I’ve been very fortunate to know Don Machholz over the past 10 years or so. If you’re a residential appraiser, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Don’s 1004MC calculator. In 2009, in a belated response to the housing crash, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac required every residential appraisal going into their pipelines to include the now infamous Market Conditions Addendum-Form 1004MC. The good intention of this form was to force residential appraisers to consider and report market changes. (The form is a disaster. George Dell has a great article about how poor the 1004MC is here). The immediate issue for me was doing the calculations by hand was a major pain and none of our clients were going to pay extra for adding this required form. I did a few by hand and spent an extra hour each time doing the calculations.
Don saw a need to automate this process. He spent a couple of weeks building the first of his Excel workbooks, the 1004MC Calculator, and released it free. Filling out this odious form went from an hour of work to 5 minutes. First version was for my local MLS system and we loved it. As word spread, Don received requests to customize it for other MLS systems across the country. He has 42 different versions on his website.
Don included a couple of sale charts in the workbook to help those who didn’t know how to run a trendline. He built other tools including a scheduler, lot adjustment calculator, PSF adjustment calculator, plus additional market analysis tools. After several years of offering his tools for free, he finally came up with the 1004MC version 5C that packaged a lot of calculators into one workbook for a modest $50.
Word spread last month that Don had retired and was planning to move to the northern Arizona desert with his lovely wife to devote time to astronomy and finding more comets. He’s found 11 so far and is the most successful living visual comet discoverer in the world. Find out more about Don’s astronomy activities on his personal website, http://donmachholz.com/.
I’m so happy for Don and thankful for his generosity. Unsurprisingly to everyone who knows Don, all of the tools he developed are now free on his appraisal website, https://donsappraisals.com/.
Thanks Don for all you have done for our profession.
Below are photos from his retirement party at Moonraker Brewing in Auburn, CA.