BOOK REVIEW: "Appraising Personal Property: Principles and Methodology - 3rd Ed." A thorough and insightful review by Stephen P. Sweeting, ASA, MRICS
of Dave Maloney's 3rd edition of "Appraising Personal Property: Principles and Methodology".
arises, is it possible to improve on the excellent second edition of Appraising Personal Property? In short, the answer is yes. The third edition adds 130 pages of relevant material including a much-needed plain English guide to USPAP, useful commentary on the most recent edition of USPAP, additional sample documents and templates, discussions of recent American legislation of particular interest to appraisers in the US, a chapter on legal issues affecting the appraiser, and expanded (and in some cases modified) discussions on pivotal concepts used in the valuation of personal property.
Like any work in progress, modifications and edits have resulted in an improved publication. In my comparisons of the second and third editions I found a movement towards both more precision in the writing, as well as richer, more detailed explanations of key concepts. In some cases, sections have been substantially reworked to accommodate new data coming from various sources. As a result, there are substantial changes and improvements to the new edition.
As with early editions the book is logically organized into sub-sections within the fourteen chapter format. These sub-sections—along with the comprehensive index—make finding material of interest a snap. I don’t know about you, but I am of the opinion that reference aids should be “over-indexed.” And indeed, Appraising Personal Property evidences a solid understanding of how practitioners use reference books.
Although Appraising Personal Property is an excellent browse for anyone active as valuer, I saw three key uses for this book within my own appraisal office:
1. A learning template for trainee appraisers to use in concert with formal education programs.
2. A refresher volume for our accredited appraisers.
3. A well-indexed reference aid that can be used in the way I used an earlier edition for guidance in my loss-of-value appraisal.
As an Integrated Studies scholar, I have to be impressed with this book’s dovetailing of theory and practice as well as the interdisciplinary approach that considers valuation, ethics, legal issues, and business in one volume. But as a practicing appraiser I see the third edition of Appraising Personal Property as more than a demonstration of integrated thinking. The volume is additionally a first-rate reference tool for any appraiser and an excellent addition to the body of literature for our profession.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should indicate that I will be working with the book’s author on a Canadian edition of Appraising Personal Property: Principles and Methodology later in 2010. As some of you know, the appraisal landscape in Canada is different to that in the United States – and it will diverge even more in 2011 when Canada adopts International Valuation Standards (IVS). We plan to use the book’s excellent framework to deal with the unique aspects of Canada’s law and regulatory structure, thereby providing Canadian personal property appraisers with a nationally relevant reference tool. If you are a Canadian appraiser, or do valuation work in Canada, look for this new edition in the not-too-distant future.