by new, dark laminate flooring throughout, this is a living space like few others - a must see! The property has been largely renovated with new ceilings, kitchen appliances, counters, fixtures and plumbing. The kitchen faces a large picture window that overlooks a beautiful and serene garden, perfect for entertaining during the warmer summer months. This property also boasts a feature not found too often in this area; privacy! A discreet courtyard accented with a newly stained deck, fishpond and fountain that offers its owners a very relaxed, Zen-like experience.

Complete with a wood burning fireplace, lofty ceilings and tons of natural light, one needs only to step foot inside to understand what a stunning property this is, and one that will surely not remain on the market for long! At $999,000 it is incredibly well priced for its size and perfect, centralized location


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Home owners across British Columbia should have received their property assessments during the first week of January, 2011. The BC Assessment (BCA) is an estimate of a property’s value from July 2010, do don’t be alarmed if you thought your home was worth more than their projection.

BCA is the government body designated to determine the value of all properties across British Columbia.

“The majority of homes in Metro Vancouver are worth more on this year’s assessment roll than they were on the 2010 assessment roll,” said Jason Grant, Area Assessor, Vancouver Sea to Sky region. “Most homes will see increases in the 5 per cent to 15 per cent range.”

Not surprisingly, property values increased considerably in most areas throughout Metro Vancouver, these increases were not exclusive to Vancouver real estate. Here is a brief breakdown of these increases:

Richmond: 17.14%
West Vancouver: 13.03%
Vancouver: 12.17%
Burnaby: 12.07%
Delta: 9.22%
Coquitlam: 9.12%
New Westminster: 9.11%
North Vancouver District: 8.84%
Port Coquitlam: 8.78%
North Vancouver City: 8.05%
Port Moody: 7.58%
Pitt Meadows: 6.44%
Maple Ridge: 5.54%
Squamish: 1.99%

Property values actually decreased in Whistler by 2.06% and 1.87% in Pemberton.

If you would like more specific details on each district and their property assessments, please visit BC Assessments and click on the ‘Information About The 2011 Roll” and then on the “2011 Market Movement Map”.

How is each property’s value determined?
There are several factors that go into assessing a property’s value. BCA appraisers look at: lot size, house type, condition, views, age of the property and whether there is a shed or detached garage.

What if you think your property was assessed incorrectly?
If you feel your assessment was below your expected value, your best first approach is to compare your assessment with that of your neighbours. You can do this by visiting BC Assessments and then clicking on the E-ValueBC link.

You can also call the BCA and talk with an assessor from your area who is authorized to reassess the property only if an obvious error had been made like a garage that had been torn down but was included in the evaluation.

For your convenience, we have included these numbers below:
• 604-739-8588 for properties in Vancouver, North Shore and Squamish.
• 604-241-1361 for properties in Richmond and South Delta.
• 604-294-6441 for properties in Anmore, Belcarra, Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.
• 604-850-5900 for properties in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

If you’re still not satisfied and want to take things a step further, you can complete an online form (Online Notice of Complaint) available at BC Assessments. Look for “For information on how to address concerns about your 2011 assessment.”

Appeal Quickly!
The deadline to appeal is only 3 weeks after you receive your notice of assessment, so don’t delay. Each complaint is heard by Property Assessment Review Panel. These panels are independent of the BCA, who are appointed each year by the Ministry of Small Business. If you’re still not content with your response from this panel, you can take your complaint to the Assessment Appeal Board, who will review and respond. These bodies meet from February 1st to March 15 to hear complainants in person.

Did you get your notice?
If you haven’t received your property assessment notice by January 17th, you should contact the proper area phone number listed above, particularly given the small window for appealing a potentially incorrect assessment.

What is the difference between the BCA and a Realtor’s Assessment?
Why would the value of your home differ between a realtor’s assessment and the BCA? A realtor will take real-life factors when assessing a property where a BC Assessor will only look at the hard data. Also, depending on whether a home owner has completed renovations before July 1st of the assessment year, the BCA will not reason this in. Other factors include lot shapes, views and unique architecture.

The Correlation Between Property Assessment and Property Taxes
The BCA is only indirectly involved with determining property taxes. It is the provincial and local governments who base your taxes on the assessed value according to their formula: tax rate x assessed value /1,000. For example if the tax rate for your home is 4.000 and your property has been assessed at $1 Million, your annual taxes will be $4,000.

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Property Transfer Tax, unlike property tax which is paid annually, is a one-time, land registration tax that will affect all Vancouver real estate. This tax is paid only when there is a change to a certificate of title, wherein an owner is removed, gained or the property is transferred to an entirely new entity.

The Property Transfer Tax occurs when an application is made at any Land Title Office in BC for the purpose of registering changes to Vancouver real estate. The tax is based on fair market value or the price that the purchaser was willing to pay for the property.

