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David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002
<span style='color:darkblue'>Forum,

I used Marshall & Swift's new online "SwiftEstimator" as a part of the appraising of 31 buildings (a private university portfolio) recently. It worked very well for me, and made a good report presentation. I will certainly use it again.

I thought I would mention this for those who might like to try it.


Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
Just received a card in the mail from them about trying it. Haven't checked it out yet. What are the prices like? I really hate buying the book every year. I don't have the need very often to use it in working up the full form cost approach, but do use it often to work up my cost approach using notes that I keep in my file. I just don't want it to end up costing more than the book.

David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002
<span style='color:darkblue'>Hi, Pamela.

This program was almost certainly NOT designed for residential mortgage financing Cost Approach use (i.e., FNMA & FHLMC form-type work). For one, due to the formatting of the reports it generates (generally one to three pages), it would be a bit of an overkill, and also would have to be added as an addenda.

On the other hand, it might be ideal for most other types of residential appraising including estate work, equitable distribution, tax challenge, divorce, etc., as part of the valuation analysis presentation in narrative-type formats. In fact, I added page numbers to these mini-reports for inclusion in my reporting documentation before binding everything in "book form." I had KINKOS (by UNC-State right down the road) "coil-bind" the reports (one continuous piece of coated coiled wiring along the left margin) with vinyl covers, as opposed to using my customary office binder with the typical plastic combs and card stock paper covers. Makes a slightly more "upgraded" presentation as the pages are easier to turn and it is more "durable."

It seems like the residential program is about $4 per report, and the commercial version is $10 per report generated which you can print on your printer from the site (and as many copies as you like for no extra charge). It saves/stores your work such that you can make changes as needed (including the automatic recalculations as required) over several days without you being charged an additional fee (via credit card), and you can printout as many of the report as you like. One nice thing is with the various multipliers involved whereby you just stick in your area code one time, and then it automatically selects the appropriate factors, which obviously are all the most up to date. It takes a little getting use to the system, but once you got it, you got it. I have both the residential and the commercial handbooks, but I have little doubt I will be using this online version a pretty good bit in the future.

Thanks for the questions.

Hope this helps a bit.


PS. Georgia Tech just ruined State's perfect record this year right here in Raleigh -- this time I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut about being a Georgia Tech alumni kinda guy!! Hey, I learn slow, but I learn!</span>
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