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Not an expert, but I have twice successfully appealed valuations -- once for the whole neighbourhood.

The basis for MPAC values is comparative. So, comparing similar sized and finished houses in the same (or similar) neighbourhoods. This is easy in subdivision tracts, harder in the country or older 'hoods with diverse building stock.

It might help if you could sharpen your question. What exactly are you trying to figure out?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
our home is one of the highest assessed on our street. If you were to drive down my street, you’d probably put my house in the bottom 25% based on curb appeal. Most of the homes are full brick, while mine has vinyl siding. We’re one of three houses at The end of a cul-de-sac, so while the privacy is nicer...the lot is smaller as we lose a bit on the front end of the cul-de-sac curve. I’ve reviewed all the properties on the aboutmyproperty website.

According to MPAC, our home was renovated about 10 years ago vs. The build date of 1978 for mine and the others. A similar sized home built new ten years ago is assessed lower. I suspect MPAC has more details of our interior vs. The neighbours interior. We purchased in 2017 (the only house on the street which has recent purchase data). We also have a finished basement with a 2nd kitchen, and a basement walkout. I don’t know what the basements or interiors are like for my neighbours. I suspect our interior would rank in the top 25%. our home is 2060 sq ft. Most of the neighbours homes are listed around 1800 sq ft on mpac. I’m aware of the 5 factors which drive 85% of the rating. 2020 mpac re-assessments have been put on hold due to covid. 2021 taxes will continue to be based on 2016 valuations. We’re assessed at 671,000.

so far these are my questions:

1. if I go through the first step in the appeal process, is there a risk that my assessment goes up?

2. could the fact that mpac has data on my renovation be driving the assessment higher? Does that impact the build date (age) factor? Our home is rated as “good” which is the highest rating.

3. are basement bedrooms included in the report? What constitutes a ”bedroom”?

4. should I just wait another year until mpac performs their reassessment? I suspect we’ll still be comparatively higher.

I’ve identified a few comparables.

A. Direct neighbour. Original building. no Renos. 1884 sq ft. Brick exterior. Assessed at 551,000

B. Two houses down. Original building, no Renos. Wood exterior. 2095 sq ft. Assessed at 542,000

C. 3 houses down. Original Building. No Renos. Brick exterior. 1775 sq ft. Assessed at 496,000

D. 10 houses down. New brick build (less than 10 yrs old). 2146 sq ft. Assessed at 632,000

E. 11 houses down. Built 1988 all brick, 2029 sq ft. Assessed at 571,000

F. 12 houses down, built 1986 all. Rick. 2300 sq ft. Slightly larger lot. Assessed at 572,000.
 

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Have any of those neighbouring houses been sold in the last couple of years? Pretty sure that MPAC uses market values, and since you bought in 2017, your purchase price has influenced the assessment. They then use a five-year period to catch up to the market price (plus inflation adjustment). That's what happened to us when we bought.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don’t think the sale in 2017 influences the assessment as the assessment is dated jan 1 2016
 

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Discussion Starter #6
as I understand it, the 2017 sale will impact the next round of assessments Which should have occurred in 2020 but they are delayed til 2021 due to covid.
 

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so far these are my questions:
One thing you haven't mentioned is what you paid for the property. No need to disclose it here, of course. And it may not be a direct factor because, as you say, you bought after the current valuation target date.
But it will likely be informative. If it's in line with the assessment it may indicate that your renos are of substantial value. A finished basement vs. unfinished basements would be a substantial upgrade, for example. (It would be helpful if you could get an idea about the state of your neighbours' basements.)

You don't mention the number of bedrooms or bathrooms in each house. If yours has more, that would explain a higher value.

House D would seem to present a very strong case for you. I'd suggest focusing on it.

As to your questions, I do not believe that asking for a reconsideration can lead to a higher valuation. AFAIK, there is zero downside to making the request. (When the MPAC system was introduced, assessors were initiallly directed to resist any changes and force complainants to go to a formal hearing, if they had the stomach for it. Thankfully, the system has become more flexible and less adversarial.)

Re questions 2 & 3, it sounds like the 10-year-old upgrades are playing a big role here. Can't say for certain, though, and I don't know what constitutes a "bedroom."
(Aside: Most assessments are done without an actual site visit -- it's almost all data based. I'm not sure what would distinguish a basement bedroom from a basement rec room.)

As for question 4, I would suggest asking for the reconsideration now -- don't wait.
One issue I found with the assessments is that they tend to build on each other. So the next round of valuations would work off your current (high) number. Better for you to get it lowered right away, if possible.
 
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