Good question! People are often confused by this terminology. A tax appraisal is the value of a property according to the government entity in which the property is located, usually the county. The evaluations are often done on average prices in the area and may not always be up to date with regard to current market prices.
The purchase appraisal is typically ordered by the bank or lending intstitution which is granting a mortgage. The individual property is measured and viewed by a cerified appraiser and then compared to very recent sales.
It's not unusual to have different amounts for the tax appraisal and the purchase appraisal. With the nationwide trend of lower values, property owners need to determine if they are paying taxes based on an amount that is too high and not realistic based on today's market.
I hope this helps!
In the tax appraisal, as someone else mentioned, in NC they are done only once every 4 to 8 years, are usually only a driveby to see if there are any apparent changes to the home, as well as checking for any improvements done since the last tax appraisal that building permits were issued for. Typically in a tax appraisal increases (or decreases) in value are not usually made to an individual home, but are done by a particular area. For example, if you live in a rather large subdivision, they may determine what the change in the average value in the subdivison is, based on recent sales in the subdivision, and increase or decrease the value on all homes in the subdivision by that figure. An individual property may also be adjusted based on any improvements (other than cosmetic) since the last appraisal.
In short, the real estate purchase appraisal is a determination of the value on the particular date that the appraisal is completed. The tax appraisal, depending on when it was last done, may or may not be an accurate value of the home at any given time. In Henderson County where you live, the last tax appraisal was done in 2010, and effective in the tax year 2011, so may not accurately reflect the value today.
The independent appraiser is also licensed by the State of NC and most often works for the bank. The bank and FHA, VA , Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac all rely on private appraisers to establish the value of the property for loan purposes.
A tax appraiser is usually a drive by and they don't come into the house. The tax appraiser also usually isn't as keen on what true values are for each particular neighborhood or community. And most tax appraisers aren't held as accountable for their numbers as a licensed appraiser doing a report for a purchase is. But there again, one works for the bank with a serious interest in the property, and the other works for the county just trying to decide how much you'll pay them every year, along with thousands of others. Hope this helps.