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Christine Barton

Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
I am considering becoming an appraiser and have been reading the posting on this site. Unfortunately, I must say most postings are a bit discouraging, but I realize there are good and bad points to every endeavor. I have lived in Charlotte County Florida for 10 years and the new residential construction is incredible. I am currently a financial analyst for an Internet company, am extremely computer literate, and have been in the accounting field for over 15 years. I also worked for a large homebuilder whose business doubled within the 2 years I was there. I was responsible for keeping track of the progress of over 60 new homes in order to call the bank for draws, as well as order surveys. I recently spoke with one of my contacts who is the VP of residential lending at SunTrust Bank and she told me that it used to take about 2-3 days to get an appraisal, but now it is taking 10-14 days, which is holding up the mortgage process. According to a Department for Economic Development newsletter, the estimated growth for a town near my home is estimated to grow from 27,000 residents currently to about 250,000 by 2010. I am currently working, on an as needed basis, for a company in Arizona doing new construction bank inspections. When I spoke with the contact at SunTrust she informed me that the appraiser is paid to do these inspections so that is how I became interested in appraising. The VP at SunTrust told me that she believed it is an excellent field to get into in my area and she thought I would be very good at it. In speaking with just a few of my local contacts that are realtors and mortgage people, they told me to let them know as soon as I become able to perform appraisals. I have many people I know already who would give me business as well as knowing top people in almost every bank in my town, including VP’s and Presidents. My hope is that I will have a lot to offer a Mentor. OK here are my questions. Is it the appraiser who usually performs the construction draw inspections in other cities? How important is new construction to appraisers? I understand that I will not make much money for at least 2-3 years, but how many appraisals can I expect to do a month when most of the homes are generally in the same category? As a Trainee, what exactly am I able to do since I already have people who want to give me business? I am considering beginning my appraisal education in October, but feel that I need a little more info before jumping in. Your advice is very much appreciated.
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Christine,
From your post it seems that you have a good background and understanding of real estate. I would suggest that you start by taking a basic course as soon as possible. I would reccomend a course sponsored by a local college or extension service. If you can't get into such a course consider one of the one week basic courses given by the Institute.

Opening an appraisal practice in a growing area is a good bet however the main reason for the back up in appraisal turn around times is the extremely large number of people refinancing mortgages. The comment that appraisers are delaying the mortgage process is wrong, most mortgage companies fail to order the appraisal on time. Most lenders see the appraisal as a piece of paper that they need to close a deal and complain when appraisers take time to do a good job.

Some lenders use appraisers for construction draws, some use employees or contractors who are not appraisers. Some very large builders are not required to have draw inspections done at all. As to your question about how much work volume can be expected; it depends on your ability to attract appraisal orders, your capacity to do the work, the economic conditions at the time and luck.

Give it a try.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I recently spoke with one of my contacts who is the VP of residential lending at SunTrust Bank and she told me that it used to take about 2-3 days to get an appraisal, but now it is taking 10-14 days, which is holding up the mortgage process.

Just please do keep in mind that those turn times are due to the low mortgage interest rates. When the rates go back up, it will slow down again (already happening in Jacksonville). When it slows down again, the vast majority of the trainees will no longer have a job as the certifieds will need to do the majority of the orders themselves in order to survive. Turn times will be back to 2-3 days and everybody will then be grumbling about the 'good ole days' when so many were making so much money even though it took so long to close.

That said, you do sound like a good candidate. Welcome!
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Christine:

With your background and more importantly contacts, it sounds as though you have a solid basis for future expectations... you DO have a great deal to offer a prospective employer...

I will advise this one bit of info: look VERY carefully into the water availability situation that is anticipated to fuel all this population growth... If there is any chance of that failing or being stolen.. it would seriously and adversely affect the projected growth.

Sounds like you have a reasonable idea of your personal marketability: selling it to a mentor is going (as I am sure you realize from reading this forum) is going to be the hard part.

I personally found the expense and time expended on the more complex Appraisal Institute courses to be a good value for the money, but there are many other options.

I am also going to strongly reccomend that you align yourself with one of the professional appraisal groups, and seek mentorship (and education) from a memeber of one of them. Not that unalighned folk are any less competent, but your odds are better of getting a good mentor.
 

Non Sequitur

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Louisiana
According to a Department for Economic Development newsletter, the estimated growth for a town near my home is estimated to grow from 27,000 residents currently to about 250,000 by 2010.

One of the first things you learn as an appraiser is to separate fact from fiction and recognize a line of BS when you see it.

I would not base a career decision on those quoted numbers. Think about it. The residential home builders would not be able to keep up, the local gubmint would fall into chaos trying to meet infrastructure needs, and local retail establishments could not keep pace. Those numbers are pie in the sky.

If you really believe those numbers, get into real estate development. If by some miracle those numbers turn out to be anywhere near true, you'll be a millionaire. I've never met anyone who claimed to make millions by appraising real estate.
 
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