Appraising Where It is Warmer

There was a point when I was seriously considering the possibility of moving to Belize. I live in a cold climate so the prospect of living in a warmer area for at least part of the year appeals strongly to me. However, after visiting Belize, I quickly realized that – while I love the country – I personally do not want to live there – mainly because their cost of living is higher than I had been told. That being said, while there, I did quite a bit of research and gained a sense of what it would mean to be an appraiser there. I can only speak specifically to Belize since that is the country I directly researched; however, after asking around, the appraisal situation in Belize seems to be fairly standard in most third-world countries.

While in Belize, I found that there are not really any appraisal laws. You do not need to be certified, there is no such thing as USPAP, and there are no specific forms you need to use. I often found that realtors did their own appraisals or banks had their own in-house appraisers. While having an appraiser that is certified from the United States would likely appeal to some individuals there, you would likely have to do quite a bit of work to sell yourself as a qualified professional since it is not the norm there.

Appraisal reports there typically pay around $600 and there is hardly any liability as an appraiser because there are no appraisal laws. However, since the cost of living is so high and there is not a huge market for certified real estate appraisers, I decided to continue my search for a warmer appraising climate elsewhere.  Perhaps Panama?


For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 116 Appraising in Third World Countries

16 thoughts on “Appraising Where It is Warmer”

  1. I appraise in a winter climate too, Western Maine, and we have had near record snow accumulation this year. I appraise quite a few remote, large tracts of land and seasonal use real estate and cruise the properties on a high performance sled, love it! Working and playing at the same time. Wouldn’t want to appraise anywhere else.

  2. You may be able to live a very comfortable life in Belize by doing those wonderful desktops products that you highly talk about.

  3. When I was in St Croix a few years ago, I was told they typically fly appraisers over from a Florida for commercial appraisals. Not sure about residential though. It’s still the US so no additional requirements to live there and it’s beautiful there!

  4. Pack your kit and move to Texas. Met you several years ago at an ATA seminar in New Braunfels, so you know how “warm” it gets. An Austin radio station had a blurb few years back; (sound of sizzling bacon) and the greeting – Welcome to Texas, and yes, it is hot.

    1. Add San Diego County to the enough appraisers Skip. One in seventy five appraisers live in my county (1,000 +), and with my location are within +/- 25 miles of me. If you include the greater region Skip, one in ten of all appraisers live within a few hundred miles from me.

      Seek the truth.

  5. Yea my luck on foreign countries I visited either hot water didn’t work for a few days or electricity would go out for awhile in the hotels. I doubt you can find a third world that would be worth working in, unless you lost your certification/license.

  6. AMC Reviewer Appraiser

    Dustin, India is by far the best place you want move to! You don’t need no licenses, there is no such a thing as uspap and you get to change your name every couple of weeks for a desirable american name. Thanks to the AMC’S I no longer drive a cab.

  7. “…third-world countries.” That term doesn’t mean what you think it does, Belize was always first world being aligned with Britain, and its use as an economic category is far outdated.

  8. Dustin, we’ve had cost of living discussions dating back a few years where it was explained that my area (San Diego), is 80% MORE expensive compared to Idaho, but that logic (C&R fees) seemed to fall on your deaf ears. Perhaps you’ve been seeking the truth! As it relates to a few appraisers I know, they WENT TO easier work cold climates due to cost of living, and now keep an extra 80 cents out of a dollar that they once lost due to rent, mortgage, insurance, utilities, gas, etc. Or perhaps they couldn’t compete with the likes of me.

    If Dustin can seek the truth after all these years, perhaps its time for the rest of you.

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