Building Materials Can Affect Value

Here’s a great question:  Where can newbie and apprentice appraisers go to get training in how to distinguish among building materials? 

I have to admit this is something I never gave much thought to – until a follower messaged me about it, but we all understand that differences in construction materials, and the quality of those materials, can affect a house’s marketability.  This difference can affect its market value, too.   

One way is simple on-the-job training.  So, if you are a newbie or an apprentice, that means you must ask lots of questions of your mentor or supervisor.  Then, when you do, you hope they know the answers and can communicate them properly. It is really important newbies and apprentices choose a mentor or supervisor who has a clue about all facets of real estate appraisal, including the ability to distinguish among building materials and their qualities.

In addition to on-the-job training, there are classes you can take on this.  They are available from some of the national real estate appraisal education providers.  They are usually on-line classes.  This adds to their convenience.  And, because the providers are accredited nationally to offer such classes, you get CE credit for them, too!

So, in addition to on-the-job-training and on-line classes, consider such sources as Google® and YouTube®.  What I really like about YouTube ® is that all the responses to your questions on building materials will have both an explanation of the differences, as well as pictures of the materials.    These pictures will make the answers really easy to understand, as well as illustrate those differences.

If you have any thoughts on other places newbies and apprentices can get this information, please let me know so I can share your inspiration with the others. 

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 

5 Comments on “Building Materials Can Affect Value”

  1. One good way to learn about building materials and technologies is directly from new home builders. Go hang out at some model homes in various parts of your market, and take some tours. You can also sign up for construction newsletters — there’s lots of good information in them for builders, but you’ll pick up a lot.

  2. There was a structural engineering firm here locally that used to teach a two day course called “the technical inspection of real estate”, or a title near that. Two days of these engineers who were basically home and building inspectors going over materials, systems, functions. Perhaps the best bang for buck class I’ve ever taken.

    A reasonably close 2nd was a course I took for CE a few cycles back on introduction to home inspection taught at a local community college. Similar to the previous one, taught by a very experienced home inspector. A really great idea for all of us to take periodically.

  3. In our area, the local community college has courses for people planning to go into the construction industry, both residential and commercial. these courses can be helpful for both newbies and seasoned appraisers. They have courses in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and energy efficiency. I remember many moons ago mentoring a young man who was thinking about getting into real estate appraisal. We were doing some field work and when we looked at the water heater, he said “what’s that”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but it drove home the point that there are people who have very little knowledge with regards to the place where they live and sleep.

  4. Local build green organizations usually offer very low cost or free classes on building materials and practices. I know that these classes focus on green and energy efficient materials, but I learned so much taking these classes about not only green homes but also about how green homes compare to code built homes.

  5. Have you guys ever reviewed your peers work? Do you have A la mode software so you can see their information on comps? When the game is to churn out volume instead of seeking the truth (at times obvious), its all about making ever property a Q3 / Q4, using a C3 condition rating, and everything is neutral and never adverse.

    Give me a break, and remember to seek the truth.

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