In the Trenches, Crazy Appraiser Stories
You’ve all got them… The crazy car chases, the surprising living conditions, the exotic assignments and the unique collectors. Here are a few of our stories we found buzz worthy.
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
Years ago I had an appraisal on a very exclusive island off the north shore of Long Island. There are about 100 homes at most and many celebrities and CEO’s live there. Homes are in the MULTI-million dollar range. When I arrived at the subject house, the owner answered the door. As I walked into a house, I noticed all the interior outer walls were covered with aluminum foil. When I gently asked the owner what the foil was for, he seriously told me that it was to keep out the rays from the aliens. It made for a very interesting valuation.
– Leigh Pollet
I was out doing a rural appraisal. The owner was showing me his outbuildings and all of a sudden he says, “my goat is in labor.” He told me that he had to stop the appraisal for the moment and tend to his goat. He also told me that since his wife wasn’t home that I had to help him. So, I put down all of my appraisal tools and took off my appraisal hat. The man instructed me on how to help and together, we delivered a kid. What a day in the life of an appraiser!
– Linda Cheers
I had to appraise a vacant REO property last year. My husband (a Cop) and my German Shepherd accompanied me because the neighborhood had a problem with squatters. After my husband and dog cleared the house, my husband went to sit in the car and wait for me to finish the inspection with my dog. I finished all my photos. I got back to the office and started to download them onto the report. As I was editing the photos, I noticed a person standing behind me in the bathroom mirror. It appeared to be a young boy with dark hair but I couldn’t make out the face. My dog was right there with me and never made a sound. If there would have been a person in the house he would have alerted me. I never really believed in ghosts but every person I have shown the picture to swears it is!!!
– Kris Morris-Devitte
I live and appraise real estate in the Tampa Bay, Florida market area. Interesting critters abound including all manner of exotic birds and primordial beasts. I had an appraisal assignment for a residential purchase not far from my office. As I measured the dwelling for the sketch, I was asked to hold off a few minutes by the sellers so they could distract the alligator in their pool. Subsequently, they placed a raw chicken at the end of a broom stick and enticed the gator to the far side of the pool while I measured the rear of the house. Evidently, the alligator was purchased at a pet store as a hatchling when it was only about 8″ long. Later, I was told by the loan broker the alligator was removed prior to closing and the pool was cleaned and ready for use by non-gators.
– Bob Edwards
I have been appraising for over 20 years. I guess you can say that I have seen a lot. Some of the worst were dead animals, a dead bird between the window panes, cat and dog poo everywhere, and a unit painted entirely black including the windows with a stripper’s pole in the middle on the floor in the living room. But the worst was a dead body sitting in a chair that was totally decomposed so much that I didn’t realize that it was a body. I thought it was a Halloween decor, because it had on clothing until I found out later that it was a dead body.
– Rosa Howard, SRA, MSA
I asked the homeowner (before I measured) if there were gates in the fence and if they were open, and he said there was only one, but it is “kind of tricky” so he went out there with me to open it
– Tom Williams