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Older Appraisers as Entrepreneurs

February 11th, 2014 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

How Many Licensed and Certified Appraisers Are There In The U.S.?

As this newsletter was written, the Appraisal Subcommittee’s (ASC) National Registry delineates the following breakdown of appraisers in the United States:

Certified General Appraisers: 38,125 (38.0%)

Certified Residential Appraisers: 51,633 (51.5%)

Licensed Appraisers: 10,353 (10.5%)

Total: 100,111

How does this compare with last year and prior years? In our newsletter of March 12, 2013 we reported the following:

“The Appraisal Subcommittee’s (ASC) National Registry indicates that 101,899 real estate appraisers are currently listed as maintaining ‘Active Appraiser Credentials’, a figure that includes many appraisers who are not full-time, along with some who are essentially inactive but wish to remain licensed. The ASC reports that 37.2% are Certified General Appraisers, 51.4% are Certified Residential Appraisers and 11.4% are Licensed or Transitional Appraisers.

What is the trend? We went back into our archives and see that the May 10, 2011 issue of reported the tally at 109,235 as per the ASC, a decline of 7,336 (6.7%).  The percentage of Certified Residential Appraisers remained constant but the percentage of Certified General Appraisers rose by approximately 2%, with fewer appraisers being licensed only”.

While the number of appraisers nationally is on track to drop below 100,000 in the near future, the decline has slowed.  The trend of appraisers to upgrade their license status continues.

A link to the Appraisal Subcommittee website, which gives current breakdowns by state, is found here: Active Appraiser Credentials Summary Report

A link to the March 12, 2013 issue of is found here: March 12, 2013 Appraiser News Article

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Half of All Appraisers Are Between the Ages of 51 and 65: What Are Their Choices in This Period of Declining Mortgage Appraisal Volume?

In a You Tube video last year, Sara W. Stephens, a past president of the Appraisal Institute, noted studies which indicated that approximately half of all appraisers in the United States were between the ages of 51 and 65.  Much has been said about the declining number of appraisers and the various attempts to attract younger members into the profession which has seen its reputation tarnished during the past decade.

Not as much has been written about the older appraisers and their options for the future.  It may not be as bleak as some have suggested.

By definition, independent fee appraisers are entrepreneurs.  In an article last Friday in the New York Times titled “For Many Americans an Entrepreneurial Path”, Kerry Hannon summarizes a number of studies related to entrepreneurial activity.  She cites a study by the Kauffman Foundation and Legal Zoom last year which reported that 20% of all new businesses were started by entrepreneurs between the ages of 50 and 59 with 15% of new businesses created by those over age 60.  Ms. Hannon notes that the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity reports that during the past decade, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity is within the 55 to 64 age group.

Our suggestions for older appraisers not financially set for retirement (or not desiring to do so) are as follows:

1. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade: Upgrade your appraiser license status; upgrade your appraiser skills and areas of expertise; upgrade your appraisal operation by bringing together new appraisal tools along with software to increase efficiency.

2. Increase your marketing activity, let potential clients know all of the services you can provide them with to help them in their businesses.

3. Add other real estate related services such as brokerage, home inspection, etc. to your business.

4. Start a non-real estate related business for a change of pace, something that you enjoy and brings new excitement to your workday. Do this slowly, don’t take unnecessary risks and “pull the plug” quickly if problems develop.

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

ClickForms From Bradford Technologies

Welcoming A New Sponsor welcomes Bradford Technologies and their Clickforms residential appraisal software.  During this period of cold weather and frigid mortgage appraisal business, it might be a good time to test drive this quality appraisal software.  As a Clickforms user (and user of Appraiser’s Toolbox prior to Clickforms) the learning curve is a short one and the software performs great.  Together with Narrative1 for commercial appraisers, a diversified appraisal business with high quality software will provide themselves with an operational advantage over their competition.

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

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Appraiser Help’s 2014 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is Now Available!

To help appraisers evaluate how AMCs will work for their appraisal practices, we have compiled this expanded directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies, listing complete, contact information and other details for each listing.

If you’re looking to maintain or expand your mortgage appraisal practice, our Directory of Appraisal Management and National Appraisal Companies is a great place to start. Order it today for $69.99 and download it immediately!

Please visit our website now to make your purchase securely or contact us at (877) 434-2825 for more information on this comprehensive directory!

