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Prospects For The Future

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Timobo

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Virginia
Introduction: Hello everyone. My name is Tim Bush, and I live in Virginia Beach, VA. Although I have been reading some of the threads here in AF for a couple of months, I am a new member and this is my first post. From what I have read, you people do not suffer fools, so I will do my best to avoid becoming the latest fodder for abuse. That was a joke, I hope.

The epic journey: I was a precarious lad, engrossed with a love of wine, women, and song. In short, I was a young musician attempting to earn a living playing music. At the age of 26, hoping to do something with my life, I enrolled in college, earning an Associates Degree in Electronics two years later at the age of 28. Yeah, the numbers aren't jibing, but work with me here. I put myself through college by painting apartments as they became vacant and in preparation for the prospective tenant. I enjoyed the independence of working on my own, and the rewards that hard work could offer. So, believe it or not, after I graduated from college I became a licensed house painter. I am now 45 years old and have been a sole proprietor in the painting business ever since. However, for years now it has become more and more apparent to me that I wanted more of a challenge for myself. I also realize that there will come a time when climbing ladders day after day will no longer be physically possible, or prudent.

In the fall of 2006, I began taking Real Estate Appraisal classes. I found the subject very interesting and it felt good to accomplish something using my brain rather than my physical person for a change. It's not that painters do not use their brains, but I suspect you understand my meaning. I especially enjoyed revisiting the mathematics involved in the appraisal classes.

Last year, just under the wire on Dec. 27, 2007, I took and passed my Trainee licensing test. It was my first attempt, and I was quite happy and proud of myself. So, hoping to avoid the implications of the new regs enacted on Jan. 1, 2008, I had my required 90 hours of classroom, and had passed the Trainee test. Thus, I would be "grandfathered" under the 2007 requirements.

The High Drama: Although I was pleased that I had passed the test, I was on the other hand not very encouraged with the downturn in the real estate market. The economy has gone to hell, and even making a decent living painting has become a challenge. I suspect by neglecting to take any continuing education classes this year, as well as the required USPAP(I took USPAP the first time in 2006, scoring 100%), I have put in jeopardy my standing with the AQB. But I digress, I really wanted to pursue a career in Real Estate Appraising. But the future of the field seems so uncertain. Be it Real Estate Appraising, or another field of study/work, I am going to make a change in my choice of career. I am prepared at this time to investigate the potential of a number of career paths to provide for both a lasting and rewarding career change. I am 45, and as the saying goes, I am not getting any younger.

The Nuts and Bolts of my query: Enough with the BS. If those of you in-the-know would be so kind, may I ask a few questions of you?

1) Being that I have not taken any classes this year, including USPAP, which I understand must be taken every 2 years, what is my standing with the AQB?

2) If I become compliant by taking the required class hrs and USPAP after Jan. 1st of 2009, will I still be grandfathered in under the regs of 2007?(from what I understood from my instructor, and I could be wrong, if I have fulfilled 2 of the requirements of becoming a licensed appraiser, 90 hrs classroom and passing the trainee test, I would be grandfathered and after tallying 2000 hrs of training I would receive my residentual license)

3) I realize that no one can predict the future. However, in your opinion(s), what is the future forecast for a rebound in the real estate market, and specifically the future of the Real Estate Appraisal business?

4) There is talk of massive mortgage refinancing in the near future. Will this rejuvenate business and the workload for appraisers?

And last, but certainly not least...

5) Is there anyone here from the Virginia Beach area who is willing to mentor a dedicated trainee who possesses a hunger to learn the business and is willing to work very hard for initially little compensation? Please message me if you are willing to discuss the possibility.

I really appreciate anyone who has been so patient as to read this entire post. I thank you in advance for any information and/or opinions which may be offered. Don't let the tongue in cheek delivery of this post confuse the issue, I am quite sincere..but sometimes it helps to laugh.

Timothy Bush
 

The Warrior Monk

Moderator
Staff member
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Mar 30, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
This information may be helpful to you:

http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/s_appraisal/sec.asp?CID=117&DID=158

In particular, this document:

http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/s_appraisal/bin.asp?CID=117&DID=628&DOC=FILE.PDF

1) Being that I have not taken any classes this year, including USPAP, which I understand must be taken every 2 years, what is my standing with the AQB?

I am not certain of CE requirements for trainees, since I started off as a CR when licensing was instituted. A minimum of 28 hours over two years is required for all other credentials (note: this is a minimum; individual states could require more).

