Should you appeal your Edmonton property taxes? DEADLINE March 12th, 2018!

Know the pros vs. cons of high vs. low values of your Edmonton property tax assessment prior to appealing Edmonton property taxes!

The Edmonton property tax assessment appeal deadline date of March 12th, 2018 is quickly approaching! Are you paying too much in property taxes to the City of Edmonton? Should you appeal your Edmonton property tax assessment before March 12, 2018? Below is a guide to assist you in making an informed decision.

The first step, is to ask yourself, “What are my current and future plans for this property?” The following are four of most common scenarios that homeowners are faced with when deciding to appeal or not appeal their Edmonton property tax assessment.

*As everyone’s situation differs from one person to the next, please seek professional advice from a Real Estate Agent, Lawyer, Accountant or any professional suited regarding the area of expertise required. If you need a Edmonton Real Estate Agent’s opinion, please contact The Jason Paul Real Estate Group directly at 780-487-4847 or contact through our Facebook page.

Selling your property right away (Scenario 1)

If your plan is to sell your property right away, here are the pros and cons of leaving your over-valued Edmonton property tax assessment as is:

Pros of keeping a high Edmonton property tax assessment:

  • Generally a high tax assessment gives the banks and mortgage appraisers (if requested by the lender) an easier appraisal value for a buyer, where the property value isn’t as commonly “second guessed” and appraises at or near this tax assessed value.
  • Approximately, the majority of residential property purchased in Alberta are generally insured by a CMHC, Genworth, or another mortgage insurance company. CMHC uses a system called “emili”. The automated emili system checks several variables prior to granting an approval for a mortgage. One of the variables emili checks is the difference between the sale price in the Purchase Contract, versus the property’s most recent tax assessed value. Eg. If the tax assessed value is $300k, and the Purchase Price is $400k, this would raise a flag and an appraisal would instantly be triggered to justify this gap.
    Want more details about the emili system: CMHC emili link
  • It may give buyers a higher perceived value than the actual market value. This gives buyers the perception that they are getting a deal, and everyone loves getting a deal! This may lead to you selling your home at a higher sale price than if the property tax value was lower due to this perception.

Cons of keeping a high Edmonton property tax assessment:

  • If the assessed value is overly high, and you as the Seller believe this value is more accurate, that an accurate Comparative Market Evaluation (CME) provided by a licensed professional, this can lead to false sale price expectations for you as a Seller.

The side effects of this are of having an overpriced listing on the Multiple Listing Service:

A long duration on the market (commonly referred to as “Days on Market” (DOM)).

Several price reductions during the period of the listing to adjust the listing price of the property closer to the actual market value where it doesn’t intimidate buyers to make an offer.

Missing out on a higher sale price, due to chasing the market down in a declining market, versus pricing properly earlier when the market was higher.

A long MLS (multiple listing service) listing history, including relisting and price adjustment history; all of which attach a stigma to your property that makes Buyers think and ask, “Why has it been on the market for so long? What’s wrong with it? Why hasn’t it sold?”.

Planning to keep your property for a while (Scenario 2)

If your plan is to keep your home, rental property, or investment property for a longer period of time. You may want to appeal your Edmonton property tax assessment if it is too high. This will ensure that you pay the least amount of property taxes over the years to come.

Pros of appealing your Edmonton property tax assessment if your are keeping your property for a while:

  • Will save you hundreds and possibly thousands over the years to come in property taxes.

Cons of appealing your Edmonton property tax assessment if your are keeping your property for a while:

  • Wanting to refinance your property? Depending on the bank or lending institution, they may send out an appraiser, or they may strictly go by what your assessed value is. If your tax assessment is high, and your goal is to get the most equity out of your home. You may want to leave the high assessment alone, obtain your financing, and challenge your property taxes next year or after your refinance has been approved.

*If your want more information on the best options to refinancing and would like access to some of the best mortgage rates available please contact us through our Facebook Page for a free refinance evaluation. *You may want to refinance prior to appealing your Edmonton property taxes if your property was overassessed.

