Understanding your residential property assessment

It’s January, and that means homeowners in Nova Scotia will soon be receiving their residential property assessments for 2018. The information contained in your assessment is very important for potential homebuyers and sellers as it can determine if homeownership is affordable.

Each year, Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) conducts over 360,000 residential property assessments in Nova Scotia. It’s not practical to visit that many homes, so PVSC uses a variety of information to assess homes including resources from the registry of deeds, maps, information regarding other homes sold in the area, and more.

Your assessment notice will include the assessed market value of your property, the capped assessment value, your property tax information, and a PIN number to access your online property account for more details. It’s important to remember that this year’s assessments are based on the physical state of your home as of December 1, 2017, and will reflect the market value of your property as of January 1, 2017.

You may notice that your assessed property value and your taxable property value differ. Legislation in Nova Scotia places a ‘cap’ on the amount that your residential property tax assessment can increase year over year. If your home is part of the ‘cap’, your taxable assessment may be less than your property assessment. However, when a home is purchased the ‘cap’ will be removed and the new owner’s property taxes will be based on the assessed value of the home.

If you disagree with your assessment, you can file an appeal with PVSC. Your appeal must be received by February 15, 2018. Your appeal must present evidence regarding your property’s market value, which could include a recent property appraisal, sales information for your community, and photographs of your home.

If you still have questions about your property assessment your REALTOR® can help you understand it. REALTORS® are the best resource for any information you may need on the housing market and how your property assessment will impact the selling process. Understanding how properties are assessed in Nova Scotia is important no matter what stage of the homeownership process you are in and your REALTOR® can help.

The Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® represents more than 1,500 brokers, salespeople and affiliate members throughout the province. NSAR serves its members through a wide variety of educational programs, publications and special services. REALTOR® is a trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association and, as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and a strict code of ethics.