Crazy Appraiser Stories


You’ve all got them… The crazy car chases, the surprising living conditions, the exotic assignments, and the unique collectors….

What we all need… Here is one brief humorous escape!!

The photo above is the Crazee Appraiser writing up his appraisal!

Here is one story:

This was a beautiful 3,200 sq ft home with all the extras. After measuring, I was standing by the fireplace, taking an interior photo, being careful not to step on the expensive rug next to the hearth. The lady of the house looked a little alarmed, so I had to ask, “Is everything okay?” “Oh yes, it’s just that the camera will have a click.” I’ve heard weirder things, so after assuring her it was a very quiet click, the button went down, the picture was taken, and the excitement started.

Something hit the back of my head, a soft, but very strong hit. The equivalent of a 10 mile an hour wind passed over my left shoulder, and a shadow landed on the other side of the sofa, which was 14’ in front of me. It seems that the fluffy 6’ rug was a once wild, African Savannah cat, stretching 6’ long as it napped on its belly. It looked like a leopard rug! With teeth longer than some fork tines, I was happy to let it hide in the bedroom, but she coaxed it out of hiding to demonstrate that it could easily jump 10’ high for a kitty treat.

– Carolyn S. Richards

For more stories, click here

My comment: We all need some appraiser fun to start the New Year!!


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Humor for appraisers

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To read more of this long blog post with many topics, click Read More Below!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on bedrooms, spec homes, VA appraisals, strange homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


What Should You Call a Master Bedroom Instead?

Excerpts: The most popular choice throughout the real estate industry to replace “master bedroom” with “primary bedroom.”

From real estate agents to interior designers, real estate industry professionals are making a push to stop referring to the largest bedroom in a home as the “master bedroom.”

The origins of the term itself aren’t as old as one may think. Merriam-Webster notes the first known use of “master bedroom” as a term was in 1925. House kits sold in Sears catalogs deemed the largest bedroom in the home the “master,” to make the room feel more upscale.

The phrase caught on and became overused with time, with the one-bedroom in an apartment referred to as the “master,” or a three-bedroom house with rooms of the same dimensions having one deemed the master.

To read more, click here

My comment: I always wondered where the term started and why it has become controversial.


Lonnie Hammargren’s House in Las Vegas, Nevada

This former lieutenant governor’s home has lots of curiosities.

Excerpts: Lonnie Hammargren is a bit of a local legend—a retired neurosurgeon and former lieutenant governor, Hammargren’s home also happens to be a veritable wunderkammer.

Hammargren, now 78 years old, is a lifelong memorabilia collector.

(Included are) indoor Barbershop Brothel, an underground mine, a mini Taj Mahal, a T-rex replica, and an animatronic tiger, to name just a few things you might find.

To read more and see lots of photos, click here

My comment: Wow!! Looks like it would be very boring without all the Stuff ;>


What Are Spec Homes Telling You?

Excerpt: New construction appraisals have unique challenges, many of which extend well beyond the additional analysis. The client and other users of the appraisal are often not aware that not all ‘comparables’ are created equal. The builder, who is most often the seller, will make the case that you ignored the best sales (failing to mention that those best sales were chosen based on price, not because they were the most representative of the market).

The ability to understand, reconcile, and effectively communicate the variations in pricing will help you to be perceived as a thoughtful professional by your client, even when the conclusion may not be what they had hoped for.

Worth reading. To read more, click here

My comment: New home appraisals can be difficult. I have done many of them. This article is the first I have ever read about the challenges for appraisers.


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Coming in the January 2020 issue of the monthly Appraisal Today!

Available Monday, January 4, 2020

  • Top 10 Appraiser Time Wasters And What to do About Them By Doug Smith, SRA
  • The Power of Surveys  By Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS
  • The Anti-Statistics Guy by George Dell, MAI, SRA

To read the full articles, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

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How Does the VA Appraisal Panel Operate?


VA appraisal panel vs. FHA appraisal roster

Appraiser selection

Appraisal fees

To read more, click here

My comments: I have always said that the VA is the only lender client who really wants to know what a home is worth. They protect the veteran from overpaying or not knowing about problems.

I have never done a VA appraisal because home prices where I live have always been way over the VA limit, and there are few military bases here (more VA loans). When I started my business in 1986, everyone said you had to wait for someone to die to get on the panel. Fortunately, that has changed.

About 6 years ago, I wrote a long article about doing VA appraisals and interviewed the VA chief appraiser and many appraisers who did VA appraisals. Very, very different from lender appraisals. I focused on the business aspects. There were lots of issues: getting on the panel, accepting every assignment, value appeals, etc. The article is available to paid subscribers.


Holy Austin Rock Houses Kinver, England

The last occupied troglodyte dwellings in England weren’t abandoned until the 1960s

Excerpt: These houses were built into the rock at Kinver were the last occupied troglodyte dwellings in England. The tiered homes were occupied for more than 200 years.

At their height, it’s likely that as many as 11 families occupied the various cave houses. None of the Holy Austin Rock Houses had running water or electricity, even after these commodities became commonplace in the average household. These fascinating houses were abandoned in the 1960s and were sealed off from the public for many years.

To read more, click here

For lots more historic info, click here


COVID-19 Recent posts


A Spontaneous Moment of Joy in Tough Times December 26, 2020

Watch It. Only 5 minutes. You will feel better, just like me! It made me laugh and cry. There Is Hope!!

To watch, click here


When can you get a Covid vaccination? Your state decides. New CDC Guidelines, December 20, 2020. 12-26-20

Every state seems to be doing something different for Phases 1b and 1c. Read your state guidelines. For example, Texas and Florida are including all persons 65 and older. The CDC guidelines say 75+ are first and 65 – 74 are later.

Recently, an AMC sent an email saying that appraisers were essential workers. I assume they were referring to the stay at home orders in March. I did not get a copy of the email. I have been writing about vaccine distribution since September when the first guidelines were issued.

In my opinion, the intent for the Initial Phases of essential workers for vaccine distribution was persons exposed to Covid in their jobs, such as workers in grocery stores, nursing homes, etc. The only reference by the CDC is Financial services (bank tellers). I assume this does not include appraisers.

Can AMCs and other clients request that all their fee appraisers be vaccinated? Yes. But it will be a while before everyone can be vaccinated.

The blog post discusses appraisers at the end in My personal comments

To read the blog post, click here


Covid Long Haulers – Affects All Ages. Excellent 13-minute video plus lots more information. Many young people are affected. They usually don’t see a doctor or go to the hospital and recover from Covid at home. Soon later, they get damage that is left behind – “brain fog, fatigue, and other symptoms that can last for months and possibly last for years. I worry a lot about getting it.

To watch and read, click here


Dr. Fauci – Vaccine Mutation Expanding, Testing, the Future 12-30-20 –

Find out what is happening today and what it means for you from a trusted source:  Dr. Anthony Fauci

To watch, click here


No MBA Stats this week due to Holidays.


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041


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