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Best measuring device?

KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I like the inspection sheet you have created there with the graph paper, good Idea, I may steal it...LOL I just use legal sized computer paper with the top half of the improvements section on the top. Now with the 10 to 15 minutes extra at each inspection I have to disagree. As a volume appraiser 10 to 15 minutes extra at each inspection is around 2 hours extra in the field per week. That equates at the end of the year at around an extra 100 hours per year, which could equate out to an extra $7,500 to $10,000 a year. I feel the extra 10 to 15 minutes, or in some cases on complex properties 20-30 minutes is worth it, it may not be too some.
Lol to that, no offense. That calculation is assuming you could easily fill that extra 100 hrs per year with paying work and that working is your only motivation. It would get maddening doing the same type of math trying to save a few minutes here(shopping, driving, housecleaning, gym routine, etc) and there and than calculating your yearly totals of how much time you could save if you just did this or that. Sounds constricting to me. I recently did some math and I spend 80 hours a year taking my son back and forth to school. Would I like that 2 weeks back and fill it with work? Not really, dad duty is more fulfilling than an extra two weeks of pay(though I hate getting up early for his school, semi defeats the point of being self employed).

Also, its not like a laser is instant, you still have to walk the sides at a minimum. Theres probably not much of a time difference. As far as mobile uploads of the sketch? It takes another 5 minutes when I sit down to do the sketch and floorplan, its a wash in my eyes. I can measure a one level or box on box two story in 5 minutes if I don't have to make forced small talk with an occupant. I have a wheel if County has a sketch uploaded, 95% of the time, and just verify if its right which it also is 90+% of the time. If it is way off, I get the 100 foot tape out. On typical homes it doesn't take long. I do it for 1)because I live in tract home heaven and shooting a laser in bright sun, AZ, at homes that are generally rectangles doesn't give me much of a target and 2) if I don't spend a few minutes outside I actually feel guilty how quick I can be in and out of a standard home based on what these homeowners pay for most appraisals. A few extra minutes outside makes it look like I'm actually doing something and they don't feel jipped. I cringe when someone says the last guy was in and out in 10 minutes and barely said a word..I may play speed racer on vacant homes but try and make them feel comfortable with nonsensical small talk and pretend I'm really evaluating their home professionally as I walk through. For $400-$600 you better put on a little show.
 

Artemis Fowl

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Disto rules. Very rarely do I pull tape now. Helps that I am not required to measure to the nearest .00001 of an inch.

Agree that the little wheel is useless. As a homeowner, I'd be plenty pissed to see someone rolling a wheel along the side of my house.
A big wheel is good for large parking lots. Been pushing for a drone for some of that type of work...we'll see but not flying so far.
 

James Micozzi

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
As a homeowner, I'd be plenty pissed to see someone rolling a wheel along the side of my house.
So you would be the first homeowner that I would have encountered in almost 19 years who would be pissed off by me using the wheel on the side their house.
 

KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
So you would be the first homeowner that I would have encountered in almost 19 years who would be pissed off by me using the wheel on the side their house.
Agreed and I find it humourous how many people ask about the wheel and what it does....its usually older people and they end up saying something to the effect of "how clever". A disto would :eyecrazy: blow their mind.
 

Mark K

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
I'm still using a Stanley Fat Max laser I bought 10-15 years ago at Lowes for about $100. Its very accurate but can be a bit cantankerous in bright sunlight.

If I was just getting into the business I'd buy a Disto. Personally, I'm in the 4th quarter of this game and would probably retire before I'd spend $500 or so on a laser.

I do have a wheel; it comes in handy on r/w jobs.
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I started out in this biz back in the 70's, we laughed at the "old guys" using a wheel. Forty plus years and can't believe people still use them.

Disto-Mania, baybeee, it's running wild!
 

TRESinc

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
disto all the way. used a D5 for many years and would never go back to anything else. i've dropped it more times than i can count, even in water, and it still works great.

Who said anything about using it on the ground or on a slope? roll it along the exterior walls of the home. Easy.
what about when doing a condo? do you roll your wheel along their inside walls?

So, it appears that data master is going to significantly reduce time on reports. Is there anything else out there appraisers are using to reduce time on reports? What is assisting you in your process? ...Other than people.
i tired datamaster and frankly it took me longer to review and qualify the data it entered than it did to type it out myself. i suppose if you only use 2 fingers to type it may reduce time :)
 

KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
i tired datamaster and frankly it took me longer to review and qualify the data it entered than it did to type it out myself. i suppose if you only use 2 fingers to type it may reduce time :)

Try Spark on the Alamode package. If your MLS is coordinated with them, its a breeze. I just upload the listing data or tax record of the subject, comp #s, 1004MC data and neighborhood data and it prepopulates roughly 2/3 of the form. Probably saves me roughly 30 minutes each report over hand typing. No need to double check the data because you are the one providing it and it just uploads exactly what you tell it to.
 

Michigander

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Today I figured out the way the camera functions in broad daylight (doh) and boy is that helpful. Love my disto
 
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