What is the difference between “assessed” value and “appraised” value?

Maybe you’ve wondered before if there is a difference between “assessed” value and “appraised” value? Here are five key distinctions.

1)  Assessed value is a dollar amount assigned to a property by the Assessor’s Office typically for the purpose of assessing taxes. Appraised value is an evaluation of a property’s value for any point in time by a professional appraiser.

2)  Assessed value is rendered by the Assessor’s office or county, while appraised value is rendered by a professional appraiser.

3)  Assessed value is deciphered through using a mass-appraisal process without inspecting each property, while appraised value most often includes actually inspecting the property to determine the value (not always though as there is such a thing as a desktop appraisal where the appraiser values a property without leaving the desk).

4)  Assessed value in California is based on the date a property was purchased, while appraised value can be based on any date – whether today, yesterday or years ago. As an FYI, assessed value in California is governed by Proposition 13, which basically means that a property will be assessed based on its purchase price from 1975 onward and will have annual increases limited to the inflation rate or 2%, whichever is less (read more here). The Proposition 13 value is commonly referred to as the “base year value” because subsequent years of taxation are based on that value.

5)  Assessed value segments land and improvements in the valuation, whereas appraised value may or may not do this depending on the needs of the client and scope of work. For example, the Assessor might state a property is worth $250,000 and the land in this circumstance is worth $100,000 while the improvements are worth $150,000 (house and anything on the site). 

Do you have any questions? Can you think of any other differences? Comment below. 

If you have any real estate appraisal, consulting, or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact me at 916.595.3735, by email, on our appraiser website or via Facebook.


    • says

      Great comment, Jim. I was at a conference all day today and when your comment came through on my mobile phone I laughed because I had forgotten to mention such an important factor. The Assessor values properties as of January 1 here and they say comparable properties between January 1 to March 31 are acceptable for useage (though really the properties just before January 1 are very important too). Thanks again.

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