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Call me a FOOL; I don't care

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Charlotte Dixon

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
A guy called me last week wanting his brother's home appraised so he could purchase it from him and just wanted an idea as to what he should offer. He was a really nice elderly guy, mannerly and slow talking. By the end of the conversation I discovered this gentleman had been ill for a period of years, had no job and lived a frugal life. My fee quote was $150 for full appraisal (needless to say, not my typical fee). Friday was the appointment and I took my assistant with me. The gentleman, dressed in soiled ragged clothing, stood in the pot-holed driveway and waved me in. The dwelling was a typical country rancher, in average condition, but loaded with debris that had accumulated over the years. Upon completion of the inspection, I told him I'd have the report finished on Monday. He quickly reached in his pocket and said "I'll pay you now" and with that pressed some bills in my hand. I set up my desk on the trunk of my car and counted out $190 in larger bills. Then I told him that my fee quote was $150 and I owed him $40, had no money with me and would return the $40 cash on Monday. He just laughed and said to just forget that....and that money wasn't everything. I wrote him a simple receipt and left. He could be a millionaire, or close to it, or he could be really poor, I don't know. But, he's getting his report and $40 on Monday. After putting up with arrogant lenders all week and having to beg big corporations for payment of past due invoices, the week ended on a positive note. As far as the fee goes, I'll make up the difference in what I collected Friday and what I typically charge for an appraisal from the next ill mannered loan officer that comes across the phone line.
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Charlotte, at the risk of being called something worse than a fool, I find what you did one of the reasons I like being self-employed. Too often, in a world where the measure of success is the size of the fee, it is great to hear from someone who does something simply becasue it seemed the right thing to do. Not having a boss (other than my wife) means I can do such things.

I do low cost appraisals for a local organization that assists people get into homes and out of public housing. They have a comprehensive plan where the people put into a savings account a few dollars a week (the account is held by the organization....mostly these people either don't have or are unable to open a bank account), and when they reach the ability to make a minimial down payment and their income reaches the point that they can support a low cost mortgage, the organization will get them a house (mortgaged by a local co-operating bank) that had been a HUD repo, purchased by the organization, rehabbed by the prospective buyers and the organization's volunteers, and made suitable to live in. The mortgage is usually for 15 years and the selling price is the HUD price plus the cost to get it into shape. If the people decide to sell it during the first 10 years of their ownership, the contract reads that the organization can buy it (right of first refusal) at the original selling price. This prevents someone from aquiring a home worth $60,000 for $40,000, and turning it around and selling it for the difference and thus taking advantage of the organization.

But, good for you. Everyone should do at least one random act of kindness every day.

Greg
 

Les Brant

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Charlotte, THat was and is a most acceptable act. Have ben know to do similar acts occasionally. Mostly to churches and fire/rescue units. Les in Coastal (N)Carolina
 

Cliff Salisbury

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Ohio
Congragulations. What a good feeling you must have. In June of 2000 my church provided the labor for building a home for Habitat for Humanity. Another member and I were in charge of the construction from the framing to completion. It took us about six months of working almost every Saturday and two or three nights a week. A lot of sore and tired muscles.
If you could have seen the faces of the husband and wife and their two girls when it was completed you would know that is was worth every minute of time that I spent there. All I have to do is think about it and it brings a smile to my face.
It is nice to receive the fees and we all have to make a living. It is also very nice to be able to help someone else out. Get involved. There is probably at least once every year that we can use our skills to help someone out in need. Be thankful that we can do something for someone else instead of being the one that needs the help.
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Not a fool at all! Would say you have a good heart and hope that there's many more like you out there in our business!! Good job, Charlotte. :D
 

Charlotte Dixon

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Thanks to you all! It's nice to know there are a few of us out there who act on impulse and extend a helping hand once in awhile. You are all great and I enjoyed reading about your experiences. This past Friday's appointment renewed my faith, as have your responses.
Respectfully,
Charlotte
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Been there, but still find you have to keep the defense in place or you'll get - hoondaggled (looked it up Greg-didn't find it anywhere-no spell check :) ) Charlotte, it's great to run into older people who respect you work with a smile & a prompt fee; those damn attorneys are the blame for everything :lol: :lol: - they truly have taken the fun out of life ya know 8)
 

Roger

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
I noted some forumites working on a home with Habititat for Humanity.

In our community, the local Habitat organization gets a full URAR appraisal on every home they construct, before deeding it to the individual that it is being built for.

I've done the appraisals on the last 15 or so of these homes, all for no fee. I find that it is a good way for me to help someone that wants to help themselves.

I've also appraised a few properties for people that have donated them to Habititat, for future construction. The folks donating these properties use my reports for their tax deductions. Again I do them at no cost.

I would encourage other members of this forum to call their local Habitat office, and offer their expertise and services. It gives you a good feeling at the end of the day to know you have helped someone help themselves, rather than just giving handouts.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
You have renewed my faith in appraisers! Isn't it fun to occassionally do random acts of senseless kindness?
 

Tony in Ohio

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
Habitat is GREAT, Its not a "throw money at the problem" charity, it helps people help themselves. I have to admit I have been away for a while but am going to get back in.


I like the gratis reports idea, but I also know thay can often use help finding sites, and or potential rehabs, and if you are a younger appraiser, its a great place to learn about construction materials and techniques.

As a bonus, its a great place to network. I have met more than one banker, lawyer, judge, etc. that has paid business dividends. (You get more out of it personally if you do it for the right reasons, but whatever your reason, they can always use your help :lol: :lol: )
 
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