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Appraisers as Entrepreneurs

November 17th, 2014 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

National Entrepreneurs’ Day

The first National Entrepreneurs’ Day was announced by presidential proclamation in 2010 and a movement has begun to pass H. Res 401 which would make the third Tuesday in November an official holiday to celebrate successful entrepreneurs and provide support to aspiring ones.

Earlier this year (February 11, 2014, “Older Appraisers as Entrepreneurs”) we noted studies which indicated that half of the appraisers in the country were between the ages of 51 and 65.  In the article, we cited a study by the Kauffman Foundation and Legal Zoom “…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”.  In addition, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity was found in the 55 to 64 age group.

In a posting on last year, Stephen Key noted these “5 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs” which we think appraisers should keep in mind in conducting their appraisal (and other) businesses:

1-“An unwavering passion”: Commitment and dedication are a fundamental requirement for success.

2-“Open-mindedness”: Be flexible, ask for advice, learn from others.

3-“The desire to be an expert”: Staying in the same field, even through difficult times, can help you in building relationships that will allow success in future ventures.

4-“A forward-looking approach”: Establish a roadmap of clearly stated goals which may evolve over time but will help keep you moving ahead and on track.

5-“A constant flow of ideas”: Successful entrepreneurs always ask “what’s next”.  Mr. Key notes that “being a successful entrepreneur is a lifestyle choice, not a destination”.

While many appraisers have not consciously thought of themselves as entrepreneurs or sought out an entrepreneurial lifestyle, guess what? They are.  And the success of their appraisal practices and other ventures will depend upon their passion, vision, dedication and flexibility in dealing with the myriad of challenges that they are confronting now and in the future.

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Appraisers as Musicians

Dan Weber, IFA is the owner of Certified Appraisals NW Inc.  Dan’s company performs residential appraisal services in the southwest Washington Counties of Clark and Cowlitz as well as in the Greater Portland metropolitan area of northwest Oregon.  Dan is in his 16th year as an appraiser and still “loves being an appraiser, it’s different all the time…the variety never feels like a grind”.

Around age 40, Dan began a second career as a musician and has come a long way in the approximately seven years that he has devoted to this pursuit, playing in venues as diverse as Texas, Oklahoma and Canada.  This past summer he toured for about six weeks, then after a 36 hour break went back to appraising.  Dan feels that “it’s cool that they’re so different”.  Retirement for him is to “stop doing what you have to do and take up something that interests you”.  Long term, he envisions a split whereby maybe 150 days out of the year involve playing music/touring with the balance involving appraising and other interests.

Before the crash of the real estate and financial markets, Dan oversaw an office with six other appraisers and assistants.  Now, he works with one other licensed appraiser and books work no more than three days ahead.  When he is appraising, he is an appraiser; when he goes on tour, he “unplugs” and does not take his laptop with him.  Requests from AMCs for revisions go unanswered by him.  Dan is clear with his clients as to his work calendar and his clients are accepting of this relationship as they are receiving high quality appraisal work when he has his appraisal hat on.   Which is the same as his music hat, by the way, a cowboy hat.

Left brain/right brain.  Perhaps Dan’s two worlds of music and appraisal converge in one of his newer songs “I Deal With Crazy All Day”: “The world keeps spinning faster and faster and I’m going out of my mind.  I’m too plugged in and I’m too wound up and I want off of this ride”.

Links to Dan’s song and his music website are found here:

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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 Petition

The Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals has launched a petition to “allow appraiser access to data they provided through the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD)”.  This is a good initiative by a state appraisal organization, I’ve signed along with several thousand other appraisers to date.

A link to this petition is found here: Online Petition to Allow Appraiser Access to Data They Provided Through the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD)  

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A Reader Asks…

Cheryl Enders, a staff appraiser with Summit Funding in Sacramento, California, writes:

“I really enjoy the appraiser newsletter.  It’s always relevant and informative, and amusing!   I have been searching the internet for information regarding this topic:  Appraiser Independence in defense of the Appraiser!!   It’s interesting that all of the regulatory agencies have a place to lodge a complaint against an appraiser who is thought to be not quite following AIR. But AIR  was also meant to protect the appraiser!!!   What happens to the realtors, loan officers, brokers who put pressure on the appraiser?  There is nowhere to lodge a complaint against those folks!  Seems like everyone is still blaming the appraiser.   What is your suggestion for complaining about the people putting pressure on appraisers?? Would appreciate your thoughts on that.”

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Some Random Tweets To Make You Smile

1) If you’re going to be original, prepare to be copied.

2) When I need to bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party I always Zillow that person’s house first so I know how much to spend.

3) I need a job where I work one hour a week and I get paid a thousand dollars a minute.

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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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Rates & Dates

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

In their survey on November 13th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased from 4.02% to 4.01%. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was 4.35%.

Freddie Mac’s House Price Index breaks down housing price trends by state.  Here is a link which provides a graphical depiction of the percentage change in state housing prices from September 2013 to September 2014 along with one showing the trend from June 2006 to September 2014: US House Price Performance by State

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on November 12th (for the week ending November 7th) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) rose to 4.19% from 4.17%.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) remained unchanged at 4.13% while rates for FHA backed mortgages increased, from 3.84% to 3.90%. 

Mortgage applications fell by 0.9% from the previous week with the share of refinance applications as a percentage of all applications remaining at 63%. 

FHA mortgage applications constituted 9.7% of all applications (up from 9.6% last week) while VA applications comprised 11.0% of applications (up from 10.7%).

On Friday, the MBA reported that mortgage delinquencies for one to four family homes continued to decline during the 3rd Quarter, reaching their lowest level since the 4th Quarter of 2007.  One day earlier, they reported that applications for new home purchases were up 8% in October from the previous month.

On November 14th, HSH Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates dropped to 4.10% from 4.11% the previous week.  Rates for FHA-backed mortgages were unchanged for the second consecutive week at 3.79%.

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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Appraiser Help has Released its 2014 Directory of AMC’s and National Appraisal Companies. Click the link above to learn more and to download your copy today!

Ask Angie

Here are the answers to Angie’s last contest: Gore Vidal said “Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates”;If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” is attributed to Lao Tzu; and “Wherever you go, go with all your heart” is attributed to Confucious.

Today’s Questions:

1. Who said: “A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”

a) Michelangelo
b) Antoni Gaudi
c) Frank Lloyd Wright
d) Frank Gehry
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "No house should ever be on a hill or on anything.  It should be of the hill.  Belonging to it.  Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.”

a) Michelangelo
b) Antoni Gaudi
c) Frank Lloyd Wright
d) Frank Gehry
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”

a) Michelangelo
b) Antoni Gaudi
c) Frank Lloyd Wright
d) Frank Gehry 
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 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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