Property Transfer Tax Fees:

  • If the fair market value is $200,000 or less, the tax is 1% of the fair market value.

  • If the fair market value is greater than $200,000, the tax is 1% of the fair market value up to $200,000, plus 2% on the portion of the fair market value that is greater than $200,000.

For example:

  • If fair market value of property is $150,000
  • Tax payable is: 1% of $150,000 = $1,500
  • If fair market value of property is $250,000

    tax payable is: 1% of $200,000 = $2,000
    plus 2% of $50,000 = $1,000
    for total tax payable of $3,000

First Time Home Buyers

First time home buyers may apply for an exemption if the value of the home is less than the threshold amount, which as of February 2008 (and remains unchanged as of December 2011) is $425,000. Most likely any first time home buyers looking to purchase Vancouver real estate, will not be eligible for this exemption.

If you're curious as to whether you may be eligible for the First Time Home Buyers Plan, please see these documents outlining qualifications and other criteria:

Guide to the First Time Home Buyers' Program
First Time Home Buyers' Program - Follow Up

If you're a first time home buyer, but did not know about this possible exemption, all is not lost. If you qualify for the FTHB, you can still apply for a refund within the first 18 months from the original date of registration. For more information on this, please see:
How to File

Good luck!

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It doesn't get much bigger than this. In almost 5000 square feet, 69 Falaise place in the Renfrew Heights area of Vancouver has it all.

This house is full of space and light. Starting with the living room, the windows are floor to ceiling and then wrap up onto the ceiling for even more light. The master bedroom has one wall of windows and then boasts another half wall of windows adjacent.

The house has 8 washrooms - two in the basement, 1 full and 2 half on the main floor, a jack and jill for the two smaller bedrooms and then the Pièce de résistance - two separate ensuite bathrooms for the master. Better than just 2 sinks!

The basement is fully appointed. A bedroom, kitchen/living room, another living space with a fireplace that could be a second bedroom and a wine cellar. Rent it out as a mortgage helper, save it for visitors to have their own space or repurpose it as a mother-in-law suite.

The kitchen has granite counter tops and a huge industrial size gas stove.The deck off the main floor is a whopping 21 x 189 feet. Included on this main floor is living room, a dining room with a wet bar and a 3rd room that could be used as a bedroom or an office. It has it's own washroom and fireplace.

The master bedroom has two walk-in closets, gorgeous hard wood floors and a fireplace. The house has a 4 car garage and a pad that will accommodate 2 more cars.

Falaise Place is a quiet Vancouver cul de sac that is near Falaise Park, walking distance to Rupert Skytrain and seconds away from Highway #1. This house suits a family and extended family and at $1,550,000 it is incredibly well priced for it's size.

Vancouver real estate doesn't get better than this.

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Just listed is a wonderful property at 1802-2355 Madison Ave in Burnaby - a quick walk away from Brentwood Mall. At just 4 years old, this one bedroom 18th floor condo boats spectacular views, a large balcony and windows on three sides.

The location is great but the building is even better: concrete construction, granite counters in both the kitchen and bathroom, electric fireplace with architectural surround, indoor pool, gym and media room.

The dark plank flooring flows through the hallway, living room and bedroom and moves the viewer to the huge windows - both in the bedroom and the living room - flooding the apartment with light. Step out onto the balcony and enjoy the southern views towards Metrotown.

The kitchen is an entertainer’s dream as it is open concept into the living and dining areas. Stainless steel appliances, slab tile flooring and white, subway tile backsplash make for a modern and attractive kitchen.
For entrepreneurs this is a must buy as it offers a home office  - click here for pictures to see the built in cabinets and desk in the office.

At $359,900 pets and rentals (with restrictions) okay, this heavenly piece of Burnaby real estate will not last long.  Contact me for Open House details or for private showings.

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A quick search for condo's in Central Burnaby in a range of $100K to $275K returns 42 results with the lowest price at $170,000.

A corner suite at 650 square feet in a central location under $200K seems like an excellent opportunity for first time buyers. If the buyer is lucky enough to have a spare cash, they would be able to put their design stamp on the apartment and still come in under budget.

When we look at the condo market in Vancouver, it pales in comparison to Burnaby real estate which offers a 783 square foot apartment in a concrete tower with pool and tennis courts for $249,900 overlooking Central Park.

On Vancouver’s east side, an attractive 580 square foot condo in a wood framed building on busy and somewhat undesirable East Broadway, is offered at $227,000. The square footage comparison alone puts the winning condo firmly in Burnaby.

For growing families who may be second time buyers, Burnaby boasts a 2 bed/2 bath condo at 905 square feet on the south side of Central Park at $259,000 in a concrete building.

Burnaby City Hall needs to start a bit of marketing campaign that says “Buy Burnaby” that highlights the low cost, great value of the condo market in Burnaby.

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