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King County Department of Assessments

Setting values, serving the community, and promoting fairness and equity.

Department of Assessments

201 South Jackson Street, Room 708
Seattle, WA 98104

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

TEL: 206-296-7300
FAX: 206-296-5107
TTY: 206-296-7888

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Glossary of terms for residential parcels

A statistic is said to be biased if the expected value of that statistic is not equal to the population parameter being estimated. A process is said to be biased if it produces results that vary systematically with some factor that should be irrelevant. In assessment administration, assessment progressivity (regressivity) is one kind of possible bias.

Relative to age and grade. Coded 1-5.
1 = Poor- Worn out. Repair and overhaul needed on painted surfaces, roofing, plumbing, heating and numerous functional inadequacies. Excessive deferred maintenance and abuse, limited value-in-use, approaching abandonment or major reconstruction; reuse or change in occupancy is imminent. Effective age is near the end of the scale regardless of the actual chronological age.

2 = Fair- Badly worn. Much repair needed. Many items need refinishing or overhauling, deferred maintenance obvious, inadequate building utility and systems all shortening the life expectancy and increasing the effective age.

3 = Average- Some evidence of deferred maintenance and normal obsolescence with age in that a few minor repairs are needed, along with some refinishing. All major components still functional and contributing toward an extended life expectancy. Effective age and utility is standard for like properties of its class and usage.

4 = Good- No obvious maintenance required but neither is everything new. Appearance and utility are above the standard and the overall effective age will be lower than the typical property.

5= Very Good- All items well maintained, many having been overhauled and repaired as they have shown signs of wear, increasing the life expectancy and lowering the effective age with little deterioration or obsolescence evident with a high degree of utility.

Represents the construction quality of improvements. Grades run from grade 1 to 13. Generally defined as:
1-3Falls short of minimum building standards. Normally cabin or inferior structure
4Generally older, low quality construction. Does not meet code.
5Low construction costs and workmanship. Small, simple design.
6Lowest grade currently meeting building code. Low quality materials and simple designs.
7Average grade of construction and design. Commonly seen in plats and older sub-divisions.
8Just above average in construction and design. Usually better materials in both the exterior and interior finish work.
9Better architectural design with extra interior and exterior design and quality.
10Homes of this quality generally have high quality features. Finish work is better and more design quality is seen in the floor plans. Generally have a larger square footage.
11Custom design and higher quality finish work with added amenities of solid woods, bathroom fixtures and more luxurious options.
12Custom design and excellent builders. All materials are of the highest quality and all conveniences are present.
13Generally custom designed and built. Mansion level. Large amount of highest quality cabinet work, wood trim, marble, entry ways etc.