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Zombie Subdivisions

In a press release last month, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy discussed the blight on the landscape throughout the Intermountain West created by large expanses of approved but incomplete or empty subdivisions which compromise the quality of life, create fiscal havoc and distort real estate markets.  The Institute describes the situation thusly: “The suburban equivalent of blight seen in such cities as Detroit, the incomplete subdivisions, in some cases all but abandoned following the 2007-2008 real estate bust, have left a landscape of roads to nowhere slicing through farmland, lonely lampposts and street signs, and ‘spec’ houses standing alone amid marketing billboards and land cleared for nonexistent golf courses.

            The researchers, analyzing eight states – Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming – identified millions of ‘entitled’ empty lots in subdivisions, where 15 percent to two-thirds of the developments were vacant. By region, they found that:

—  An estimated 1.3 million approved lots in the Phoenix-to-Tucson Sun Corridor remained unbuilt during the height of the bust.

            — In five Colorado counties as of 2012, nearly 30,000 subdivision lots are vacant, with an average of 20 percent of the approved land undeveloped.

            — In Teton County, Idaho, three out of every four lots entitled for development were vacant”.

A link to the Lincoln Institute news release is found here: Confronting "Zombie Subdivisions," Blight of the Intermountain West

The New York Times on Sunday discussed the thousands of “zombie homes” in New York and the attempts to hold lenders responsible for these abandoned and foreclosed properties.  A link to this report is found here: A New Effort in Albany to Put Lenderes in Charge of Abandoned Properties

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) and HSH Market Trends again reported falling mortgage interest rates in their most recent surveys. 

On February 6th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.23% from 4.32%. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 3.53%. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on February 5th (for the week ending January 31st) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) dropped to 4.47% from 4.52% the previous week.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) fell to 4.42% from the previous week’s rate of 4.47%.  Rates for FHA backed mortgages also declined, moving to 4.12% from 4.18% last week.  Mortgage applications increased by 0.4% from the previous week with refinance applications accounting for 62% of the total, unchanged from the previous week.

In a press release on February 3rd, the MBA forecast that originations of commercial and multifamily mortgages will increase by 7% in 2014.  Jamie Woodwell, the MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research is quoted in the release as saying that: “Early indications are that commercial and multifamily lenders increased originations by 15 percent in 2013. This year will once again see fewer loans coming up against their maturities.  But with still low interest rates, improving property fundamentals, a rebound in property prices, and higher loan maturity volumes on the horizon, we anticipate mortgage originations will continue to increase in 2014.”

In a separate news release that day, the MBA reported that originations increased by 16% in the fourth quarter of 2013 in comparison with the same quarter of 2012 with the increase driven by health care (+70%), retail (+43%) and office (+27%) properties.  Multifamily property originations were unchanged, hotel mortgage originations fell by 9% and industrial property loan originations dropped by 30%.

In a third news release on February 3rd, the MBA reported that 6% ($91.7 billion) of outstanding multifamily and commercial mortgages will mature in 2014, a drop of 23% from last year.  Mr. Woodwell noted that: “2014 will be the fourth straight year of declining commercial/multifamily mortgage maturities.  Following 2014, we will see volumes spike – by 72 percent in 2015 and an additional 34 percent in 2016, as ten-year loans made in 2005, 2006 and 2007 begin to come due.”

On February 7th, HSH Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates dropped to 4.38% from 4.45% the previous week. Rates for FHA-backed mortgages also fell from 4.07% to 4.00%.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

Additional information from HSH can be found by going to: HSH.Com

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Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: Bethel, Pennsylvania appraiser Timothy Owen.  Tim was the first to answer correctly that Thomas Mann was the author of the quote “Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject”; the quote “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth” is attributed to Leo Tolstoy; and Emily Dickinson wrote “Forever is composed of nows.”  Today’s Questions:

Today’s questions:

1. Who said: “The more I see, the less I know."

a) Albert Einstein
b) Richard Cordray
c) John Lennon
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

2. Who said about the Beatles: "I give them a year."

a) Nostradamus
b) Ray Bloch (Musical director, Ed Sullivan Show.)
c) Elvis Presley
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

3. Who said: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

a) Paul McCartney
b) Madonna
c) Cupid
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on

A Free Copy of the Newly Released 2014 Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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