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Appraiser Health Month

May 2nd, 2017 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

AppraiserNews & AppraiserHelp Proclaim May “Appraiser Health Month” 

Earlier today, President Trump proclaimed that May 2017 is “National Mental Health Awareness Month” saying that:

“National Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to recognize the millions of American families affected by mental illness and to redouble our efforts to ensure that those who are suffering get the care and treatment they need”.

Well, maybe it’s time for appraisers to take stock of their own mental and physical health. If not now, when? So, let’s look at some of the big issues facing appraisers.

We sit. In our home office prepping for the day. We sit some more. In the car going to inspections. Traffic stress. In the car photographing properties, running late, lots of messages going unanswered. In the office writing up several jobs. Deadline stress. Back in the car on the way home. Now it’s getting late, just want to veg, hang out in front of the TV, back on the computer, tablet checking out some video. Evening cocktail. Time for bed.

But, we say, it’s okay. We’re so much healthier than our parent’s/grandparent’s generation, we’ve said goodbye to 3 packs a day, 3 martini lunches (well, maybe for special occasions, like, it’s Friday, hopefully no AMCs for several days). Besides, we have a beautiful treadmill in the corner and belong to that great gym, eventually we’ll get back to using them…

If not now, when? Spring is in the air, we’ve had a few good years with appraisal volume up, now it’s down, maybe it’s time to take a break?

Writing in Wallet Hub on April 3rd, Richie Bernardo discussed the four stress factors their analysts considered in the annual survey “2017’s Most & Least Stressed States”. The factors were:

1) Work related stress

2) Money related stress

3) Family related stress

4) Health & Safety related stress

Hopefully many of the appraisers reading this can honestly answer that they have no serious issues in these 4 categories. It is likely, however, that an honest analysis will reveal otherwise to many of our readers.

By the way, here are the 5 most “stressed out” states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky. And the 5 least “stressed out”: Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota and Utah.  An interesting point: one of the 33 “key indicators of stress” was “affordable housing”; out of the five states that were most affordable included three that were in the 5 least “stressed out”: Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas.

“Most & Least Stressed States”

”Sitting is the new smoking”

(This article first appeared in AppraiserNews on July 28, 2015. We’re repeating it now, it is a critical health issue for appraisers).

Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, author of the book “Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It” notes how today’s society requires sitting in most aspects of our lives.  The average adult now spends about ½ to ¾ of his or her day sitting, a dramatic change from past decades.  Dr. Levine discusses how this fundamental lifestyle change has had a serious impact on health and is a leading cause of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses. is concerned about the overall health of appraisers, not just their financial health and past issues have discussed the adverse health effects of deadlines and stress.  Now let’s focus on sitting and sedentary lifestyles.

How many hours do we spend daily sitting at our desks writing reports, riding in our cars to inspections, taking comp photos?  The easy answer: way too many.  It is easy not to notice as we multi-task at our desks or drive through neighborhoods looking at properties.  Our minds are engaged, hours pass by.

Health practitioners recommend that we not only stand up or walk a minimum number of hours daily but that we break up our sedentary time as well.  Last month, the British Journal of Sports Medicine issued the following recommendations:

~During work hours, two hours of standing and light activity (i.e. light walking) is recommended with a buildup to four hours over time for desk based office workers.

~Break up seated based work with standing based work through the use of adjustable sit-stand work stations.

~Avoid lengthy “static standing” which can be as harmful as prolonged sitting.

Here are some additional appraiser specific suggestions that we think might be helpful:

~Walking while talking: when staring at a computer screen is not necessary to the conversation, get up and walk around while on the phone.

~Get out of the car and take that comp photo: park down the block and take a short hike rather than double park in a busy location to take a photo.  Not as stressful as pulling over in a bad spot and allows for a walk and a quick stretch.

~Some reinforcement tools: use a pedometer, Fitbit activity tracker, smart watch or other such device to track your steps and activity level.  “Data driven” and competitive appraisers will find themselves “walking that extra mile” through the use of these techniques which are more positive type reinforcements than setting reminder alarms, for example.

A personal note: I’m approaching the two year anniversary of a heart attack and bypass surgery (September 2013) and have adopted most of these healthy habits to aid in my recovery.  I feel great!  It’s never too late to start, why not now?!

