Job Title: Real Estate Appraiser
Type of Company: I own my own company which provides real estate valuations to banks, mortgage companies and individual home buyers.
Education: BA, Economic, Siena College
Previous Experience: I have worked as a real estate appraiser for 25 years, since graduating college
Job Tasks: When a person or company wants the bank to lend them money to purchase a building, the bank is required by law to know the value of that building and property. To get this value, they hire a licensed real estate appraiser. It is my responsibility to go to the building or property, get all of the details about it, find out what it was purchased for, what the rents are if applicable, and what other buildings or properties that are similar and in the same area sold for. With this information I can formulate what the property's worth. The bank uses this information to make sure they don't loan more on the building than its value. Also, the bank knows that if the borrower fails and the bank has to take back the property, they will be able to sell it for at least what is owed to them.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is its flexibility. I make my own schedule and have been able to work from a home office. I am not tied to a desk but instead, drive all over the region to look at properties. Other days I do sit at my desk and work. And I can do my report writing at any time of day. It does not take a lot of expensive resources to run my business: A good laptop, a reliable copying center and a good phone are all that I need. Plus I enjoy meeting people and this is a job where you meet many people each week.
What I like least about my job is that it can get repetitive. My basically do one thing: I generate a lengthy report and I often wish there was more variety. Because I'm self-employed I don't get a weekly paycheck; I have to wait for my clients to pay me, and sometimes it is necessary to do a lot of follow-up to get my money. I also have to purchase my own health insurance and don't have the 'benefit plans' a large company offers employees.
1. You need to like math. There are a lot of calculations in the appraisal world and you must be comfortable with numbers.
2. Take some licensing courses and get licensed as quickly as possible. This will allow you to write and sign off on your own appraisals rather than relying on another appraiser to do so
3. This job requires self-discipline. There are many deadlines and the boss is your client, so if you are not self-motivated, you will struggle.
Additional Thoughts: You need to take course work and continuing education to maintain your license.
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