Wolfville house for sale

Do you find this ad for a house on 19 Hillside interesting? We do.

Ideal house for a family with children or older family who wishes to rent an apartment upstairs

It’s in an R1A or R2-4 zone so having a potential apartment upstairs  (in a high student area) is within zoning [many aren’t!] and not our beef. It is this bit that intrigues us.

  • Price: $285,000 …
  • 2009 Market assessment: $194,700; taxes: $2,500/year (this assessment was deliberately kept low to keep taxes low). [emph ours]

Sooooo…. the seller (a professor maybe?) by claiming the assessment on this property is unusually low also claims he has  not been paying his share of Town taxes, because assessment determines the portion of the Town’s budget requirements that each resident pays. If he has not been paying his share then his neighbours,  the rest of us have been paying it.

The seller does not seem to mind advertising this fact. Moreover he states that this is not an accident, not luck, or the incompetence or arbitrariness [call it what you will] of the Assessment office, but deliberate, the result of some effort on someone’s part to keep assessment low.

How was this managed we wonder. Did he have a relative in the Assessment Office? Have previous “selling prices” for the property been accurate? It’s a question, isn’t it? Many of us, including a prospective buyer, would want to know .

OR – this is the seller’s way of justifying asking a higher amount for the house and explaining away a low assessment figure.

BTW – there is no mention in the financial information info for the buyer that Wolfville has a deed transfer tax of 1.5%, which on 285K would be $4,275 since it is applied to the selling price not the lower assessment figure.

It will be interesting to see what this house sells for. Will someone consider it is worth close to the asking price? Or will the selling price be nearer to the assessment figure?


7 responses to “Wolfville house for sale

  1. Don’t worry. The Property Valuation Services Corporation may undercharge for 19 Hillside but they’re doing their very best to make it up on my place.

    Given the outrageous tax burden, there is a strong incentive for “funny business” when it comes to property valuations. Council needs to get it’s spending down to a reasonable level.

  2. Well, now I feel obliged to reply to this question:
    “How was this managed we wonder. Did he have a relative in the Assessment Office? Have previous “selling prices” for the property been accurate?”
    1. I have no relatives in the Assessment Office, and when my house was assessed I payed my taxes and have not complained that the assessment was too low (unlike other potential sellers, who tried to get their assessment higher).
    2. There were no “previous selling prices” because I bought this house 27 years ago and never tried to sell it.
    3. Regarding the asking price, that’s what it is.
    Hope this answers all tax-related concerns regarding this property.

  3. Let me respond to this concerns:
    1. “Did he have a relative in the Assessment Office? ”
    No, I do not. (BTW, the seller may be “he” or she”…).
    2. “Have previous “selling prices” for the property been accurate? ”
    There were no “previous selling houses for the property” because I bought this house over 27 years ago and never tried to sell it before.
    3. When I get my property assessment, I do not complain and pay my taxes. I found that my assessment is similar to assessments of similar houses in the neighborhood. I do know other potential sellers who (successfully) increased their assessment…
    4. Re “asking price” – that’s what it is.

  4. Thank you for your response. Often we ask questions but seldom receive any answers.

    • Perhaps you don’t receive a response to this type of question because it isn’t any of your business?

      Surely “a man’s home is his castle” still and those of us who have bought and sold houses as a means to supplement old pensions have that right and the right to privacy? If you need to know, go to the town office in Kentville. I think
      it is appalling that you would even pose the questions on a public forum such as this. Not that it matters a fig what I think.

  5. Some time ago, I attended a Town Meeting at which representatives from PVSC spoke. As usual, they did the mumbo-jumbo-dance of obscure bureaucratic piffle. In particular, they made inane and repeated references to “The Computer Program” that they use — as though that means diddly-squat.

    If (s)he of 19 Hillside is correct then:
    (1) PVSC is making some sort of systematic error that favors long-term property owners.
    (2) PVSC favors those who “don’t complain”.

    Well, I suspect (1) is correct. And, perhaps it was just a coincidence, but I do recall getting an unwelcome visit from a property assessor shortly after standing up against Council-foolishness at a Town Meeting. So, I believe (2) is also correct.

    The Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) is “owned by 55 municipal units in Nova Scotia” (quote TOW Budget 2009). We pay for these clowns!!

    We need to diagnose whether PVSC is doing its job properly. I suggest comparing assessments and sales histories would be an excellent way to diagnose the pathology. I suspect that PSVC are the only ones that have such data in an accessible format — so don’t hold your breath waiting to find out the truth.

  6. @Betty,
    The seller included this information, with the phrase “deliberately kept low”, on a public site.

    In our view too much is kept “private” that shouldn’t be private.

    Should townspeople know for example that the Town and mayor is being taken to court? We think so. Yet how many residents know?