Here is a link to the British Journal of Sports Medicine news release with guidance on “curbing the health risks of too much sitting”:

“Curbing the health risks of too much sitting”

Benefits from exercise

If you still need convincing about the benefits of exercise, let’s hear what neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki has to say:

“Let’s start with one of the most practical immediate benefits of breaking a sweat: exercise combats stress. Exercise is a powerful way to combat feelings of stress because it causes immediate increases in levels of key neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenalin, dopamine and endorphins, that are often depleted by anxiety and depression. That’s why going for a run or spending 30 minutes on the elliptical can boost our moods immediately—combatting the negative feelings we often associate with chronic stressors we deal with every day.

In my lab, we have also demonstrate that exercise improves our ability to shift and focus attention. Even casual exercisers will recognize this effect. It’s that heightened sense of focus that you feel right after you’ve gotten your blood flowing, whether it be a brisk walk with the dog or a full-on Crossfit workout. These findings suggest that if you have a big presentation or meeting where you need your focus and attention to be at its peak, you should get in a workout ahead of time to maximize those brain functions.

Studies in rodents demonstrated that increased levels of physical exercise can result in improved memory by enhancing both the birth rate and the survival of new hippocampal brain cells. Exercise encourages the long-term growth of hippocampal cells by immediately increasing levels of a key growth factor in the hippocampus called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF. Now, when I exercise, I imagine BDNF levels surging in my hippocampi, encouraging all those new hippocampal cells to grow.

All this should serve as a powerful motivator for regular physical activity”.

Appraiser Coalition Movement News

New York Appraisers remember: The next New York State Appraisers Board Meeting is this Thursday, May 4th in Albany, Buffalo and New York City and is open to the public, the meetings are linked together.


By the way, membership in NY-CAP, the New York Coalition of Appraiser Professionals, has now increased to 39. New York appraisers interested in joining can go to the Facebook Closed Group, NY-Cap.  Please note that this is open to New York licensed and certified appraisers only, membership is granted upon verification of license information.

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) reported mixed movement in mortgage interest rates last week.

In their survey on April 27th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose from 3.97% the previous week to 4.03%. They also noted that one year ago, the 30-year rate was at 3.66%.

Sean Becketti, the chief economist for Freddie Mac noted:

“The 10-year Treasury yield rose about 10 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved with Treasury yields, rising 6 basis points to 4.03 percent. Despite recent swings in mortgage rates, the housing market continues to show signs of strength — both existing and new home sales in March exceeded expectations, and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted another solid gain.”

The MBA reported on April 26th (for the week ending April 21st) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) declined to 4.20% from 4.22%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) was unchanged from the previous week at 4.15%.  Rates for FHA backed mortgages moved down from 4.09% to 4.03%.

Mortgage applications rose by 2.7% from the previous week.  Refinance applications as a percentage of all applications rose from 42.4% to 44.0%, the lowest level since September 2008. The FHA share of applications decreased from 11.0% to 10.0% while the VA share declined from 11.1% to 10.9%.

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

Ask Angie

Angie would first like to acknowledge the winner of her last contest: California appraiser Richard Porubski. He was the first to answer correctly that Don Rickles was the author of all three quotes in the last newsletter: “Every night when I go out on stage, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m not going to offend!”; “I never could tell a joke. I just started talking to the audience, and when the drunks would yell, ‘Hey, when do the broads come on?’ I got good at saying ‘Relax. Clear your skin up first.’ They called me ‘the insult guy’, but it’s never mean-spirited. I’m just exaggerating everything about us and about life”; and “Once in a while, when I’m alone, I think about my age. I think, How many more years do I have on this earth? But I can’t really conceive of dying. Somehow, in my head, I don’t think I’ll die. I know that everybody dies, of course. I just think that it’ll never come to me. It’s crazy, but there it is”.

Today’s questions:

Who said all of the following:

1. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

2. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”

3. “Time is money”

a) Benjamin Franklin
b) Mark Twain
c) Pamela Hughes Patenaude

d) None of the above

The first to respond with the correct answers wins:

One Free Regular Listing on

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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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