As with any job, there are moments that will make your eyes pop wide open. Here are a few memorable moments from my Los Angeles property appraiser career.
Sometimes, a homeowner will forget to tell their spouse that I am coming over to conduct an appraisal. In one case, when I showed up, he didn’t tell me his wife was upstairs in the shower.
So I went on about my business. I walked through the bedrooms to see the closets and all that, when she came around the corner half-dressed, fresh out of the shower. She shrieked!
She thought I was a stranger in the house, and I’m like, “Oh-my-God, oh-my-God!” And her husband had to rush upstairs and calm everything down.
I didn’t ask him if anyone else was home, but that’s a question I always ask now.
I can only imagine what she said to him after I left!
Another time, I had an appraisal to do at an address on Berry Avenue, but I ended up by mistake on Berry Street, which is nearby and parallel. The homeowner had told me that they have children.
At the address on Berry Street, I saw a few toys out there, so the children thing made sense, and there was a nice big gate leading into the front yard. I was feeling this urge to rush on in there, but something made me stop for a second.
“Hmmmm,” I thought, “why don’t I call them just to be sure they’re home and it’s all right to come in?” And lo and behold, right then, here comes this huge Rottweiler, charging from around the side of the house, barking up a storm, his large jaws snapping menacingly at me! If I had taken another step past that gate, I would have been all done.
And then some folks have other kinds of pets running around loose inside the house. Such as snakes.
So I have to be very careful about making house calls where there are pets, and it’s also important to make sure it’s the right house!
Then there’s the matter of counting “additional square footage.” In one case, the homeowner was talking about a large doghouse on the side of the home.
“The dog house,” I told him, “doesn’t count.”
“Oh well, you know, I did a really nice job on it…”
“Sorry,” I said, “the dog house doesn’t count.”
“…But it’s another 40 square feet!” he said.
It was quite large and it was well done. But it still doesn’t count as living area square footage.
Such are some adventures of a Los Angeles property appraiser. It’s all true.