The Best Part Of My Job As An Appraiser

I enjoy many aspects of my career as a residential real estate appraiser. I’m self employed so I have no one to blame but myself; I set my own hours; I get to see a lot of places in the region; I spend much of my time trying to find meaning in data then communicating my findings; I even get to use a laser.

The best part of my job is the great animals I get to meet every day. I grew up with dogs in the house and have always gotten along with them. After college in the first year of our marriage, a friend offered us a kitten, Damien, who enriched our lives for 21 years. Thanks Dave.

Being able to read animals and owners is a key skill. I have yet to be bit after entering more than 5,000 homes over the past 18+ years which shows I’ve been successful.

(So that means I’ll get bit on my next inspection, I know how it works)

Anyway, here are pictures of some of the animals I’ve met over the past year.

I even met some goats recently.

And this is Brooke, our rescue from the pound, and Cat, who showed up on our patio.

Brooke, the walker who loves to play fetch
Cat. My son gave him a name but it doesn’t work for me.

What has been your experience with animals while inspecting? Any harrowing stories to share? Or have you been lucky like me and not yet bitten?

15 thoughts on “The Best Part Of My Job As An Appraiser

  1. William K McKnight

    How about 200 cats and 80 dogs at my first ever appraisal out in Pleasant Grove. The stench was unbearable.

    I’ve never been bitten, but I’ve had a dog go UNDER a fence to get to me (Owner: “No, she can’t get out of the yard, we made sure.”) or the little big man dog who waited until I was leaving to go on the attack. I fended him off with my clipboard – still has teeth marks.

    The only animal that ever caused me bodily harm was a very odd little cat who kept following me around the house at waist level – on counters, desktops, tables, dressers, making little hunting sounds and chirps. Finally, when I strayed a bit too close, she took a good swipe at me with claws and teeth leaving marks on my bare elbow.

    1. josephlynchadmin Post author

      Hey Bill, good stories. My third appointment as an appraiser was a duplex where one side was in good shape and 5he other had chihuahuas that left presents throughout the unit.

      I had an inspection at a farmhouse overrun by feral cats where I struggled with the smell 20′ away from the home. Did not complete that assignment.

  2. Shannon Slater

    I love this and completely agree that seeing all of the animals are great! Here in North Texas, we have seen dogs, cats, goats, horses, longhorns, chickens and tortoises!

  3. josephlynchadmin Post author

    Can’t remember seeing a tortoise but I did see a fox a couple of years ago crossing the road out in the country. Wouldn’t call that a pet though.

    1. Shannon Slater

      Yes, one of the large equine properties we appraised has about 5 tortoises. They were pets and had their own house/barn. They were so big! Just like what you see in a zoo.

  4. Dave Towne

    One NEVER knows what a dog will do. A decade ago, Trainee and I went to a nice home where a German Sheppard resided. Lady of home let us in. Dog was friendly, sniffed & we petted it. No issues while inside. Finishing the inside, we told the owner that we’d go out the back door to finish our outside work. Worked our way around the dwelling and were in the front yard taking photos. Lady let the dog out the back and it apparently heard us in the front and came racing toward us in attack mode, biting. I can’t remember if trainee or I was actually bitten or nipped, but it was enough to give us a good scare. To this day I insist that dog owners secure the dog while I’m on the property, especially when outside. I really love ‘dog properties’ where “meadow muffins” are plentiful in the rear yard….NOT! (By the way, the Trainee decided to leave this work after doing it for 6 months. I could tell this was not the best fit, and the Trainee came to the same conclusion before I could ‘make a change.’)

  5. Jan

    My sister is a 25-year appraiser who spent 4 days in the hospital after being attacked by two large dogs at an investment property. Tenant let her in the house and never mentioned there were dogs locked up in a bedroom. She opened the door and they had her down on the ground in seconds fighting for her life. Fortunately her appraiser trainee who was outside came to the rescue and helped to carry her outside while the tenant corralled the dogs. She had major surgery on her leg, six months of rehabilitation and was left with major leg scars and nerve damage. And she was a state champion tennis player in her over-60 age category. My husband, also an appraiser, has been bit twice. So always be cautious ……. never let your guard down.

  6. Deborah Anderson

    The only time in twenty years I have been bitten was by a little yapper who sneaked up behind me. I have been wary of dogs in neighboring yards where the fences could barely be considered adequate.

    1. josephlynchadmin Post author

      Hi Deborah. I grew up next to a lady who had Chihuahuas who tried to attack everyone so I’m cautious around that breed.

  7. Ken Odenheim

    Some years back our firm was contracted to do 85 eminent domain takes for our City. Happily, we reconoitered them prior to ding our work an d saw a number of “guard” dogs at some of the houses including some reputed to be “drug” related properties. Immediately after reconoitering, we went to our farm&ranch supply and picked up two cattle prods. Forewarned is forearmed and while we only had to use them on three inspections, we felt safe and protected from those nasty dogs. One charged us and we gave him the jolt in the air and I don’t know how he turned himself around mid-air, but hewas soon galloping in the opposite direction and remained there staring but immobile during the remaining 1/2 hour. I love dogs but aggressive ones need to be handled properly as I believe they were in these instances in as humane but effective a way as possible. Ken Odenheim, ASArp (ret)

  8. Tom Horn

    Most owners do not seem to be too worried because their pets would never hurt anyone (sarcasm intended). I visited a house one time where a mama pit pull had recently given birth to a litter of pups. Fortunately, they had them in cages but I swear the mama dog was going to come through that cage, or at least that is the way it sounded. Needless to say, I did not waste any time chit-chatting with the owner.

  9. josephlynchadmin Post author


    Good to hear from you. Pit bulls are the one breed I’m very careful near. I can’t read them very well.


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