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  #1  
Old 07-30-2008, 02:15 PM
Silverfrizz Silverfrizz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 104
Default Exam for County Appraiser

Hello Everyone,

I will be sitting for an exam to become a county appraiser, most likely there will be a lot of people competing for the job with much stronger qualifications than mine sitting for the exam as well.

Does anyone have any idea what the test will be like? It would be good to know if there is a way to study in preparation for it.

Thank you, in advance, to anyone willing to help me on this. I am going camping through Sunday, and I'm hoping to find your answers when I return.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2008, 02:58 PM
Jim Mallon's Avatar
Jim Mallon Jim Mallon is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, California
State: California
Professional Status: Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
Posts: 850
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfrizz View Post
Hello Everyone,

I will be sitting for an exam to become a county appraiser, most likely there will be a lot of people competing for the job with much stronger qualifications than mine sitting for the exam as well.

Does anyone have any idea what the test will be like? It would be good to know if there is a way to study in preparation for it.

Thank you, in advance, to anyone willing to help me on this. I am going camping through Sunday, and I'm hoping to find your answers when I return.
I took the County test before I got my job and found it was very similar to the CA OREA exam only not as tough. If you have exam preparation materials for the private sector/fee appraiser licensing exam you should study those and you'll be fine.
  #3  
Old 07-30-2008, 03:39 PM
Charles Knutson Charles Knutson is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Denver, CO
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 533
Default

County Appraisers use mass appraisal valuation models, as opposed to the sales comparison approach -- if you do some research on mass appraisal, it might give you an advantage.

Don't be intimidated by your qualifications -- they might prefer a trainee, because you don't have bad habits that need to be unlearned, along with a bad attitude and unrealistic expectations.

Good Luck!
  #4  
Old 07-30-2008, 03:43 PM
Tim Schneider's Avatar
Tim Schneider Tim Schneider is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
State: Wisconsin
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 985
Default

I took the test to be an assesment tech about 5 years ago (before I got into the appraisal business). The library had a study book, which I read for 2 hours, and got a 97% on the test. It didn't matter, I didn't know anyone in City Hall.
  #5  
Old 07-30-2008, 03:50 PM
George Ellerman's Avatar
George Ellerman George Ellerman is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cincinnati
State: Ohio
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 1,279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Schneider View Post
I took the test to be an assesment tech about 5 years ago (before I got into the appraisal business). The library had a study book, which I read for 2 hours, and got a 97% on the test. It didn't matter, I didn't know anyone in City Hall.
You should send the Chief Appraiser a bottle of Dom Perignon plus a $500 gift cerificate to the Chicken Ranch in Nevada. This should put you in his favor and garner you an extra 30 points on the exam !
  #6  
Old 07-30-2008, 03:58 PM
Howard Klahr's Avatar
Howard Klahr Howard Klahr is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Florida
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 2,496
Default

I don't know how helpful this would be for the test, however, here is a link to the web site of the California Board of Equalization Assessors' Handbook. I would imagine all the informaton you need is available here.

Assessors' Handbook

Good luck with your exam.
  #7  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:35 PM
ZZGAMAZZ ZZGAMAZZ is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,715
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1) I took the test last year in San Bernardino County along with about 200 others.
2) The County HR website reveals that a step II licensed appraiser makes about $3/hour more than a sprinkler technician.
3) The test was comprised primarily of two types of questions: a) geometry, e.g., area of a triangle, and interpreting legal descriptions, and b) describing your response to numerous customer service scenarios, e.g., customer at the counter pulls a knife, and do you 1) offer a customer satisfaction survey, 2) notify a supervisor, 3) ask the customer to return when the security force is more alert, etc., etc., etc.
4) I was notified that I passed the exam but the HR contact person didn't know whether the entity was actually hiring. It seems that the exam is offered rather routinely and it's my personal opinion that it's an exercise in folly in order to satisfy some obscure government regulation pertaining to keeping the exam mill functioning...
  #8  
Old 07-30-2008, 06:20 PM
Jim Mallon's Avatar
Jim Mallon Jim Mallon is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, California
State: California
Professional Status: Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
Posts: 850
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Knutson View Post
County Appraisers use mass appraisal valuation models, as opposed to the sales comparison approach -- if you do some research on mass appraisal, it might give you an advantage.
This is not entirely true. The OP posted from California. We have Proposition 13 here, which means properties are reassessed on a case-by-case basis for the most part, most often using the Sales Comparison Approach (particularly on residential properties). Certainly in places like LA County there might be more "mass appraisal" going on, but in San Luis Obispo we look at every sale and do an individual appraisal on each transaction.

The test did indeed have some "customer service" type questions on it, but if memory serves me (it was 12 years ago now), a whole lot of it was very similar to the OREA exam, i.e. "approaches to value," concepts such as substitution, progression and highest and best use, completing an adjustment grid, all that kind of stuff. Sometimes they'll throw a government survey legal description (range and township) or lot and block legal description.

It also helps to know what the Assessor's Office does. Check their website, do they have a mission statement? Know the Assessor's name!
  #9  
Old 07-30-2008, 06:39 PM
Mike Boyd Mike Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
State: California
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
Posts: 11,822
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Mallon View Post
I took the County test before I got my job and found it was very similar to the CA OREA exam only not as tough. If you have exam preparation materials for the private sector/fee appraiser licensing exam you should study those and you'll be fine.
Give special attention to MASS APPRAISALS.
  #10  
Old 08-05-2008, 11:57 AM
Silverfrizz Silverfrizz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 104
Default Thank you Everyone!

Thank you, everyone, for your kind and helpful support. I phoned the county yesterday, there are over 100 competitors for this job.

I will take your advice, and now know how to study for the test.

Thank you, all, who have responded.
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