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"Find an Honest Appraiser"

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Terry Russell

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Montana
Better lay some groundwork, OK?

My name is Terry and I am a student moving towards certification in Real Estate Appraisal in Montana. I have some background in Real Estate, having bought, repaired, rented, lived in, managed and eventually sold numerous residences. For six years of the last 15 years my sole income was from my own rental property. I have owned and operated a residential property maintenance service since 1998.
Prior to and concurrent with my real estate meddling, I was a professional surveyor/navigator contracting yearly tours on geophysical research vessels worldwide. This career spanned 14 years. I was Chief Navigator with GECO-PRAKLA-SCHLUMBERGER, LTD. based in Singapore when I decided it was time to come home. I was making excellent money and earned a day off for every day worked. Sounds pretty good?
Why did I quit? I wanted a dog. Really! I did. That was a good reason. But a very close second was that the industry I entered into no longer existed.
The expense of operating a10-20 million dollar survey ship averages about $100k a day or $4-5000 per hour. The ship can earn almost a million dollars day, though they rarely do, because technical, environmental or political problems. As a chief navigator I was in charge of positioning the vessel and all of its external equipment. This was once a fairly simple task. But as technology advanced and made available resources that increased the data acquisition a hundred fold and the responsibilties soared. But there was still only one Chief navigator. If something breaks and it always does you are expected to fix it and fix it fast. Remember, if my equipment is responsible for the downtime and the ship is waiting on you and you alone, the clock is ticking at the tune of $20k per hour lost. It is a relatively high-pressure occupation.
But the main reason I left was that as the industry became more and more multinational, the nonethical side of corporate greed reared its big butt. I worked on a ship in the Persian Gulf six weeks after the Gulf War. It was a small ship with a complement of 22 crewmembers of 14 different nationalities. It was like a caste system, where people where treated on the basis of their passport. And it just got worse and then bad. My assistant might be philipino but he made 1/5th of what I did.
I didn't like what I saw. I did not like trying to defend myself as "not one of them" but I was one of them. So I quit.

Now, what does all of this have to do with real estate appraisal. Nothing at all. What it is supposed to relate to is people. You, me and him and them.
I decided to become an appraiser because I believe, firmly believe I would like it. Do I expect to make big bucks? I have learned to try not to expect anything. I find I am disappointed far less. No, I think if you do something you really enjoy, you will succeed at it in countless ways.

Now, here is my question. I have been advised by many to seek out an honest appraiser to work with. How?

How do I find an honest appraiser? Terry

If you would rather e-mail me send it to: [email protected]
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
atc,

You are asking the same question that I've asked too many times. I've come to the conclusion that I can't know until I see their work. After around 1-1/2 years on this forum, I can take a real good guess about many on here and refer work to some if I get the chance. There are also some that I know I wouldn't refer to.

You could always do what I did. Work with whoever will take you to start. Go by the books and ask lots of questions. This is an excellent place for those questions and you obviously have the guts to take on some of the negatives here. My first year there were many, many reports that I did where my 'supervisor' changed them... I took my name back off of them. This scenario made it take a little longer to become certified but, I made it... my way!

You've had a very interesting life. How many dogs do you have now?
 

Dan Leggett

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Mississippi
One way is to get to know a loan officer and ask them "Which appraiser in this town do all the real estate brokers say 'Oh no!' when they find out that appraiser has been assigned to one of their sales?"
 

Lee SW IL

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Atc,

Let me tell you my little story.

I got into appraising from my unlce. One who's been appraising for 30 +- years. Needless to say, he is not a very good appraiser. All he cared about was bucks and volume. He liked to say how many appraisers work for him and how many appraisals they do a month. He liked to use the incompetence of AMC's.

Big deal.


I left to be own my own, while on my own I found it difficult, I had too many questions. I joined NAIFA, mainly for the discounted education. I started going to the montly meetings. I have met several good appraisers. Bad appraiser's dont like other appraisers, and vise versa.
I am still own my own, but I have a pool of mentors I call, when I have questions about a specific property or specific markets.

NAIFA was my choice, as I only live approx 35 miles from the headquarters. Which has a lot of classes.

I would suggest you join an organization and pick your mentor, from an organization.
 

Terry Russell

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Montana
Thank you all for the advice.

I will get back to you with some more questions later.

For Pam, I am generally not too picky on the tense of others comments,

but, I would prefer "Having an interesting life." And so it be. Terry
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Terry,

"Sounds like you are having an VERY interesting life!" Or, "You've had a very interesting life, so far!

You didn't answer regarding how many dogs you have. present tense

Please, don't shoot! :lol:

Again, Welcome! I do believe you will continue to stir up this stew and the controversies here can teach us all.

Pamela
 

Terry Russell

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Montana
Pamela,

I have two dogs now, Zag, whom came to me when I got back from Asia. He is now 11, and then Nicky joined us, he is about 5. I be a he, too.
Yes I try to ask questions that stir the stew, but when it boils over it is a mess to clean up.
The incompetence posting was a mistake. Without having the actual report to refer to, I relied on anyone interested to take for granted what I was posting was factual to the best of my knowledge. And I know that it was. But as I became more and more skeptical about some of the replies and the merits of same, then bitterness began seeping or slopping into the replys, it dawned on me that if I am doubting their credibility, they would have many reasons to question mine. I knew it should stop. I took the stop opt.
I did learn quite alot though and that is always worth an effort. Getting late, thanks for taking interest in my journey. As Yogi Berra so eloquently states:

WHEN YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD,....................>>> TAKE IT.

Oh, I have been meaning to mention, I lived in Palm Beach County from '73 to '84. Terry
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Terry, Ah-hah !...another doodlebugger finds his way into the appraising trade. I too was one of those guys, for 6 years as a young dude just out of college. I was land-based, however, with several years each in the plains of West Texas, deserts of Saudi Arabia and the frozen tundra of Alaska's North Slope. The world travel, the ex-pats on the crew from other countries, the mixed languages and religions of the others on the crew, the daily and regular radio reports to base camps and "home" office and supply centers, the dynamite, drilling holes, setting off big explosions, the fun mixed with its own set of dangers. They were great years and great experiences, and the money was fantastic for a guy in his 20's ! I would encourage any young guy to follow the oil patch work today ---- if only the Liberals had not destroyed our domestic oil industry. Best wishes.
 

Terry Russell

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Montana
ROSS

Neither jughead or doodlebugger I be or were.
But it is good work for a while. I participated in surveys located in:

The entire continental shelf or the east coast of US form Cape Hatteras to Newfoundland.
Damn near the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf of Alaska
Cook Inlet
Bering Strait
Huge chunk west side north island New Zealand
Persian Gulf (dodging mines, dhows, UAE gunboats, Destroyers and 115 degrees 100% humdity. The wind would blow from offshore it was like standing in front of the exhaust vent of Hell.
Oh, and the Arctic Ocean.

People always asked me why I quit, apart from wanting a dog, I was tired of having wrinkled clothes.
I bet you worked for Brown and Root. Huh?
Terry
 
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