The Home Owner Grant threshold rises with
• The Home Owner Grant program began in 1957.
• The grant is not provided automatically. Home owners must apply every year.
How is the threshold established?
BC Assessment estimates the value of all BC homes on July 1 each year. The Ministry of Finance reviews this data
and adjusts the Home Owner Grant threshold to ensure at least 95.5 per cent of eligible homeowners receive the
This move ensures more than one million home owners in BC may be eligible to receive the full grant. Owners of
homes valued above the threshold may qualify for a partial grant.
The basic Home Owner Grant gives home owners:
Basic grant: for 2013, the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,295,000, and is
eliminated on homes assessed at $1,409,000 or more.
Additional grant: for 2013, the additional grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,295,000,
and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,464,000 or more.
Home Owner Grant Thresholds
“The Home Owner Grant helps keep
– Minister of Finance Michael de Jong
Canadian citizens and landed immigrants residing in their principle residence are eligible for the grant.
The BC Government also provides property tax deferral programs for qualifying property owners including those age 55+,
persons with disabilities, and families with children.
Deferment programs are low-interest loan programs that allow qualifying residents to defer all or part of their property taxes
until they sell or transfer ownership of their home, or it becomes part of an estate.
Home owners planning to participate in a tax deferment program should seek appropriate financial advice. For information
on BC property tax deferment programs, visit:
For information, visit: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/hog
Property owners throughout BC received their 2012 assessment notice the first week of January from BC Assessment (BCA).
This notice is BC Assessment’s estimate of a property’s value as of July 1, 2012, and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2012.
BCA is the government agency responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for the 1,935,426 properties in its database, a 0.92% increase in the number of properties since 2012.
BC Assessment and a REALTOR® assessment. Why the difference?
BCA’s assessment and the market value determined by a REALTOR® may be different. Why?
Both BCA assessors and REALTORS® calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market, and look at factors that affect value such as size of home, view, location – on a busy or 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 changes that BCA hasn’t yet taken into account.
Differences also occur during market instability when prices rise or fall during the six-month period between July 1 and January 1 of the following year.
Property values stable
Since July 1, 2012 home owners may have seen prices stalling in some neighbourhoods and rising in others. BCA reports that the majority of residential homeowners will experience an assessment change of less than 5% compared to last year’s assessment roll.
The deadline to appeal an assessment is January 31, 2013
Property owners who disagree with their assessment should do their homework by visiting www.bcassessment.ca and then e-valueBC to compare their assessment with those of their neighbours. Each year, typically less than 2% of all BC property owners appeal their assessment.
Property owners should first contact their local assessment office and talk to staff who can make adjustments if there is an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation, when it was merely a spruce-up.
Area assessors’ phone numbers
Property owners who decide to appeal must complete a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) form and file it by January 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. For information, visit www.bcassessment.ca and select Property Assessment Review Process. Then select Property Assessment Complaint Process – Step-By-Step Guide.
What can a successful appeal mean for a property owner?
If a property assessment decreases, property taxes may potentially also decrease.
BCA determines the assessed value of a property for tax purposes. The taxing authorities – both local and provincial governments – set tax rates each spring according budget requirements. The tax rate is used to determine the amount of property tax that must be paid, based on the assessed value of a property.
The tax rate applies to each $1,000 of net taxable value. The formula for calculating taxes on property is:
Tax Rate x Assessed Value / 1,000
If the tax rate for residential property is 4.01, taxes of $4.01 are charged on every $1,000 of assessed value. Residential property valued at $1,000,000 will have property taxes of $4,010 ($4.01 x $1,000,000/1,000).
A caution for REALTORS® using
REALTORS® using BCA data to help determine the value of a property should ensure they check the BCA database for the most current assessed value. If a property assessment is under appeal, the assessed value can change. A recent BC Supreme Court decision found that:
“Licensees using MLXchange should be aware that there may be a delay in MLXchange receiving, and publishing updated assessment information from BC Assessment. Accordingly, where a buyer wishes to have the assessed value confirmed, licensees seeking to minimize their risk should verify assessment information from MLXchange with BC Assessment, or directly with the seller to establish whether an appeal has been taken and the result of that appeal.1”
1 Clee, Jennifer A., “Verifying Assessment Data,” Legally Speaking, Number 455, July 2012
No assessment notice
Property owners who haven’t received an assessment notice by mid-January should contact the area phone numbers listed above or visit www.bcassessment.ca and select Questions about your assessment? (Far right-hand side) or by phoning 1.866.825.8322.
If a property owner has concerns about their local taxes, they should contact their local government office. Taxes aren’t appealable.
New features on the BCA website at www.bcassessment.ca include:
It may be a new year but it is the same story this morning from the Bank of Canada which once again held its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The statement released in support of the interest rate decision noted that the global economic outlook is weaker than the Bank previously projected, though risk of a severe external shock to the economy has diminished. As a result, the slowdown in the Canadian economy in the second half of 2012 was more pronounced than the Bank had anticipated. The Bank has revised its estimate for economic growth in 2012 lower, to 1.9 per cent, and now forecasts 2 per cent growth in 2013 before an acceleration to 2.7 per cent in 2014. Importantly, the Bank has also shifted its expectation that the economy will reach full capacity out to the second half of 2014. On inflation, the Bank expects growth in consumer prices to run significantly below its 2 per cent target for much of 2013 before gradually rising to target in 2014.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission. BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.
