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Niche Market Fun

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Richard Carlsen

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Eventually, it seems that everyone finds a certain appraisal assignment that is not only profitable but at the same time, are enjoyable to do. When they reoccur, they are usually not only a challenge but fun to do. I've been fortunate over the years to develop the skills and gain a bit of a reputation for appraising river front properties on some of the historically well known trout streams here in Michigan. Being a fly fisherman does not hurt one bit.

Tomorrow, I will be doing an assignment that comes up 2, maybe 3-4 times a year. It's not a big deal but in a location that makes the day in the field a sort of an adventure. I'll leave the house about 6:45 (projected temp of +13F expected), drive 62 miles to the airport, at 8:30 fly out to an island in an archipelago in the middle of Lake Michigan, hope my rental car is ready, visit the subject and inspect the exterior (yes, it's a 2055 but the HO is going to be home and I've arranged to go through the interior), head to the local real estate offices to gather any new sales (only 1 MLS office that has sold 3 houses in the past 2 years with 1 non-MLS office doing at least 75% of the business), drive my comps, lunch at the local brewery, top off the rental car gas tank ($4.29/gal this morning according to the rental agent) then back to the airport for the 1 o'clock flight back and the 62 mile drive home, arriving about 3-3:30. A full day in the air and the field.

The trip into the field on an island in the middle of Lake Michigan makes this sort of an adventure. In addition, the market, with very, very few non-waterfront sales annually, makes doing an appraisal very difficult but there is also the challenge of writing a report for lending determination that is understandable and credible to the client. Cranking out the cookie cutters certainly pays the bills. However, I believe that every once in a while, we all need to have an assignment that is not only difficult, resulting in a report we can be proud of completing, but also one where the work in the field is out of the ordinary enough to give us a real sense of anticipation toward the upcoming field time.

I'd like to hear of any of your niche markets or similar reoccurring assignments.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Sounds like a welcome relief from the run of the mill assignments. My favorites are those up in the mountains, during the summer, when I can take the rest of the day fishing some of our great trout streams. Wouldn't be much fun today, 12 degrees and snowing!
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
One of my favs was also an island in Clear Lake, Northern California. However, the appraisal was to be for the island itself as there were no completed improvements. When making the appointment, the owner said he was throwing a party that began around noon and would last all night and we were welcome. We would have to bring a sleeping bag and pillows but he would supply everything else. So, we boated to island, he was BBQing a pig, luau style. By the time I walked around the island, lunch was ready and we ate and drank.
After lunch we drank more and more until it was time to BBQ steaks. We ate and continued drinking, each of us telling stories until we passed out in our sleeping bags in the wee hours of the morning. There were about 40 attendees, most of whom were in the real estate, mortgage or title business. The owner himself was a loan officer with a local S&L. Thoroughly hung over, we returned home about noon and slept in our own bed for several hours.

By the way, I was with my wife-at-the-time. No hanky panky. This was about 25 years ago before licensing.
 

c w d

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
And I thought the only niche' our clients cared about was our ability to hit the numbers.
 

Frederick

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Eventually, it seems that everyone finds a certain appraisal assignment that is not only profitable but at the same time, are enjoyable to do.


Are we talking about that assignment Ray posted about on the Commercial Forum........the Gentleman's Club??
 

xmtpedprl

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Most interesting job I ever did was a log cabin (custom built to the 9's) on 5 acres of unincorporated Effingham County, Illinois.

My client paid me well because they had been stiffed by a local fellow (their first appraiser tendered a useless report that was lazy and less than complete). I was clear that I didn't have a clue but *would* have one if they really wanted me to do the job. They did, so I went. I talked with local realtors, a very helpful local & reputable log cabin builder, found all kinds of sales, some private, some public, the works. And I studied the market until I felt like I lived there myself. It was very fulfilling. I turned in what to date is still one of the best reports I think I've ever done.

And it also remains the *only* appraisal report I've ever worked on where the subject property actually had no zoning designation. None. That may be common to some, but it was a first, and a last thus far, for me.

Nice thread!

Dave...
 
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