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Rural Vs. Urban Appraisers

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Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I'm not talking lifestyle preferences here. Wondering which appraiser receives a better dollar return for his effort.

As an urban guy, I get to enjoy the occasional cookie cutter and often have a wealth of data. This morning, I did three inspections in three different subdivisions. Did them all with comp photos and stayed within a five mile radius. I have a choice of many clients from which to solicit so I can be selective. On the negative side, I have to endure horrible traffic. The populated areas are where you will find the higher concentration of incompotent appraisers who are numbers hitters and/or discounters. The AMC's get to show their true colors in the cities.

I've never been a rural appraiser, but when I take the occasional assignment in the next county, I don't envy the rural guy. There is too much time and distance between assignments. On the other hand, I would enjoy the more pleasant drives. The price competition has to be less severe.

Who has it better? What say ye?
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Having done both, for the sake of talking money, I find them to be fairly close. Like you said, city work can be easier, and more volume, but competition is much more fierce. AMC's just won't pay decently, forget them.

But in my new home town rural area, I command more $$$$ for the extra time, research and effort....... No cookie cutters here!! AVM's are out the window, and AMC’s don't have a choice but to pay my fee.

Overall, it IS a life style choice. I grew up in a rural area, and would rather live that way. Hotlanta is an hour and half south....... if I wanna go.
 

Verne Hebert

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Montana
I have done them both also. No question about it, I could bill 3 to 5 times the amount in my previous area, East Bay San Francisco. If you want the dough stay in the urban area.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
While working in north central Texas, we get our fair share of both. I see benefits from both and it adds a nice change of pace. I appraised a high rise condo in Dallas and a log home in Hood county both in the same day one time. It is a big area with two big cities, several suburbs and several counties of rural property surrounding with ranches, one acre properties and farms. We have a lot of appraisers, too. Too many, way too many, nobody would really want to come here because the competition is flooded. You believe that don't you? :twisted:
 

Karl

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
Done both--- New England now out here where 16 miles to the comp is something U have to explain MANY times. One town is 75 Square Mile population 11,00 (Including those in Prison) Really hard to explain that the guy with the newer water truck has the better home. Wish I could charge for the time spent on the phone explaining "Hauling Water" is not a water company. Was back in New England last week sold my InLaws house in one day & it is a difinate "fixer upper" Sold for more than I paid for my new 1500 SF home with extra house lot & water view. U want to make money stay Urban want challenge come to the rural area's Do not understand why U Urban guys say U can't get good fees In New Hampshire 4 years ago I got 300 for full Appraisal 350 for FHA & was constantly busy.
 

Rich Hahn

Senior Member
Joined
May 2, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Colorado
In our office we do both
Rural few sales but thos are teh sales...use tehm over and over

City work can at time be harder more/new explainations, more searching, looking at listings.

Heck if you've done the only 10 MH sales in the county you have a great data base for the next MH sale in that county. In a busy office this comes up more then you would think. Nothing better then indicating sources as interior and using YOUR old file photo..Easy Money!
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
The best thing about appraising in an isolated area with limited number of sales and listing is all the detailed information that can be obtained. I appraised for nine years in the 9th largest metropolitan area and all the data was information from computerized record services, realtors that didn't answer calls or know any information when they did answer a call, etc, etc. Now in my little corner of the world I have the newspaper ads, the ads nailed to trees, the sketches from the county assessor's office with the sales information since 1968, know who is related to who so I can call many various relatives to get information, etc, etc. Now I know what is really comparable inside and out to the subject. In every appraisal report--the following sentence shows up in at least one comparable "livable area based on field measurements by this appraiser", another common sentence is "livable area obtained from the appraiser for the sale", since we appraisers occasionally share information. And realtors answer phone calls with very detailed information. In the metropolitan area, I was crunching numbers--here I feel like I am actually completing an appraisal.
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I think we have the best of both worlds here, as well. We do have some "cookie cutter" subdivisions, but I would hate to give up my trips to the country (for which we charge more as well.)

After all, I would have missed the miniature donkeys chasing me, the big old bull on the other side of the hill, getting stuck in the sand in the middle of nowhere (try calling your husband on your cell phone with directions!)

But "in town" I had the monkey in the cage in the dining room, the lady with 51 personalities, etc. etc.

Ah - I love my area! :eyecrazy:
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I am located in South Jersey, an area with a large urban-suburban population but with three mostly rural counties. The urban-suburban work is much easier, more cookie cutter subdivisions, lots of sales and assessors and zoning offices that are open most of the time.

The rural area is fun to work in for a change of pace but the underwriters drive me crazy explaining why comps are old and many miles away.
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
Having done both I will chime in. Got started as a rural appraiser covered 5 counties. The rural appraising made it much tougher but you learned faster and dealt with bar none more complex properties and head scratching appraisals on a daily basis. The money was less due to less work able to accomplish on any given day. The Urban/Suburban appraisal business you charge for the work and can do more. I make more money as a urban appraiser but the cost of living is more in the urban areas. As Karl pointed out the house prices are more and other things cost more in the long run.

So who has it better it does come down to a life style choice as far as what someone choses to live.

Lysander,

As far as more number hitters in urban areas yes there are. But consider that when I started there were 20-25 appraisers in that 5 county area. 2-3 were number hitters. So percantage wise you still have about the same number. And yes the price competition is less with not many taking a fee cut except the number hitters. Or those that are just moving into the area.

Ryan
 
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