As a seller, your #1 goal is to sell your home in a timely fashion, at the best possible listing price. In today's market, where there is much more competion, it is important to put your best foot, or in this case, home forward because first impressions are critical.
Many of today's prospective homebuyers have busy lifestyles and are looking for properties that don't require a lot of work.. Therefore a home in move-in condition is much more attractive. Before placing your home on the market, you may want to invest in making needed repairs.
To get started, inspect both the inside and outside of the home. Take inventory of practical and aesthetic repairs. You may want to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and shutters. Clean the carpet and buff and polish wooden floors. Tighten and polish hardware. Repair cracks in sidewalks and driveways, and clean any stains on them. Replace missing or warped roofing. Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms. Repair dripping faucets and drains or plumbing fixtrures that aren't operating.
Fix sticking doors and replace old locks and doorknobs. Replace old bulbs and broken electrical sockets. Replace cracked windows and torn screens. Repair broken fencing and reseal the deck. Clean up stains on tiles and countertops.
Some experts also recommend hiring a certified home inpector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate the property. (For a list of inspectors in your area, vist the Canadian Association of Home Inpectors website, www.cahpi. bc.ca, or click here). A standard report will review the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceiling, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure. Standards of practice can be found on our website: Standards of Practice.
If there are recommendations for improvement, consult with your real estate professional in prioritizing the list of repairs.
Depending on your goals and budget, you may want to repair only items that could cause significant deterioration to the home, such as a leak. In addition, your local market conditions may dictate how extensive your repairs need to be. Let your budget and your real estate professional guide you.
However, be careful about major items. Sellers rarely recoup money on major remodeling projects, and you may want to save funds for your new home.
A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to make small repairs to your home can go a long way in making sure your home is presented to potential buyers in its best possilbe light. They also just might make the sale.
It is important to note that In British Columbia, property assessments, typically mailed in January, reflect market values effective July 1 of the preceding year.
In general terms, market value is the price expected if a reasonable amount of time is allowed to find a purchaser and if both seller and prospective buyer are fully informed. For assessment purposes in British Columbia, market value is the most probable price that an unencumbered property would sell for on the open market on July 1st.
The annual assessment process is often a confusing one for many commercial and residential property owners. Typically there is a difference between the property value assessment on the assessment notice and the current market value as determined by a REALTOR®.
This difference is a result of two factors. The first factor involved BCA’s mass appraisal system, which calculates property value by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighborhood or for units in a strata complex and then applies the information to arrive at an assessed value. This information is typically obtained from MLS sales, NOT by visiting the properties in question. The variables BCA uses to calculate this value include house type, square footage, age, heating, property classification or use, and additions or demolitions of features such as garages, sheds, pools and spas.
The second factor depends on the time at which a property is assessed. Normally, a 2013 assessment notice is BCA’s estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2012, whereas a REALTOR®’s market value reflects the current state of the market, not the market six months ago.
“Market value assessment” is widely considered to be the fairest system for distributing the property tax burden. As the real estate market can change very quickly, depending on an historical assessment (July assessment for next year’s tax purposes) expecting Assessed Value to be an accurate indicator of market value can be erroneous.
For those of you who are considering the sale of your home this year, or for your "future reference" file, we thought we would pass on some tips about making needed repairs before putting your home on the market.
A home in move-in condition makes selling a home as quickly as possible, for the maximum price much easier. We cannot say enough about how a clean, uncluttered home in "showable" condition has made a difference in the amount of time on market and the price attained.
Many of todays prospective homebuyers have busy lifestyles and are looking for properties that don't require a lot of work. Homeowners should be proactive by making (often minor) needed repairs before listing their property.
Inspect both inside and outside the home. Take inventory of practical and aesthetic repairs. You may want to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and trim. Clean the carpets and/or buff and polish wooden floors. Tighten and polish hardware. Repair cracks in sidewalks and driveways, and clean any stains on them. Replace missing or warped roofing. Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms. Repair dripping faucets and drains or plumbing fixtures that aren't operating; powerwash the exterior depending on time of year.
Fix sticking doors and replace old locks and doorknobs. Replace burned-out bulbs and broken electrical sockets. Replace cracked windows and torn screens. Repair broken fencing and reseal the deck. Clean up stains on the tiles and countertops.
Remove as much personal and day-to-day clutter as possible, and store neatly. Invest in some Rubbermaid containers! As a bonus this will make your ultimate move that much easier.
Depending on your goals and budget, you may want to repair only items that could cause significant deterioration to the home, such as a leak. In addition, local market conditions may dictate how extensive repairs need to be. Let your budget and us, as your real estate professionals guide you.
However, be careful about fixing up too much. Sellers rarely recoup money on major remodeling projects. Visit the CMHC site at link for some samples reports on Cost vs. Value.
A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to make small repairs to your home can go a long way in making sure that your home is presented to potential buyers in its best possible light. They also just might make the sale.
We would be delighted to speak to you about this, or any other real estate related matter. We are looking forward to another very busy year ! Call us anythime at 604-984-7253.
THE BOTTO TEAM