A Tough Decision

by 19 Feb 2010

In the coming weeks, I will be blogging about my life as well as other appraisers and how, because of HVCC, it has changed. Recently I made the decision to take on another job. The appraisal requests I receive is very few. 6 in November of last year. 3 in December of last year and 3 in January of this year. These 3 individual months are usually slow for an appraiser, but under normal circumstances, I would have a reserve to live on from work generated during the spring and summer months. Well, thanks to HVCC?s implementation on May 1st 2009, the spring and summer months were 70% lower than normal. So I have no reserve, in fact, I have been living on a barely sustainable income. What really angers me is the continuing notion that we appraisers need to just accept the lower fees. Well, if I was single, did not have two young adults living with me, no mortgage and all of the other responsibilities that go with my life, if I lived in an apartment or could rent a room in a house for $600.00 per month then yeah, I could probably accept $200.00 to do an appraisal. The majority of us became appraisers because of the ability to start our on business and make a living doing it. None of us could have predicted what was to become of our profession yet here we are. And keep in mind, appraisal inspections can only be done in daylight hours. So when you factor in travel time to the subject?s area, drive time to photograph the comparables, time to inspect the subject and then drive home time, depending on the distance between one appraisal job and the other, the most one can do in one day is 3.Then comes the desk time of typing the report, research, etc. This can add an additional 2 hours per appraisal. So how can one make a living doing this for $200 dollars or less, while still paying for your car insurance, car payment, gas, appraisal license, continuing education, E & O insurance, MLS data source, Title sources and appraisal software? The answer is..?You can?t! So, I am now working part time at job that has nothing to do with the real estate industry, and I am working on obtaining another part time job. What I find interesting in all of this, is the recent proliferation of job opportunities for real estate appraisers to work directly for banks and lenders. In other words, if you don?t want to work for an AMC become an employee for a bank or lender. Most of my appraiser colleagues do not want to lose their independence. I may have to accept that being an appraiser may no longer be something you can do for a living or independently. More to follow???.

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