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Old 03-24-2005, 04:39 PM
Vince Priblo Vince Priblo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005

Posts: 1

My name is Vince and I plan on taking a appraisal course to become an apprentice and eventually to be certified in New Jersey. I am looking at the FW Kovats school in Maywood and the American School of Business in Fairfield. Does anyone have any feedback on either of those institutions?

More importantly, do you recommend appraisiong to someone who's making a mid-life career change? Can I make a decent living? I'm motivated, good with people, organized and I've been around the block a few times, if you know what I mean. Are most appraisers independent ?

Also-how do I go about setting up an apprenticeship? I've called several appraisers and they said to contact them after I completed the 3 classes. Is there a more organized way to go about it? Neither school has a program to find apprenticeships.

Any advice, direction or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Take Care-
Vince Priblo
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:47 PM
Kate's Avatar
Kate Kate is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The LIVE FREE OR DIE State!!!
State: New Hampshire
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 4,519

You are smart to look for a trainer/mentor before you take any classes.

I'm not going to tell you not to get into appraising, but I will suggest that you read the newbie/ appraiser wannabee section thoroughly before spending a dime.

It's very difficult these day.

Good luck!
Old 03-24-2005, 04:55 PM
Pamela Crowley (Florida)'s Avatar
Pamela Crowley (Florida) Pamela Crowley (Florida) is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wherever We Are Parked
State: Florida
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
Posts: 25,254

Thoroughly read the Newbie/Wannabe section.

Then make up your mind.

Good luck.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men/women do nothing.
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:21 PM
Ramon Tate's Avatar
Ramon Tate Ramon Tate is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hernando, MS
State: Mississippi
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 145

We've just been through one of the biggest re-fi booms ever, and with bargain basement mortgage interest rates adding fuel to the fire real estate in many areas was appreciating at double digit rates and more. Sales activity was brisk and the demand for appraisals was heavy. But now, with gas prices headed toward $3+ per gallon, mortgage interest rates headed north, and regulators hinting at a little concern that institutions may be under-collateralized because of inflated appraisals, you can bet your last dollar that the party will be winding down soon. Depending on where you are things may be humming right along right now. But I really believe we're headed for a slowdown. That's not good news for someone trying to enter the profession.

I'd be less than honest if I was neutral or tried to sound upbeat. But with the number of appraisal trainees at record levels, being a beginner in the field could mean some very lean paychecks ahead. Hate to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge, but that's what I think.
Old 03-24-2005, 09:50 PM
Tina's Avatar
Tina Tina is offline
Join Date: May 2004
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,562

I have to "echo" Ramon....I suspect coming times to be rough..

Old 03-27-2005, 10:08 AM
Ross (CO) Ross (CO) is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 4,154

The harkening sound of Ramon's echo is reaching the Colorado Front Range, as well.
Old 03-27-2005, 11:59 AM
Timothy Wixted's Avatar
Timothy Wixted Timothy Wixted is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 413

I wouldn't pay a dime for any classes until you have a job. Cold calling is probably not going to get it done. Most appraisers are inundated with requests to hire trainees. It's a tough field to break into. What you need to do is network. Friends, family, local banker, Realtors ect. may be able to provide you some leads. My ex belongs to APMW, which is the Association of Professional Mortgage Women, which has monthly meetings (plenty of men at the meetings including appraisers). There may be similar organizations in your area. Great for networking.

As far as schooling goes, it is the instructor that is important. Ask each school for references of recent students.

As far as income, you can make a decent living after a while. This is speaking as an independent fee appraiser, I don't know about staff appraisers. However, my experience has been that the first 18-24 months are particularly rough for income. There are classes to take, state fees to pay, cameras, software, E & O insurance ect. There is a lot to learn (geographical competency takes time, for one) and it takes a certain skill set to be a good appraiser.

After you have knowledge and experience, certain aspects of appraising get much easier. As contradictory as it may seem, certain aspects actually get harder, the more you know. Because the more you learn, the more you see how much of appraising you don't know and what research and analysis should go into every report to make compliant with USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). I look at some of my old reports as a trainee and wonder what I was thinking.

As a fee appraiser, there is generally no health insurance or other benefits. Business is good now, but it's a cyclical business. My boss has been in business over 20 years and tells me of the 'fax watch'- when there's no work and the appraisers stand around waiting for the fax machine to spit out an order.

There is a lot of pressure on appraisers to 'hit the number', the value that makes the deal work. This is a huge problem for ethical appraisers and the lending industry as a whole. Good clients who want an honest value are golden. There are plenty of threads on this topic on the Forum.

But I couldn't think of having a job where I would have to punch a clock. Even as I'm writing up appraisal reports on Easter Sunday.

Best of Luck

Old 03-27-2005, 04:35 PM
TEL2002's Avatar
TEL2002 TEL2002 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Louisiana
State: Louisiana
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
Posts: 8,183

I would suggest you get a Real Estate Sales license first. This gives you a starting point and income potential. Then get into the apprisal classes if that is what you want.

I would never take on a trainee, if they did not have 3-5 classes completed. Then I know they are really serious about it. This way we will not waste each others time. Like others said, read the newby sections of this forum. Very informative.
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