Planning on making your primary residence a rental property soon? (Scenario 3)

If your plan is to expand your rental and investment portfolio by making your primary residence your new rental property. You may want to keep the initial higher tax value until the property has made a full transition and declared as a rental property, and here is why…

Pros of initially keeping your Edmonton property tax assessment higher prior to making your property a rental property:

By having a Edmonton property tax assessment higher assessed value at the time that you make your primary residence a rental property may possibly benefit you in the following ways…

  1. A higher tax-free primary residence tax exemption benefit when you eventually sell.
    Eg. If your assessed value at the point your primary residence becomes a rental is $425,000, and the market increases the value to $500,000. When you decide to sell, you will most likely only pay capital gains on the difference. This would be approximately $75,000 less real estate fees, legal costs, any other closing costs, and any improvements or repairs over the years (if they were not already expensed through your rental income).
    The higher this value is, the higher your tax free primary residence tax exemption will be.
    You may also want to have a licensed Real Estate Professional provide you with a Market Evaluation in addition to your property tax assessment notice. Request a Market Evaluation through our Facebook Page.
  2. It gives you a capital loss benefit, in the future when you decide to sell, that you may use to offset a capital gain.
    Eg. Your assessed value at the point your primary residence becomes a rental is $425,000. The future market decreases the value to $375,000. When you decide to sell, you will most likely gain a capital loss benefit, which would be approximately $50,000 plus real estate fees, legal costs, and any other closing costs.
    The higher your property tax value assessment is, the higher your capital loss benefit would possibly be that you could use in the future. At the end of the day, we all would prefer a capital gain, over a capital loss of course, but no one I know has a crystal ball!

Cons of initially keeping your Edmonton property tax assessment higher prior to making your property a rental property:

  • You need a capital gain to offset or take advantage of a capital loss, if you do not do this within the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) timelines and criteria. Please discuss these tax options with a professional tax lawyer, and or accounting professional.

Canada Revenue Agency link regarding capital gains/losses topics
Capital Gain/Losses Definitions

*Please contact us at our Facebook Page if you need help in finding a tax professional and/or legal professional to confirm the best strategy for you.

Planning on refinancing your home (Scenario 4)

If your plan is to refinance your home and take equity out in order to pay off high interest loans, invest, travel, or spend your money however you like. There may be equity in the property that can be taken out. Many investors will refinance their property prior to making it a rental property in order to have capital for their next real estate purchase. Consider the following prior to making this decision…

Pros on keeping your Edmonton property tax assessment higher when you plan to refinance:

When refinancing your property, depending on the bank or lending institution, they may send out an appraiser, or they may strictly go by what your assessed value is along with using the emili system. If your tax assessment is high, and you want to get the most equity out of your home through refinancing your mortgage or a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), you may want to leave the high assessment alone, obtain your financing, and challenge your property taxes next year or after your refinance has been approved.

*If your want more information on the best options to refinancing and would like access to some of the best mortgage rates available please contact us through our Facebook Page for a free refinance evaluation. *You may want to refinance prior to appealing your Edmonton property taxes if your property was overassessed.

Cons on keeping your Edmonton property tax assessment higher when you plan to refinance:

  • May cost you hundreds and possibly thousands during the years that your property tax value is over assessed the actual market value. *You may want to challenge and or appeal your property tax assessment as soon as your refinance is completed to minimize this expense.

Everyone’s position in their financial, tax, investment, home ownership, and timing varies from one home owner to another. If you have a situation that you need expert advice on, please don’t hesitate to contact the Jason Paul Real Estate Group, our team of professionals will offer you advice customer tailored to your scenario.

Next steps…

How do I appeal my Edmonton property taxes?

 

Published and copyrighted by:

Jason Paul, Realtor, CRES, SRS, ABR
REMAX Elite, 304 Windermere Road, Edmonton, AB.
TOP 5% FOR MLS Sales | RE/MAX Hall of Fame 2012
Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), & Commercial Real Estate Specialist (CRES)
Office: 780-487-4847

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