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Two Questions

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Dan/Fla

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I have my soon to be 17 year old son helping me this summer. I always check with homeowner prior to him walking in with me, never had a problem. He walks through with me I take the notes, and talk to the owner, and he keeps his mouth shut, while in the home. Outside he assits with measuring, love the way he can climb behind hedges, (boy going to miss him after school starts back up.) With the rain we had lately around here he is great. : ). Problem I have had a trainee before go with me like on an FHA, and I put in the report professional assitance by _____ ect. But with him should I put this in my report?

Second question: I have always used a blank page for my inspection notes, due mainly because I have never seen a Canned Form I really liked. I like to put alot of info about every room Ex B/R w/w, C/f, W/p trim, Q V/b, S-P. meaning Bedroom Wall/Wall carpet, Ceiling fan, WallPaper trim, Quailty Vertical Blinds, Security Panel. Even though all this information may or may not end up in my report, I always like to have many notes. Has any of you seen or have a inspection form which is broke down to cover many rooms so you can note all the extras which might be in the home.
 

Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
as far as your son is concerned it sounds like ther is not much "professional assistance" and unless he is working towards hours for a license himself you need not note his help IMO.

I use a form I could fax you and let you determine if it covers enough, but it sounds like you need more detail.
 

TZitter

Sophomore Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Dan,

I have a hand-held with WORD. I have a template with a list of possible room and a line to comment on each wall/floors/ceiling/special features and comments.

When I get done I download to network and have a document I can include in my report. Works very well if you can type with two thumbs.

Tim Zitter
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Does your son contribute to the development of the report? If he is just an office runner-delivery boy, tape end holder, and camera man, then I don't think that counts as professional assitance.

As for inspections, I use graph paper for sketches and the front of the URAR for the subject info. That with plenty of digital photos works for me. I may not include all of the photos in the report, but I save them on CD for my files.
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
You don't need a form. It slows you down and tells your prima facie that you don't understand the mission and that you aren't taking any mental template on site with you.

Anybody writing what they see about the floor, walls and ceiling in every room in a house is doing really wasteful work. Here's a good method.

Start with a blank sheet of paper. Then write down the room you are in: K = Kitchen; LR = Livingroom. You have pre-assigned a mental default for every kind of room in the house. You only note extremely briefly something that is different about that room from the mental default.

Do so for every room in the house. You can actually walk slowly through a house and have writtien everything there is to remember about the house on a 1/4 sheet of paper. Writing on a clipboard can be sloppy, so I use up about 2/3 of the page. (There's already other writing on the front of the page from the office [questions for the occupant, etc.])

Once I go outdoors, I fold the bottom of the sheet up under the clipboard clip and measure the outside of the house. I give every face plane of the house a mental default name, then show each plane's measurement as a horizontal line across the page. If I do a wrap-around-the-corner measurement, I divide it into its appropriate planes.

I prefer this KISS method and have used it for 15 years.

Try it, you might like it. Always assign your task to the lazy guy in your group, he'll find the easy way to get it done.

Sometimes you just have to drag people kicking and screaming into simplicity.
 

Jim McGrath

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Larry Lyke [MN] said:
Start with a blank sheet of paper. Then write down the room you are in: K = Kitchen; LR = Livingroom. You have pre-assigned a mental default for every kind of room in the house. You only note extremely briefly something that is different about that room from the mental default.

Do so for every room in the house. You can actually walk slowly through a house and have writtien everything there is to remember about the house on a 1/4 sheet of paper. Writing on a clipboard can be sloppy, so I use up about 2/3 of the page. (There's already other writing on the front of the page from the office [questions for the occupant, etc.])
quote]

Larry, I use a form and it is simpler than that. I don't have to write anything. I have my form I made up in Pagemaker. It has lines for the exterior, and a line for each room that it is possible to have in a house.

On the exterior I have all possible choices for everything, ie for the roof, it can be BUG, Shingle, Tile, etc. For the interior I have the choices in order for the ceilings, walls, floors, OHF, etc.

When I start with the exterior I just circle the choice that applies. Same with the interior, I circle the room as I inspect it, and circle which room it is, and the choices in that room. If the house doesn't have that particular room, I don't circle it. This works for me, because many times the homeowner follows you around to show you the bathroom, and his new wallpaper. This can cause me to break my train of thought and make me forget something. If do, I will catch it as I won't have circled that choice.

I have to write very little, only if some very unusual item comes up. I even have a choice for deferred maintenance items.

Jim McGrath
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Jim --

You missed the point. Your mind is your default. It's a permanent program that you download everytime you step foot into a room.

That's gotta be simpler than a form with every conceivable possibility written on it clamoring to be circled.

I only write on the page that which is different than the default. You can make up your own system in 15 minutes, learn it in 10 and use it for a lifetime. Hey, a 5-year-old can learn a 20-stanza poem when motivated.

I rail against those who insist on not applying their mind to what they are doing, yet they do everything the hard way.

An example might be: Every room (excluding K and BA) might have in your market area the following: Ceiling and walls: Painted drywall; flooring might be wall to wall carpeting. Windows might be double-hung; etc. If the ceiling is coved, you note that. If the walls are wallpapered, you note that. If the floors are exposed hardwood, you note that. If windows are crankout you note that.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I use page 1 of the URAR, even if a 2055 is ordered. You don't have to go back if they upgrade from 2055 to URAR. I fill in the site portion and basics about the the house after I take the street and front pix. I then measure and do the sketch on the front of the file folder and make notes all over it and fill in what I can on the URAR as I go. Once inside I have all sorts of abbreviations for various things in each room. VC = vaulted ceiling, CM = crown molding, CF = ceiling fan, V = vinyl flooring, CT = ceramic tile, Pq = parquet, CTW = ceramic tile wainscot, WdPnl = wood panel doors, etc.

X = location of a repair item, note about it is made either on the folder or on comments section of URAR. Pix of everything I want to remember more specifically.

Works well for me.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I use a form with content similar to URAR with a Grid on the bottom 1/3rd of the page which replicates everything required for a URAR. I have specialized sheets for properties that are non-residential, some with sketch grids, some not, I basically only note those things which I deem important to the value. For instance, a rural barn I will note construction type (pole, steel truss, frame) roof and sides, doors, floor (if any), electric, partitions, age, condition, utility. For poultry barns, I have copies of the chicken company specs and note age, condition, or any deviation from those specs. For rural dwellings, my descriptions are set in a pattern. Exterior description, component description (AC, Firepl, garage, porches), then interior description. Then paragraph on condition, age, and my estimate of remaining life, functional depreciation, and external obsolescences
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I have an inspection form that I created years back that has worked well for me. The front has information on each room in the house as well as exterior features. I use a highlighter to mark those items that apply. The back of the form contains the sketch (usually taken from the assessor's property card). I photocopy as many levels as necessary. Write in the rooms and any notes.

You can scan it into your report if you choose not to do a formal sketch using software. Additionally, you can scan in to work file to save for electronic storage.

It is somewhat crude and we have been threatening to create a new one but if you would like a copy of it....email me your fax number and I will send it to you.
 
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