2) If I become compliant by taking the required class hrs and USPAP after Jan. 1st of 2009, will I still be grandfathered in under the regs of 2007?(from what I understood from my instructor, and I could be wrong, if I have fulfilled 2 of the requirements of becoming a licensed appraiser, 90 hrs classroom and passing the trainee test, I would be grandfathered and after tallying 2000 hrs of training I would receive my residentual license)
There are two scenarios that states could adopt: Segmented or firm date. You are not grandfathered in under either scenario. I do not know which scenario your state adopted.
  • Clearly you wouldn't qualify under a firm-date scenario. All requirements (experience, education, and exam), no exceptions, would have been required to be completed before the beginning of 2008.
  • The segmented scenario requires all of one segment to be completed prior to the beginning of 2008 to satisfy that segment. So lets say you were required to take 10 classes prior to 2008. If you had 9 completed at the beginning of the year, you would not have satisfied that segment. You would have to have to satisfy the college education requirements and new course requirements.
3) I realize that no one can predict the future. However, in your opinion(s), what is the future forecast for a rebound in the real estate market, and specifically the future of the Real Estate Appraisal business?
For lending work, in my humble opinion, the volume level seen over the past decade will simply not exist for the foreseeable future; likely decades. A very significant amount of the volume was due to high rates in the late 1980s steadily going down, along with a bull market in real estate during part of that period. It was the perfect combination for the appraiser; multiple refis on a single property, and often multiple sales on a single-property. This situation simply no longer exists. Combine this with too many appraisers chasing this work, and prospects are very bleak.

Prospects for nonlending work is much better. This work is steady, and many sections of it are simply unaffected by the current market conditions. However, it is more difficult to break into this type of work, and often requires more education and training.

4) There is talk of massive mortgage refinancing in the near future. Will this rejuvenate business and the workload for appraisers?
See answer to #3. It's simply a blip on the screen. Prior refi activity affected all property owners, and often multiple times. The bulk of new refi activity is geared towards a specific segment, which is only a small percentage off all properties, and are one-shot deals.

5) Is there anyone here from the Virginia Beach area who is willing to mentor a dedicated trainee who possesses a hunger to learn the business and is willing to work very hard for initially little compensation? Please message me if you are willing to discuss the possibility.
IMHO, don't sell yourself short. Agree to fair compensation for your experience and education level. Granted, it may not be much, but putting forth the appearance of desperation never leads to good things.

Good luck!
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Hi Timothy,

One thing's for certain - you know how to write and you seem to have a sense of humor. That's a combination that not many people have.

Questions 1 and 2 have the same answer - your relationship is with your state board at this time. As a trainee, you are not listed on the Appraisal Subcommittee's National Registry. When you get a permanent license and get listed on the National Registry then you'll have a compliant/non-compliant status with the AQB. Until then, it's between you and your state what CE and USPAP requirements you have to adhere to. Check with them, because the states all have their own programs and there are some differences from one state to the next.

Questions 3 and 4 involve looking into the future, meaning nobody can know and everybody can guess.

3. The main reason most lenders obtain appraisals is because they're required to by the government and the various investors. If not for these external controls many (but not all) of these lenders would not bother dealing with appraisals or appraisers. We are part of the due diligence phase of lending. We are not a profit center for them and we don't help them make more money; at most, when we're doing our jobs we help them avoid making stupid loans.

The general economy is now suffering massive losses in large part because of excesses in the lending business. The last time this happened the government reacted by licensing appraisers and placing additional restrictions and limitations on the lenders with respect to their usage of appraisals. Of course, the last time this happened the magnitude of the problem was but a fraction of what we're looking at this time.

It is logical to assume that the federal government is going to tighten up on the lenders, which favors all aspects of the due diligence phase, including the appraisers. Depending on how the gov't goes about doing that our business could end up getting a somewhat better deal than what we've been getting for the last few years. Or not. It would be hard to overestimate the level of corruption that exists at some of these lenders or the lengths they're willing to go to in order to maintain the status quo of production over prudence.

4. Personally, I doubt that all the talk about refinancing "bad" mortgages will translate into a noticeable increase of appraisal assignments. I think the banks will rely on lesser valuation products like Broker Price Opinions or Automated Valuation Models whenever possible.

5. That is the $64,000 question. Some of it will depend on your intiative, and some of it will depend on circumstances beyond your control. If those circumstances turn out to be sufficiently adverse that they override all your best efforts then don't take it personally.

Best of luck.
 

Kevin Mc

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Well looks like Dave covered it all. Good luck Timobo. It is a tough time now but if you find the right mentor and situation it may pan out nicely.
 

Paul Isolda

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Connecticut
I'm also 45 an have been appraising for 20 years. As you can see by my tag line, I'm trying to make it through this down turn. I don't see much of a future for residential and that is why I'm doing as much commercial work as I can get. I have a good situation with a GC who is a great appraiser and is willing to spend time with me. There are no guarantees but I think I have better long term prospect with commercial than residential. It may be worth looking into for you. Best of luck!
 

Timobo

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Virginia
Thanks very much for the replys!

Mr. Wimpleberg,

Many thanks for the links. Perhaps I have misunderstood what my instructor told me, and continue to misunderstand after reading through the "State Implementation Options" segment of the publication.

