Welcome to the Nevada County Appraisal Blog!

Welcome to the Nevada County Appraiseral Blog: an informative space covering real estate and appraisals in the Western Nevada County region.  My name is Brian Melsheimer, I am the founder and residential real estate appraiser at Sierra Nevada Appraisal Group.  Since starting my business in 2008, I have become increasingly interested in the nuances and complexities of the Nevada County real estate market.  Anyone familiar with the area knows that between subdivisions like Lake Wildwood, to gold-rush era Victorians, homes here are truly unique with values that reflect.  Nevada County has been a beautiful place to live and an exciting place to appraise. 

My family moved to the area when I was four years old.  I grew up in Lake Wildwood, attending Pleasant Valley School and Nevada Union.  After high school, I attended Sonoma State University where I graduated with a degree in Economics.  Like most college graduates, I had student loans to pay; I needed permanent employment immediately.  I turned to a friend who worked for a temp agency and after a few months of temping at various jobs, I was sent to World Savings Bank where I worked as an assistant to a Regional Appraisal Manager.  After about a month of mundane tasks, I began to feel as though my hard-earned economics degree was going to waste.  I was able to work out a deal with my manager stipulating that if I continued to schedule appointments for four more months, I would earn a permanent position as an appraiser trainee and would be able to work my way to becoming a certified appraiser.  Finally, a promising job!  But what did an appraiser actually do?  Despite weeks of scheduling their inspections, I had little idea what appraisers did in the field.  I did know, however, that they weren’t stuck in some office forty hours a week and they got a company car.  As a twenty-two year old, this sounded great!  Furthermore, I was excited to begin a career in something that seemed to be a good balance between using my analytical and communication skills. 

World Savings had an extensive training department where I was able to learn one-on-one from my mentor.  After eighteen months and two thousand hours of experience, I passed the state test, becoming a licensed Residential Appraiser (AL).  Over the next three years, I elevated my license to a Certified Residential Appraiser (AR), eventually managing appraisal offices in Napa and Oakland.

In 2008, the Great Recession hit the mortgage industry hard.  The appraisal department I had been employed with had been reduced from three thousand plus employees to a team of thirty.  Unfortunately, I was one of the many people to go.  However, soon after, I was approached by that same department about becoming a contract appraiser.  I would be doing mostly pre-foreclosure, short sale, and foreclosure appraisals.  This enabled me to move my work to South Lake Tahoe for a year, and eventually back to my hometown to begin a new chapter and new business as Sierra Nevada Appraisal Group. 

From starting my career in the San Francisco Bay area to managing appraisals as far away as the Mississippi River, I have found appraising in gold country is unlike appraising in any other part of California or the United States.  Nevada County is one of the few places I have encountered where there are no big builders – companies that, over time, build large developments of like homes.  There are no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all homes here.  This has lead to market areas and sub market areas that may not necessarily compete.  Nevada County properties offer unique features including panoramic foothill views, cascading ponds, meandering creeks, NID irrigation, historical barns, large metal workshops with car lifts and countless other custom upgrades.  These features combined with the historical nature of much of Nevada County’s real estate makes this market extremely complex.

Despite Nevada County’s character and beauty, valuing homes here can be confusing and difficult.  I’ve created this blog to offer guidance and clarity to everyone from homeowners weighing the decision to buy or sell to agents trying to advise clients on a proper price for a listing or making on offer.  My goal is to educate local homeowners and real estate professionals about the appraisal process, industry news and current market conditions.  Along with the Blog, I will be offering the Nevada County Market Update.  Once a month, I’ll update the current trends of residential real estate on a macro level for all of Nevada County, as well as highlight one specific market.  This month, the Update features Lake Wildwood and Lake of the Pines. 

For order inquiries, I can be reached through the Contact Us tab on my website - snappraisal.com.  If you’d like to request a topic for the blog or have a questions about anything appraisal related in Nevada County, please feel free to email me at brian@snappraisal.com or call/text me 530-632-3428. I am also currently a member of the Real Estate Appraisers Association (REAA) where I attend monthly continuing educational seminars. 

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