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What did you do before appraising?

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Paul Ness MAI

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I have found that most of the over-40 crowd either fell into appraising as a fluke or a parent was in it. Many more of the under-40 folks seem to have intended on appraising, or at least real estate, as a career out of cellege.

It was definitely a fluke for me. I was a real estate major in college, changed to finance before graduating in order to have a more marketable major, with the desire to go into commercial bank lending. Ended up working for three years after college for a finance company and then an insurance company before moving from my hometown in PA to Florida where I eventually had two job offers, one was bank check form salesman and the other was as an appraiser trainee for a national savings and loan. I flipped a coin and took the latter.
 

Mike Seward

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I worked for the Wall Street firm Solomon Smith Barney for 25 years (VP, Institutional Fixed Income Group). I specialized in trading mortgage backed secirities and helping mortgage bankers sell their loan production to Wall Street. In the early 90's, a lot of my clients were getting bought out by bigger banks and my client base was shrinking. I was considering leaving the business, but trading and managing MBS portfolios was the only thing I knew a lot about.

In early 1998, I was having a beer with a friend in San Francisco where I lived at the time. She had an appraisal business (3 or 4 independent contractors and herself). She was saying she wished she could find someone to take over her business so she could go part time and work for them. I said "let's talk some more." A week later , at age 51, I left Soloman Smith Barney and began with her as a trainee. Things were going well. I became St. Certified and we grew the business.

The only problem was that I knew I would eventually relocate to Florida to retire. I told my wife "if I'm eventually leaving San Francisco, why build something there that we're going to walk away from. Why not go to FL now and build something there?" So, In January, 2000, we drove to Tampa. I became certified and here we are.
 

Red Blumenstock

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
When I was discharged from the army, I went to New York City and worked for two different Insurance Companies, learning the ins and outs.

Then I was sent to Pittsburgh and traveled northwestern PA as a Special Agent for the Great American Insurance Company. After making a real impact and receiving only a $5.00 weekly increase for two straight years, I joined the Buckeye Union Insurance Co and traveled Eastern PA in the same capacity for 5 years. During that time I called on a number of Real Estate/Insurance offices and one tricked me into taking the State Real Estate Exam. Best trick ever. In 1996 I opened my own Insurance agency and worked part time for a Lancaster Real Estate Firm. In 1967 I merged with another local firm and stayed there, primarily handling insurance with limited Real Estate but got my R. E. Broker's license.

In 1975 we split up and I again opened my own office and added appraisal. I met a MAI whom I respect greatly and he talked me into joining the Society of Real Estate Appraisers and the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.

In 1980, I got smart and realized that I could not handle all those jobs efficiently and sold my Real Estate & Insurance Business and became a full time Apprasiser.

Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.
 

Mary Fee

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
I was a senior at Ohio State University with a major in Sports Medicine. I traveled with the varsity sports teams and was a trainer (those are the people you see running on the field or the ice when an athlete gets hurt). It was alot of fun and I really thought I would someday work for a professional sports team.

I guess you can say that I just lucked into the appraisal business!

During the off-time I worked at a local grocery store for extra money. I'm a fairly friendly person and met a gentleman that always talked to me. He was a good ole boy and we had some great talks. One day he asked me come and work for him part time. I had no idea what he did, but I knew it couldn't be much worse than the grocery store. He was a commercial/residential appraiser, his wife worked for the city in the property development department and his daughter was learning to be a residential appraiser. I started with him one or two days a week and soon realized this was a great job. I wanted a family and children and I knew that as a sports trainer I would be travelling all the time and I probably would not get to have the life I wanted. Ed always said to me "Mary-Mary you need to be an appraiser, you work when you want and are your own boss, plus you can have babies" (I know that sounds awful but he said it with love).

I started working for Ed full time. He was training his daughter at the same time so it was easy for him to have me tag along. He paid me almost double minimum wage and all I did the first year was tag along, assist him with the tape or look up files. Shoot-he even paid me when we spent the day at auctions (we scheduled the appointments around auctions-he was an incurable collector-and now I am too). He and his wife treated me like family. At the time I did not know that it was very difficult to break into the appraisal field. That was over 16 years ago. He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and I will alway be greatful to him. I worked for him for almost 8 years before I went out on my own (with his blessing and encouragement).

Last December my husband started working with me (he is a golf professional). We actually get to see alot of each other, and it has definitely been great for the kids. Of course now I can't go to auctions or stop at estate sales. I hope I can be half the teacher that Ed was.
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Spent about 14 years as a faculty member at two institutions of higher learning. When I realized I would end up in a mental institution I lucked in (I think) into appraising with another ex faculty member that had left years earlier. I grew up working in the family farming and feed lot business. How did I ever know being around all of the BS at the feed lot would ever prepare be for working in a university or with LOs and realtors in the appraisal business.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Working backwards from today:

Real Estate Appraiser: 9 years Northern Michigan

Real Estate Broker: 18.5 years Kalamazoo MI

Packaging Industry: 6.5 years - Chicago area

Surface Line Office U.S. Navy: 5.5 Years ( 3 years in and out of Vietnam and 2 years at Great Lakes IL.)

Student: Oakland University, Rochester MI

You don't want to go back any further than that. We would be getting into ancient history.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
8O You mean there are things to do other than real estate? :lol:

Worked in an antique shop, real antiques.... not just old junk.
 

Atlanta CG

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Lifeguard, then one year teaching freshman English, worked for an MAI for 10 years, then out on my own.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Soda jerk for four years in high school (any of you young kids know what that is?) Summer time, chopped cockleburs with a hoe during the day, worked as a cook in a restaurant in the evenings, cleaned a tourist camp (another old expression) when there weren't any cockleburs to hoe. Then graduated from high school with a teaching certificate because I had taken normal training (got you young kids again) and taught all eight grades in a one room schoolhouse without running water or indoor plumbing. Decided I wasn't a teacher, went to airline reservationist school, worked for one year as a teletypist/reservationist (another old expression). Met my husband, got married, had six kids (now have six grandkids) and after nine years of being a stay at home mom, went to work as a ad valorem appraiser. Second day I went--this is it!!! This is what I want to do!! Been crazy and appraising ever since. :D :D :D
 
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