State Implementation Options
The AQB has developed the following two options for state
appraiser regulators to implement the Criteria changes:

‘Firm Date’ Scenario:................


‘Segmented’ Scenario:
The requirements are broken down into three segments (or components): Education,

Experience, and Examination. An applicant would have
to meet the Criteria in effect at the time he or she completes

a particular component or segment. Any component completed
prior to January 1, 2008, would satisfy the current Criteria,
while any component not completed by January 1, 2008,
would have to conform to the new Criteria.
For example, an applicant for a Certified General credential
completes all of the currently required 180 hours of qualifying
education and passes the state’s Certified General examination
in 2007, but does not possess the required 30 months and
3,000 hours of experience. Since the applicant completed
the education and examination components prior to January
1, 2008, he or she would be deemed to have satisfied
those components. Therefore, the only component which
the applicant would have to satisfy under the new Criteria

would be experience (which, in this case, is no different
than the current Criteria.



The pre-2008 requirement for obtaining an appraiser "License" was 90 hrs of qualifying classroom education. I completed 90 hours of appraisal classes prior to Jan. 1, 2008, thus satisfying the requirement(?). The requirement(s) also states that I must pass an examination. I completed and passed the test prior to Jan. 1, 2008.


Again, the publication states as an example(I have taken the liberty of modifying the example so as to be more applicable to my own situation):


For example, an applicant for a License credential completes all of the currently required 90 hours of qualifying education and passes the state's Licensing examination in 2007, but does not possess the required 2000 hours of experience. Since the applicant completed the education and examination components prior to January 1, 2008, he or she would be deemed to have satisfied those components. Therefore, the only component which the applicant would have to satisfy under the new Criteria would be experience..


Am I misunderstanding something here? It would appear that since I have met the pre-2008 education and examination requirements, I would be grandfathered.

I mean no disrespect, I am certain you are more knowledgable than I with regard to the subject matter. Your patience is very much appreciated.

Again, I thank all of you for being so gracious in replying to my post. I know it is tough out there, so I extend a Best of Luck to you all.



 
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The Warrior Monk

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
Am I misunderstanding something here? It would appear that since I have met the pre-2008 education and examination requirements, I would be grandfathered.

Thanks for clarifying...looking back, I misread #2 in your original post.

You've obviously completed two of the three requirements. If your state uses the Segmented Scenario, you'll just need to get the experience. BUT some states have cutoff dates, so you'll have to check with your state to see if they have such a date. Another thing to check on is the length of time the exam results are good for. Here in NY, they are only good for two years.

Lastly, should you upgrade from "Licensed" to Cert Res or General, you would be required to meet all of the new criteria.
 

JSmith43

Elite Member
Joined
May 5, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Tim, maybe you could sell real estate as part of your effort to understand the market and the players. With the current business environment, I would keep my day job and ease into appraisal related work.

You have only given us a peak at your personal talents. Well written comments and a concern for how newbie posters are sometimes initiated tell me you may be able to pass certain diplomatic hurdles that await you.

Appraisers and aspiring appraisers should know their competition well. That includes AVM technology as well as agent and real estate broker offered products. Much of your competition is too stubborn to even consider such things.

Darn, I wish I could tell you that I see a bright future for appraisers. I see niche opportunities, for sure. If you have active appraisal associations in your area, attend the meetings, get to know the people that are active (or were active-lots of the people that make the meetings are semi-retired).

Good luck.
 

Timobo

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Virginia
No, thank you.

I think perhaps it was my fault, my question was not clearly stated.

Unfortunately, I did not attend any continuing education classes in 2008, and did not take the 7 hr. USPAP update class, which is required every 2 calender years. I originally took the USPAP class in 2006.

Thanks to the guidance of you and others, as recommended I searched the Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board for more information. In Virginia, the implementation option for the qualification changes enacted on 1/1/08 followed the "Segmented" scenario. So, from my understanding, since I completed the 2007 requirement of 90 hrs. classroom, and passed the 2007 state exam, both prior to 1/1/08, those two requirements would be grandfathered, leaving the work experience/training subject to the 2008 changes.

Now for the revised addition of my question.

2) If I complete the required 14 hrs. per year continuing education classes and the required 7 hr. USPAP update after Jan. 1st of 2009, will I retain my status as being grandfathered in under the regs of 2007?

Perhaps in more simple terms, did I lose my 2007 grandfathered status by neglecting to take the required continuing education classroom hrs and the USPAP update in 2008? If so, can I regain that status by taking those classes(becoming compliant?) as soon as possible, which obviously at this point will be after the first of the year? Or have I forever lost that status and must now meet all of the 2008 requirements?

Thank you for the links. They have been very helpful in clarifying the qualification requirements and changes. But thus far, I have yet to read anything that addresses the above question(s). I'll keep searching/reading.

Tim
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
These are questions best answered by your state board. There's too much variation among the states for an outsider to provide a one-size-fits-all answer.
 
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