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Advice On How To Conduct Site Inspections

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NC Values

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I would appreciate suggestions and tips and how to best conduct a residential site inspection. In what order do you usually inspect and measure (inside or outside first?)? Do you use customized check sheets for documenting improvements, freehand notes, or just the particular standard form appropriate for the assignment? Is anyone willing to share checksheets they have developed? You may email me at ([email protected]) Other hints or tips?

I realize that inspection methods are largely a matter of personal preference, but I am looking for different opinions on how to attack inspections.

I am a new trainee who has several offers pending and am looking for suggestions on how best to conduct inspections. Thanks for your help...
 

Sean Braudrick

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
1. Meet the homeowner
2. measure outside
4. take pictures (specific order for me - front1&2, street, rear1&2)
3. measure inside while making notes

We use standard graph paper from the old days.... bold line every 10 squares... for the sketch while in the field
For the subject, we use a copy the front side of the URAR
We have an old standby form for comps....

Unfortunately, my mentor is old-school, so I don't have electronic copies.... I'm planning on cleaning these up & updating them.... the first time I saw the comp form I thought it should have been on that old blue memeograph paper!!

The important thing is to do it the same every time, find what works.... you don't want to have to go back for any reason
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Your new mentor may have a certain way that they want you take notes on your inspection, since they're the one that has to review what you've done.

I wouldn't get too commited to any one style yet until you find out how he/she would like you to do it. Chances are that they'll be open minded if you come up with a different method that meets their criteria and makes their job easier.
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
Start at the front corner and go all the way around until you get back to point A. I also use graph paper 10 X 10 square. Take pictures and use the URAR to start gets you more familar with the form. You can develop your own checklist for the subject and comps after time or stay with what you got. Take interior photographs even if you don't put them in the report will help you remember things while writing it up. Of course your mentor will teach you on how to do things after your done though.
 

Stone

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
However you do it, definitely try to make it a routine that you follow every time. When homeowners ask to help measure, I find it really easy to explain that I have a "little routine" that I follow, and if I vary from it, I invariably end up missing something. Since I started using that line, I haven't had one insist on helping. They still follow me around and talk, but at least I can do my stuff the way I like without getting too much "help." I also try to follow the same routine each time when I am inside. Always first floor, second then basement. I have an inspection sheet that has everything that I would want to note about the above grade part on one side and the basement/mechanicals (including exterior/neighborhood) on the other.

Routine, routine, routine.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Rather than use a 1004 in the field, I have a check-sheet with room for comments, etc. I use a 8x11 10 grid for typical homes, 11x17 10grid for big stuff. After a while, you develop a feel for what works for you.

Good luck

Roger
 

ALICE CHRISTENSEN

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I always start outside after meeting the owner too, then do all my outside work - photos, notes, measure and sketch. 1 Out of every 10 home owner wants to "help" me measure. I've tried every way to politley say no thank you, but there they are following me and in my way "helping". It ends up like the two stooges every time it happens. :eyecrazy:

It is eaiser for me to measure alone, it's like my time with the house to get to know it a little through the measuring and drawing the sketch. Anyone have any special lines they throw the home owner that covers this? :confused:
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I used to tell them it was a union job and they were forbidden to help. Now with the Disto it never comes up.

:rolleyes:
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
If they want to help, I tell them I charge an extra $50. :D

I start on the outside, take pics as I move around, always jotting notes, and then walk through the inside to fill in the sketch. Then I'll meet with the owners to ask questions, and take questions.

Unless it's really big, with many wild angles, then I'll be in, and out.... in, and out..... in, and out.... :blink: But that is why they are charged more. :mrgreen:
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I use a form which I designed for myself after taking longhand notes for a couple of years. My form wouldn't work for you since your inspection routine will be different than mine.

When I arrive at the property I first give the exterior a good looking over. I note exterior features, landscaping, siding, roofing, windows etc. I get a rough idea of the exterior of the house.

After that I meet the owner, ask my questions, look at tax bille, surveys, floor plans, etc. I then look at the basement (if any) and the mechanical systems. After that I look at the kitchen.

I can then walk and measure all of the rooms. When My interior inspection is done I measure the outside. My way works for me and the way you develop will work for you.
 
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