Phone 603-393-6283

Serving Central New Hampshire Since 1986

Reports produced on Homeputer software

I'm happy to answer your questions by Email.

There is no charge for consultations or for general questions about real estate or appraisal services.

About Chris Richardson Appraisal Service
Services Provided and Methods
Privacy and Security
Becoming an Appraiser


Appraisals are often needed for Real Property transactions:
  Setting a list price, or before accepting an offer to purchase
Making an offer
Obtaining financing for a purchase
Financial planning, Estate settlement, or Divorce
Property tax abatement
Charitable donation
Short sale, Foreclosure or Liquidation


  A lot has changed.
In 1980 there were no requirements for being an appraiser. Report forms were purchased in pads like notepaper, filled out on a typewriter and mailed to a client with a few polaroid pictures. The client was often the property owner who would order several appraisals, then using the one most favorable would shop various lenders for the most advantageous mortgage terms.

Then came 1989 and the largest banks in New Hampshire failed and home values plummeted. As we worked our way out of recession, congress ordered that appraisers needed to be licensed. Appraisers began taking courses, taking tests, and buying computers and digital cameras. By 1996 business was booming again and there was a whole new generation of loan officers in the banks and mortgage companies.

That boom lasted until 2007.

By 2006 many of us in the business were looking over our shoulders at the gathering storm clouds, fearing the collapse of the bubble. When the market imploded in late 2008 it came as no surprise. Government efforts to repair the damage gave us more tightening of regulations. No longer was a Licensed Residential Appraiser considered sufficient qualification for many lenders, and requirements for Certified Appraisers were increased. A college degree is now needed with more education in specific courses, and 2,000 hours of experience before taking the written examination. New software is required to machine code the reports for retrieval and AI comparison to other databases including previous appraisals, municipal assessments, HUD closing statements and broker listings in Multiple Listing files. All of this is a check on appraiser accuracy for every data field in the report.

Over the past several years the number of appraisers in New Hampshire has declined, now down nearly 40% from previous highs. Entry to the field is increasingly difficult, more expensive and more time consuming. To make real estate appraising a more attractive career will require some changes.


Lenders need to squarely face the low fees that are so prevalent. Fees that reflect the education and experience are necessary to entice new people to invest the effort, time and expense to become Certified Appraisers. Many Appraisal Management Companies (AMC's) troll the field for the cheapest and quickest services, and that practice needs to end. We are not form fillers. We are performing an analysis that takes time and requires experience and competency, and the results affect not just one loan, not just one individual or family, but as history has shown us again and again, it affects our economy.

We need college level curricula that include at least several hundred hours of field experience. Apprentice appraisers without the knowledge and experience to perform meaningfully in the field have to work long hours at little or no pay to gain the necessary skills. Lenders expect quick turn times and delivery of accurate reports that don't require revision for multiple errors, and a supervising appraiser cannot afford to pay an apprentice for extended delays and re-writes. Graduate appraisers with experience benefit both themselves and their supervisors as they continue to learn.

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Read, know and understand the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. It is our bible and our law.
I believe that good math skills are required, including some proficiency in algebra, geometry and trigonometry because not all buildings are rectangles.
Be able to communicate orally and in writing using concise and grammatically correct sentences. Good communication skills show that you are a professional.

Not every reader of your report will like your value conclusion. It is your job to demonstrate that you have built an argument, that each step of that argument has been tested and reconciled with data from the field, and those steps have led you to your value conclusion and that conclusion is supported by market data.

Value is a concept perceived by the individuals that comprise the market. Sitting with property owners as a listing agent, showing buyers homes that affordably fulfill their needs and expectations, and negotiating a contract between parties are valuable experiences. Brokerage experience provides insight into market behavior and understanding of the statistics that we, as appraisers, routinely extract from the data fields. The difference between human appraisers and computer algorithms that merely crunch numbers is that there are human beings relying on our work. Anything we can do to enhance our understanding of that simple fact is important.

Choose your appraisal software. I prefer Homeputer. It is inexpensive compared to the big three that remain from the fifteen or so that were available in 1990. It does everything the residential appraiser needs. It is user friendly, and the support is better that and more personal than anything I ever experienced when I did use one of the larger suppliers. It's like shopping at the local grocery store where they know your name and face instead of at the superstore where they ask you for your picture ID, then finding the quality is better and at a lower price.

Lastly, the requirements are changing. They are beoming more stringent. For the current and proposed requirements you should contact the state licensing board. In New Hampshire that is:

NH Joint Board of Licensure and Certification
NH Real Estate Appraiser Board
57 Regional Drive
Concord, NH 03301-8518

About Chris Richardson Appraisal Service


I have been in the real estate business since 1982, both as a sales agent and broker and since 1986 as an independent fee appraiser after leaving government work as a Meat and Poultry Inspector for the USDA. I was a firefighter on the Center Barnstead volunteer fire department for nine years and was code officer for the two years I was First Lieutenant. I have a BA in Education and have continued to take appraisal courses and attend seminars that expand my skills and maintain my level of license. When licensing by the state became available, I was among the first group of appraisers to receive one, approximately 18 months before they were required for banking work.


I'm happy to answer your questions by Email.

Chris Richardson Appraisal Service
Phone 603-393-6283
960 Route 106 North
Loudon, NH 03307

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Last Updated October 5th 2013