The buying and selling of houses in our community is a very important part of our economy and livelihood, but trying to figure out a property’s value is an art form all its own.
Appraiser Erin Butler, owner of Butler Appraisals, recently stopped by the Hotel Pattee to visit with the Perry Kiwanis at their weekly luncheon meeting and explain some of the finer points of property appraisal.
Butler said she has been an appraiser since 2009. She started out working for a company in Des Moines and then ventured out on her own. Not only did the challenge appeal to her, she said, but she also liked setting her own schedule.
She is married and has two children who also require a lot of time and attention. Her husband is the popular and friendly Perry Public Works Director Jack Butler.
Erin Butler appraises houses within a nearly 100-mile radius around Perry. Values vary greatly in each area, she said, with prices trending higher the closer that you get to the Des Moines metro area.
Butler offered a helpful hint for increasing the value of your house: modernize your kitchen and bathroom before putting the property up for sale.
She said she strives to have appraisals complete within seven to 10 days. From April to October, it takes up to three weeks because of the increased demand for services.
In order to be certified as an appraiser, Butler completed associate degree program. She then took 200 hours of appraiser classes. In order to accomplish this, she had to go out of state to such places at Oklahoma, Indiana and Illinois. The classwork was followed by 2,500 hours of training experience within two years.
During the past few years, a lot of appraisers in Iowa have retired, she said.
Butler works with lenders and with an expanding clientele. She deals only with residential properties, mostly single-family dwellings — real estate agents like to call them homes — but also one- to four-unit duplexes.
Welcoming Butler to the Tuesday noon meeting was three-year Kiwanian Katelyn Brelsford.