"If you are going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill
Everyone has that great moment or not so great moment when visiting the subject property. We always seem to be saying, “I have seen worse.” And then you walk around a corner, open a door or stumble over it. There is the hoarder house, the animal houses: cats, dogs, chickens, ferrets, snakes, the grandma house, flooded house, sledgehammer house, or even a frat house.If you would like to contribute your “Appraiser Tales”, we would all like to read about it! email us: comments@AppraiserTalk.com
Dog GoneContributedBy: Anne B., Kansas City, KSThis may not be that shocking, but it was a lesson learned. I walked up to the front door and knocked and told the owners that I would be measuring on the outside of their home to include the backyard. They commented that the gate was unlocked and that they will bring their dog inside.I proceeded to measure the outside of the house and worked my way to the back of the home. As luck would have it, my laser’s batteries needed changing. I went to my car to reload and left the gate open as I would be only a few minutes. Once I was done with the exterior measurements, I proceeded to the front door. When they answered I informed them I was done with the outside and ready to inspect the inside of the home. They were nice and even asked me, “I hope you didn’t have any problems with the dog?”. My immediate response was, “Dog? What dog? I didn’t see a dog?”. Apparently, they did not bring their dog in. As luck would have it, when I left the gate open, the dog took off. The owners were screaming at me that I had let their “baby” out and he would be traumatized and lost. It took two hours walking the neighborhood calling the dog’s name, “Sweetie”. I thought someone was going to call the police on me shouting, “Sweetie, Come here Sweetie...” over and over again. The dog came trotting back to the house on his own. Lesson learned, do not leave the gate open!
Click and Get ContributedBy: Ron B., Yakima, WAWhen taking comparable photos, I usually make some observations and click the photo and get back on the road heading to the next comparable. On one occasion, as I was driving up to the comparable, I vaguely noticed a gentleman raking his yard next door, I briefly stopped and took a picture and continued down the street. After about a block or so, I pulled over to the side of the road to look at the listing page I printed out for the next comparable. While I was reading the page, suddenly someone was pounding on my window, which scared the heck out me in the process. I looked and rolled down the window and this gentleman was demanding who I was and why I was taking pictures of houses. I calmly explained that I was an appraiser and that I was taking pictures of homes that have recently been on the market for my files. The overwhelmed look on his face, trying to comprehend what I was saying, was funny. Once it sank in, he was very nice and asked if I needed any directions. I replied, “no, but thank you. Have a great day!”. He turned and slowly walked away. At this point I noticed he had a rake in his hand. I recognized him as the gentleman raking his yard. I do not know what he was trying to accomplish or if he was the self-proclaimed neighborhood constable by ‘hunting’ me down. As I was driving away, I had to laugh on what it looked like to others of a guy running down the middle of the street, with a rake in hand, chasing a vehicle. I hope he got a good workout from it, as I was well over a block away from his house and it was only moments after I stopped that he pounded on my window.
Hmmm ContributedBy: Sharon FCI had a house where the 1st floor den was connected to the basement via spiral staircase. Wife did not want the appraiser to go down the spiral steps and said she would “show” room from the basement. Telephone rang, appraiser proceeded to the basement, opened the door and the room was full of whips, chains, and other erotica ala “50 Shades of Grey.” I said we would just call it a rec. room and shoot from the best angle to disguise the “toys”.
The Home WreckerContributedBy: Diana BourgeoisSome people take the foreclosure of their property harder than others. The owner of one house in particular decided to respond to the news by painting obscenities all over the walls and punching holes in the cabinets. He even poured concrete down the toilets to stop up the plumbing. There was so much damage to the house that the city condemned the property rather than put it up for sale at auction.Notice of foreclosure is hard—whatever your circumstances. If you’re an agent or investor who wants the property, be prepared to spend a little extra money on repairs to damage caused by homeowners unhappy about the loss of their home.
I Didn’t Expect That!ContributedBy McKissock AppraiserI was called to do an appraisal on a small foreclosure property in a not-so-desirable side of town. It was supposed to be a vacant property, but when I walked in the front door, I heard some noise up in the attic. As I proceeded to walk through the foyer of the house, I heard a little bit more noise, then all of a sudden somebody fell through the ceiling from the attic onto the floor in front of me. The funny part was, he was holding a 40 oz beer in his right hand as he flipped out of the ceiling and never spilled a drop and keeping it up right…lol! He panicked and looked at me eye to eye and asked me if I was the police, I told him no, I also told him I’m not here to kick him out, just here to do an appraisal for the bank. I also told him they can go back to doing whatever they were doing and I would only be there for about 15 minutes. Being that I was so impressed, that he fell from the ceiling cutting a flip or two and never spilling one ounce of beer. I had to let him know that I was impressed and I thought he must have been a trained professional, being able to not spill 1 oz as he was flipping and keeping it upright…lol! He then told me, ‘Yeah, I have many talents and drinking beers one of them!’ I told him to have a good day enjoy the rest of his beer and get back up in the attic so you’re not in my pictures, I don’t want to have to come back and take new ones!
What The…By Steven NorthouseI was inspecting a log home. The homeowners had it built about a year ago. They showed me all the unique rooms and explained in detail everything about their wonderful home. Everything was done in a craftsmanlike manner and attention to detail was apparent in each room. While walking into the master bedroom with vaulted ceilings with the homeowners, suddenly there was a loud report like a gun shot. As it took me completely by surprise, I said an explicit with a, “WHAT WAS THAT!”. The homeowner replied, “That’s why we are selling.”. Apparently, as the house was built with complete logs of lumber, the logs were still green. As the logs dried, they occasionally “crack” and the report was of the wood drying. The homeowners had enough, as the sound would wake them in the middle of the night, constantly. I wondered why they both looked so tired.