Incumbent Property Appraiser Pam Dubov is retiring after eight years in office. Elected in the wake of a scandal, she has provided steady leadership and sound service to the public. The office faces new challenges with her departure, including more impending retirements of senior staffers with institutional memory. The office also needs to upgrade both the software it uses to appraise Pinellas properties and the website that serves as the public portal.
Real property appraisers usually value one property at a time, while assessors value many at once. However, both occupations use similar methods and techniques. As a result, assessors and appraisers tend to take the same courses for certification. In addition to passing a statewide examination, candidates must usually complete a set number of on-the-job hours.
Although appraisers and assessors of real estate work in offices, they may spend a large part of their time conducting site visits to assess properties. Time spent away from the office depends on the specialty. For example, residential appraisers tend to spend less time on office work than commercial appraisers, who might spend up to several weeks analyzing information and writing reports on one property. Appraisers who work for banks and mortgage companies generally spend most of their time inside the office, making site visits only when necessary.

"Blockchain will transform the real estate industry. There's no doubt about it, and the earlier entities get on board, the more they stand to gain in terms of security and efficiency," said Tony Franco, CEO of SafeChain. "Starting with something as relatively straightforward as property transfers, blockchain creates a decentralized, near-perfect audit trail that can never be lost or stolen. Eliminating that risk opens the door to completely changing how properties are bought and sold in the U.S., and those changes will ultimately be to the consumer's benefit, as well as the real estate industry's as well."  


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

"What is my house worth?"  These real estate appraisers can answer that and much more all over Pinellas County.  Whether it is appraising your home for a property tax appeal if your property taxes are too high, valuing your home for estate work or a divorce or helping you secure a HELOC, a local appraiser is best.  They obviously also appraise new construction homes as well as existing homes, and can do it for a home listing, before or after a sale.  They use the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to gather data on sales and listings and use them to professionally tell you what the price per square foot should be for your home and others in your area.  They also can determine if there's any effect on the value of your home from pending foreclosures, REOs, and other "short sales" in Pinellas County.  A licensed and certified appraiser's estimates of value on residential single family homes, condos, townhouses and more are much better than what you'll find when using an AVM (automated valuation model) or a BPO (Broker Price Opinion).  They can do an appraisal for VA, FHA, conventional, jumbo, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purposes, and routinely provide those reports on URAR, drive-by, and 1004 MC (1004 Market Condition) forms as well as others.
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