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Is a GPS device usefull in Appraising?

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Stephen J. Vertin MAI

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Illinois
GPS is most likely a waste of money for urban residential appraisers; however, I was fortunate enough to use it on an atypical property type I was appraising. It was in the Rent-a-Car I was using. I have to say it saved hours because many of the comps were in area of the Midwest I had never been to. My experience with the system was very positive. I would recommend it for people who do a lot of special use properties were comparables are all over the place. Other then that it is most likely a waste of money.

Steve Vertin
 

Verne Hebert

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Montana
I think Steve's comment is a good one. Most of the AI boys are in urban areas (where there is income to analysis).

I have been using one for six years now. I don't use them to find the property however, I have maps for that.

But I do use them to find isolated tracts of land; both sales ('cause there are no addresses, right?--nor any listing signs--normally) and subject property. It is a pain in the posterior however because I have to translate the coordinates from its legal form to GIS coordinates.

I use it maybe once a month, but it is invaluable for this purpose. I can't imagine using it in a more dense area for anything, particularly to find my way to the subject site.

Verne Hebert
 

Ken in Arkansas

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I have a GPS and a CD of DeLorme maps. They do come in quite handy trying to find that remote comp with no street address. I am so dedicated to keeping my skills honed that I try to use them year round - especially during hunting deason!
 

gpsplace

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
Thomas,

I appreciate your inquiry about using a GPS enabled laptop computer in the car.

I use it on a regular basis with Delorme Street Atlas 2005Plus map program and the Earthmate GPS device connected to the USB port.

In my work, it is most practical and proven extremely productive for appraisal and consulting needs on a local and nationwide basis.

There is "another element" that I apparently did not make clear in the Appraisalbuzz article on how to get to an address. The software has a Routing Tab section with blank fields to type in the Starting Address, the Final Destination Address and the ability to insert as many property address stops as needed. The most efficient route, travel time and distance(s) displayed in real-time calculation are one of the many features. It's really difficult to fully grasp all the great benefits of the software without seeing a live demo.

I'm feeling more motivated and am working to help improve GPS and GIS practical based education in our industry.

Best regards.

John Cirincione



Thomas N. Morgan wrote:

A recent Appraisal Buzz has an interview with John Cirincione, who, among other things, is on the AI's Real Estate Information Committee.

His thesis is that with DeLorme's Earthamate, a LapTop Computer, and a GPS, an appraiser can drive to the comps quicker and easier. To have all this equipment in the car sounds awkard and impractical.

Has anyone tried this? Has it proven to be practical?

We all know that a GPS can tell you where you are, but how could it possibly show you how to get to an address (unless you had the the USGS Coordinates for that address) There must be another element involved that he did not mention: perhaps a street finder program such as Microsofts's Streets and Trips.


Thomas N. Morgan
State-Certified Residential Appraiser 000052
Ocala, FL
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Wow - talk about a thread that got resurrected from the dead! 2002
 

Otis Key

Elite Member
Joined
May 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
I've got one. For concrete jungle appraisers I would imagine it would be a waste of money. For rural areas it is a pretty darn good benefit. For people that work in areas wit new subdivisions popping up overnight, it's a lifersave. Alamode's & Delorme's maps are as out-of-date as are any others. I use it to write down the lat & long when I'm in front of the subject and sales. I've noticed that the mapping programs for appraisals tend to be off, somtimes by miles.

The one I bought can be moved from one vehile to another so if I go on a trip by plane, then it's going into my carry on luggage. The Delorme RoadWarrior package does have the plan-a-trip function which could help you plot out the sales but again, you already know that neighborhood well enough that you really shouldn't need it. Otherwise, the map plotted out would appear like the string puzzle we used to play as kids.
 

gpsplace

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
Depending on the case and personal operating preferences, the ability to manage property data and routing for multiple addresses has proven substantially more efficient than non-GPS enabled processes in an urban area.
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
When I bought my geezer mobile (Buick) two years ago it had On Star---free for a year. However, except maybe for the satellite phone) it is useless in rural areas such as those Greg appraises in. There are roads off deer trails, unchartered creeks to cross, locked gates, ruts deeper than the car, trees and/or brush so thick you could be driving in circles and not realize it. I have stopped at the Department of Forestry to ask how to get to a particular address and they don't have a clue. Most streets do not have signs on them and those that do often have them turned in the opposite direction thanks to bored teenagers or pot farmers who intentionally do not want people to find them.

When making an appointment for an inspection, if finding the house is in question I insist that the owner meet me at the main road at the closest mile marker. That doesn't help in locating the comps, however. I always run my comps before going out to inspect. If the directions are not clear and if the listing or selling agent cannot describe the directions or landmakes clearly and if I cannot find another comp and if there are no MLS photos of the subject, I'll take a photo in the DIRECTION of where it is supposed to be and explain it in my comments. Oh....I will ask the agents if THEY have a photo and ask them to email it or snail mail it to me. Prior to WINDOWS I would take the photo to a shop that had a color printer, make 3 copies and glue them on the photo sheet.

Not being a female and much into gossip, I am not into talking with people on the street, plowing the fields, milking the cows, tending sheep, because I am likely already late for my next appointment or fear getting lost in the wilderness after dark.

Jo Ann should write a book. Her adventures, a la Garrison Kieler, would be hilarious.
 

Steve Owen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
One of my many former bosses told me a long time ago to never ask the homeowner for directions. How well could you know the neighborhood if you don't know where the street is?

Personally, I always ask the HO for directions. Maybe it's a holdover from my days of selling insurance.... :lol:

Usually I say something like "I know how to get to NN Highway from Highway 86, tell me how far down Dutch Elm your house is." After they tell me, I ask what color house it is. If it's in town, I might just ask what color it is. I usually ask if the house number is clearly visible (sometimes it isn't around here). I've never had a negative comment or reply to this.

Geez... I know you guys like to cover your butts, but isn't refusing to ask for directions taking it a bit far. :rofl:
 

Ray Miller

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
I had one for eight months now. Still in the box, need to get someone to read the direction on how to make it work. I have just learned how to set the clock in my 93 p/u and I have had it for 12 years now. How long will it take for the GPS. Still don't know what all the buttons are on the cell phone.

I still use maps and platt books to find things in the rural areas.
 
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