Real Estate Appraiser Specializing in Commercial Industrial Residential Income Land & Single Family Residential Properties Existing or Proposed Construction Estate & Gift Tax Conservation Easements Partial Values Fractional Interests Former Senior Appraiser United States Treasury Department IRS Large Business and International Division California General Certified Real Estate Appraiser FHA Approved

Michael F. Ford #AG002512



The use of electronic forms software, digital cameras, mapping and sketching software has enabled us to produce a better quality product in less time.

Modern software enables us to perform self audits prior to report delivery.

Over the past several years there have been significant advancements in technology that our company has been able to leverage to provide better service to our clients.

Utilizing the most accurate data and research techniques we can consistently out perform our competitors.

Electronic delivery ensures you receive your 1 to 4 unit appraisal the same day it’s internal quality control review was completed. We eliminate the cost and time losses of the shipping process.

In today’s market there are many options for your appraisal and valuation needs but integrity coupled with knowledge, experience and appraisal quality, make us the clear choice.

Our commitment to superior service results in constant analysis of tools that are available to provide you with superior service.

We keep you in the loop and communicate with you in your preferred method. We can update you on the progress of your order via phone, fax, or Internet.

Our client's will no longer need to fax in orders, follow up with phone calls and wait for the physical delivery of the report by the courier.

These are just a few ways that our company can provide you with better-quality appraisal service. We have constantly been ahead of the curve with our strides in technology and will continue to be a technology leader in our industry.

What We Do Not Do

Rely on unproved, or questionable benefit ‘technology’.  There are new appraisal products and services announced almost every day. While some of these prove to be good tools, many more turn out to be duds. 

Does anyone remember ZAIO?  They sold exclusive territories for thousands of dollars ($10,000); had a former United States Cabinet level director on their board for credibility, and promised USPAP compliant appraisals in 24 hours or less? 

The fact is, that they could not deliver on any of this. Their business model was flawed, and their expectations of appraisers in their system unrealistic.  Similarly, most informed, ethical appraisers well versed in USPAP knew up front that what  they proposed was not USPAP compliant, and would have put every single appraisers license in jeopardy.  Yet for awhile, they were touted as the ‘New face of professionalism’ in appraising.

Disto Measuring tools; The last I read, the error rate could be as high as 4%.  (The Disto 330 claims 1 mm accuracy which is outstanding! long as you can assure the end ‘point’ is actually the corner without the use of a reflector). Four percent is four feet on a hundred foot linear commercial wall, or two feet on a large house.  The ANSI standard is either one inch, or 1/10th of a foot ( I know, they aren’t the same). No one I know can hit 1 inch measurements on anything except straight walls with no protrusions or insets. The thickness of plaster or fenestration; or curves where blueprints show fine edges, all contribute to make the one inch standard difficult to attain.  Even with steel tape measures (Vs Fiberglas or cloth, which stretch), most of us are limited to about three inches accuracy without blue prints. That’s why we round to the nearest 1/2 foot as a rule.

PDAs; Palm Pilots, Smart Phones, note pads, etc.: When I am in the field, I am working on YOUR property. Do you really want me distracted by having to update someone else’s report in the field, or responding to their follow up inquiries? I can do that just as well by cell phone as soon as I leave your property. I don’t need to worry about charged batteries when I use a clipboard for note taking. Similarly, it does not “crash” due to software glitches.

Rely on multiple linear regression analysis software that requires 100 to 200 data sets in markets that normally only have five to ten data sets.  Regression analysis and statistical modeling software that is regression based can be helpful, BUT often include data from outside your neighborhood or market area, and for dissimilar property, in order to achieve their comparative value points. It has a place in appraising, but is something that needs to be used with caution. I’ve tested several versions but haven’t found anything yet that is as accurate or reliable than the local real estate agents opinion, or my own experience. I keep an open mind on this. The jury is still out.

AVM’s  Without a doubt, the most oversold, prone to misunderstanding, useless garbage to infect the appraisal industry.  All are regression based (see above). The further away from the predominant, or medians, the greater the degree of error is.  I think Zillow is among the most honest or forthright of these, as they clearly explain in their Z-estimates how extreme the variance in reliability can be and under which circumstances. these were originally marketed as tools to help appraisers (we knew better); then to lenders ‘for use in double checking appraisals’ but who instead use and rely on them in place of real appraisals, and then wonder why the AVMs don’t come in anywhere close to the appraisals market values.  Programmers have never learned how to accurately quantify the imperfections and many subjective buyers / seller actions in the marketplace.

Recently (as of September 19, 2011) a group of video ‘gamers’ are reported to have unraveled the mystery of a particularly challenging protein enzyme that has baffled medical science for several years. The scientists all relied on their computers and specialized software and a rigidly structured process for an answer - the gamers used THEIR software to visually disassemble the enzyme, and applied spatial reasoning to the problem. THEY only took three weeks to solve the problem.

Technology gives us many tools, but in the end, it is the ‘computer’ that I was born with, and that I have ‘trained’ for many decades that is my most important appraisal ‘technology’. I keep it up to date with regular ongoing appraisal education.


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