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Taking on a new area.

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by JL1313, Jul 6, 2011.

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  1. JL1313

    JL1313 Sophomore Member

    0
    Apr 11, 2011
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    Arizona
    Does anyone have any tips for taking on a new area/town. I guess what I'm asking is how do you go about learning the area? Hopefully this isn't too broad of a question.

    Mahalo nui loa
     
  2. Michael S

    Michael S Senior Member

    15
    Mar 18, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    I like to search the local newspaper for any articles relating to real estate or development. There might be a huge new development planned that could substantially change the supply or demand in a market. I also like to look over listings for various property types to try and get a feel for what's available, what typical lease rates are, what typical land prices are, etc. I like to find public information sources (tax records, zoning code, etc.) especially any sort of GIS. New Mexico is a non-disclosure state so typically the assessor's website will only list the address, owner, and land size. Some counties will have limited information on improvements. Economic development agencies are a great source of information. They're geared towards informing outsiders about their market, and portraying it in the most positive light.

    Discussions with local brokers/developers/investors/appraisers are very helpful. Usually I come right out and say I'm unfamiliar with the area. This usually results in one of two responses "I don't want to talk to you because you're not local" or "Let me educate you on my market" If you don't put that out upfront you'll probably lose credibility in their eyes and you may have lost a valuable source of information who doesn't want to deal with someone coming into their market.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  3. AnonApprsr

    AnonApprsr Elite Member

    0
    Jan 21, 2008
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Massachusetts
    I agree with Michael. My first step would be to pull the last 20 homes that have sold on MLS and call each and every broker and discuss the local real estate market with them. Ask them all as many questions as you can.
     
  4. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke Member

    0
    Nov 25, 2008
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Jersey
    old school

    JL-Get in the car and drive around, don't use the same routes all the time, get lost on purpose, look for subtle changes in neighborhoods, learn the different names of them, or what names realtors use for them. In some areas neighborhoods are identified by Zip codes.
    Always bring ALL the MLS data with you, always drive the comps, keep driving and shooting sold and listed comps until you have a 'seat of the pants' value range in your head.
    Stop in a RE office and find someone who likes to talk and is cooperative, keep trying different offices until you cultivate a good source. After a while you should be competent.
    I have heard a phrase many times over the years to describe a lackluster appraiser; 'He just doesn't get it'. If you ever feel this might apply to you, try something else, but I think with hard work and diligent study of MLS and being in the field driving comps, a good appraiser can figure out any market over a reasonable period of time.
     
  5. Michigan CG

    Michigan CG Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    217
    Nov 1, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Michigan
    Yeah, that would be great, not.

    Realtors are scared of appraisers, they are tired of the new out-of-town appraisers who do not keep up on the local happenings and are tired of people who work a community a couple times a year.

    A good, local, competent appraiser is the person who knows about the local economy. The appraiser knows where the property taxes are high in one township and low in the contiguous township. The competent appraiser knows what school just got closed or when an employer adds 100 jobs or lays off 100 people

    The local appraiser keeps track of local happenings and reads the local paper. The local appraiser knows that Fred Road is going to be expanded to five lanes but will be basically closed for nine months.

    The local appraiser knows that Mary Township is now installing city water and the hook-up fees are $6,000 and required in three years.

    If residential appraisers were smart they would stay in their own back yard and be complete experts in their area. No one can tell me they can read eight newspapers a day to keep up on a four county area. No one can convince me that they can drive 60 miles to a neighborhood and they are more knowledgeable than the appraiser who lives five miles away.

    This current residential appraisal system is beyond broken. The AMC model can be blamed for much of it and the rest can be blamed on "appraisers".

    If a residential appraiser would not accept a litigation assignment in a town 60 miles away why would they take a lending assignment from 60 miles away? Is it OK to be less competent for lending than litigation?
     
  6. USPAP Compliant

    USPAP Compliant Elite Member

    2
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    North Carolina
    Don't do it!!!!!!!!!! You will be called a Skippy for coming in from "out of town" and "stealing" work from the mouths of local appraisers.

    Regardless of your fees the local appraisers will "know" that your fees are "too low" and that all your work is done for evil AMC's.

    Since you are a trainee...everything goes double and your supervisor now runs an appraisal mill.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Amy Perkins

    Amy Perkins Senior Member

    12
    Jul 20, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    What is wrong with people. It depends on your experience level. If you are a new appraiser coming from a cookie cutter area to a complex market, you might want to reach out to a local mentor to cosign. It usually takes about three months to get used to a new map. I cannot stress how important it is to research the sales history when doing a new neighborhood, I would go back years to familiarize myself with a neighborhood.
     
  8. smackodu

    smackodu Senior Member

    0
    Aug 5, 2008
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland
    Why would you do that? I thought realtors were only good for opening the door and providing appraisers ladders for attic inspections. Do you really want their opinion? I thought they were all biased....If you want to learn the local markets, go to the brokers open houses on weekdays after their sales meetings. They serve a free lunch and most are advertised on the local MLS.
     
  9. JL1313

    JL1313 Sophomore Member

    0
    Apr 11, 2011
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    Arizona
    A lot of good answers here. I guess our situation is a little odd. My supervisor is my wife her semi-retired boss. The office we work in and the town where all our work is done is in a different town than where we live, 30 miles to the south. We get orders for the town we live in but turn them down. We want to start taking them on, as we know the town. We just need to learn more of the real estate side of it.
     
  10. Michael S

    Michael S Senior Member

    15
    Mar 18, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    I should mention that we do commercial only. A Walgreens or Family Dollar as a net leased investment is a far more influenced by regional and national trends than local ones. We're not going to take an assignment for a 4,000 square foot office/warehouse 200 miles away, but a 150,000 square foot grocery anchored neighborhood center we probably would. Depending on the market the only relevant sales are going to be from the rest of the state and/or neighboring states. About 50% of New Mexico's population and economy are in the Albuquerque area, aside from that there's three smaller MSA's with 50,000-100,000 people. We do a handful of jobs in those other markets each quarter, but they're typically properties with a regional focus because that's where our expertise lies.

    Residential is obviously a whole different ballgame.
     
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