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General Certification Classes (Should I take them)

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stedios

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Sophomore Member
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Sep 29, 2008
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Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Good evening all. I have been reading this forum for some time, and here is my first post. Note, the following disregards experience hours and final examination (which I’m aware of). Also, I have taken the USPAP course and passed.

My question is somewhat general, but here is some necessary background information.

I graduated from an accredited university with a bachelor’s degree in business (majored in Real Estate and Finance). According to my state's board, Pennsylvania, if I can prove that I covered the topics required for General Certification in my college classes, I do not need further education. This would be done by writing up a course description for each class with topics/hours covered, and then having it notarized by the University/professors. This is easier said then done, as classes overlap (topics) and it is very unclear how much time we spent in any given topic. But, I believe we covered 80-95% of the topics throughout my courses, at least. Nonetheless, I believe I got a pretty good handle on the majority of the topics, although they were not always geared towards appraisals (i.e. we covered leases but not specifically how they would be considered in an appraisal).

So, my question is this: Should I a) spend considerable time drawing up my courses and what we covered in them, specifically, delineate the hours, and have it notarized by the University, or b) consider my college education a good base and take most/all of the basic courses through the Appraisal Institute?

Option A is appealing since I would only need maybe one, or two classes for General Certification. Although, I would be disappointment if 2 years go by and upon application I am told I need further education in Topic X.
Option B also sounds ok considering my employer will pay some of my education expenses ($3,000 between now and when I could take the exam, which is $1,000 per calendar year). Also, with option B I believe I could truly learn the subject, since when it was put past me the first time in college I sort of got through the material and got my A, and not much more. Now, I can use what I learn in my work and develop a better understanding of the subject matter.

What would you do if you were in this scenario?
A co-worker is in the exact same situation as I am, but he is considering his college education adequate. Although, I’m not sure that he is aware that we may not have covered 100% of the required topics, and the board wants specific evidence of what we covered and the number of hours. At the moment, I am leaning towards Option B.

Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.
 
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TC

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Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
If I'm not mistaken, the work experience clock doesn't start ticking until you have passed the USPAP course, so I would do that first. As to using college credits toward the certification, I would go for it. I would call the state board and get the specifics.

TC
 

stedios

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Re

Ah, I forgot to mention that. Yes, I took and passed the USPAP course already.

Thanks for your input.
 

Michigan CG

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Certified General Appraiser
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Michigan
Take the Appraisal Institute courses. Too much education can not hurt you if you want to be the best in your profession.
 

stedios

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Sep 29, 2008
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Timothy Evans:

That is my basic line of thought...

Both my supervisor's are MAI's, are very reputable in the area, and I see them referring to the basics on a daily basis. I think a profound understanding of the underlying theory/practice is necessary to truly be an "expert" in any field.

Any other takers?
 

Lawrence R.

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
South Carolina
I would agree with Tim. I went the other route, I took all my CG courses, and then went back to college to fill in the gaps in my education.

It seems to resonate with me better, having taken the appraiser specific courses first.

Frankly, I don't know if you would get all the nuances, or even notice them, if you didn't have either some practical experience in appraising, or if you hadn't taken the advanced capitalization courses first.

I would guess it would work for you in reverse, as you sit in the CG courses, it will illuminate the appraiser specific things you have already learned, but perhaps didn't apply in the same way.

As one on the same journey as you, I welcome you to the forum and wish you much success.
 

stedios

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Lawrence:
Well, I am working full time as an assistant. So, I do get to see much work and various "appraisal problems" throughout out my days. Also, my supervisor(s) let us take a crack at a report first, forcing us to think about the issue and coming up with a viable solution rather than just telling us. It is frustrating at times, but a good lesson and a great challenge. Don’t be mistaken, they certainly provide adequate guidance along the way.

But generally speaking, I agree with you. Some combination of the two are necessary?
I think I could get away with just my college credits, plus one course or so, but in the long run I think I may be at a disadvantage if I don't sit down and learn the book material along the way.

Any other input?
(Note: I wish my state allowed online courses, I would undoubtedly take them all)
 

Stone

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Lawrence:
Well, I am working full time as an assistant. So, I do get to see much work and various "appraisal problems" throughout out my days. Also, my supervisor(s) let us take a crack at a report first, forcing us to think about the issue and coming up with a viable solution rather than just telling us. It is frustrating at times, but a good lesson and a great challenge. Don’t be mistaken, they certainly provide adequate guidance along the way.

But generally speaking, I agree with you. Some combination of the two are necessary?
I think I could get away with just my college credits, plus one course or so, but in the long run I think I may be at a disadvantage if I don't sit down and learn the book material along the way.

Any other input?
(Note: I wish my state allowed online courses, I would undoubtedly take them all)

I would also recommend taking the AI courses. While they may be more in number, they are typically one week each. Since you have a good educational background already, and have some work experience, I think the intensive courses are a good bet. And, since you will be sitting in a room with a mix of active appraisers and newer entrants, you will get some good discussions. FTR - that is why I don't think there should be on-line training allowed for certification purposes. The class time is too valuable.

It sounds like you have a good supervisor.
 

Michigan CG

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Certified General Appraiser
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Michigan
.

Both my supervisor's are MAI's, are very reputable in the area......

There are THOUSANDS of appraisers who would kill small farm animals to be in your position. Do not give up this opportunity. If you ever do you will regret it for a long time.

After two years you will know enough to be dangerous.

After five years you will be somewhat competent in many property types.
 

stedios

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
After five years you will be somewhat competent in many property types.

Given the broad range of property types and endless variables, this is so true... :huh: (the "Somewhat" competent part)

Stone:
I agree with the Classroom experience / atmosphere. Though I didn't it give it to much thought until you mentioned it. I believe I gained some valuable insight just attending the USPAP course last Fall.

By the way, I appreciate everyones' responses.
 
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