Why a Members' Resource?
This website idea was born in a lanai on a warm summer morning in Tampa, Florida. I'd been doing what I love best: researching appraisal methodology, as I do whenever an appraiser retains me for help. Each assignment seems unique but in reality, they all have similar challenges. Why not publish this research on methodology theory?
For a moment I feared I might be contributing what is commonplace. Here I am in the era of appraisal education. What could I possibly teach people who'd been valuating property and testifying since they were savvy enough to take field notes? Worse yet, many have taken appraisal courses. But, I reasoned, colleagues seeking my services open up in a way they rarely do, posing a wide range of questions that aspiring appraisers everywhere would like to ask, but seldom do. Questions not answered by courses.
Perhaps it was the extraordinary setting - a lazy pond with fish jumping - or perhaps it was the sound of song birds. Whatever the reason, I started that very day to build this resource.
I had considered authoring a book, but once a book is written, it is finished. Appraisal theory is an array of moving targets. Laws are changing - being overruled or developing constantly. Appraisers are discovering new areas of business that in turn demand rules - rules based on legal needs. Such turmoil is best presented in a forum that can be changed at will and quickly. That forum is the Internet. That is why I chose the Internet.
Appraising should be a recognized profession. It can never achieve that status unless it embraces discipline. Yes, ethics are needed. Yes, basic valuation theory linked to economics is necessary. Yes, experience is important. Yes, product knowledge is important. But what is lacking is beyond the basics. Theory on how to tackle each and every appraisal assignment must be available to all professionals. That theory must be backed by real research as the time has lapsed for armchair experts sipping a drink to create valuation theory.
Since most appraisals, including the ubiquitous insurance appraisal, are ultimately legal documents, we need a resource of such requirements. What have the regulations, statutes and previous judicial opinions mandated as acceptable? Researching those requirements and presenting them in an understandable manner is the purpose of this website.