Davis Watson has been appraising property in the local area for the last 40 years. He first came to Norwood in 1974. Then, he was a recent graduate of the University of Colorado and working for a computer company in Grand Junction.
He had a business degree and sold computers in a territory that stretched from Grand Junction to Norwood and Telluride. He sold one computer to the San Miguel Basin State Bank in Norwood (a family- and employee-owned bank of that era that many longtime families will remember).
Bank officials liked Watson, and they asked him to come on board. Working for the bank in 1976, he heard an advertisement on the radio that announced a real estate appraisal class taking place in Grand Junction. When Watson asked his boss if he could attend, his boss agreed and wanted to take the class too. They both completed the three-day class, and Watson quickly began doing appraisals for the bank.
He married Mary Watson in 1978, and stayed on with San Miguel Basin State Bank until 1981. (He remained a board member until the bank sold in 1990-91). That same year, the family had their first child, and Watson started his own appraisal business.
At the time, he also sold some real estate, but he said he soon figured out that appraisal work was a better fit for his personality. To make ends meet, he did other jobs too — in construction and as an auctioneer.
(Watson said he was rather shy as a teenager, and his father sent him to auctioneering school right after graduation. He spent two weeks in Mason City, Iowa to get the training. Both his father and grandfather were also auctioneers.)
The last 15 years or so, though, Watson has been quite busy with mostly appraisals. He’s a state-certified appraiser, and typically works in San Miguel, Montrose and Ouray counties.
“I’ve done it so long, I enjoy it,” he said.
It’s quite common for him to go from looking at a manufactured home to then checking out a multi-million-dollar project. He also looks at homes destroyed by fire, and in the last year has been tasked with appraising three of those.
According to Watson, fewer young people are moving into his line of work. These days, individuals must apprentice under an experienced appraiser for approximately five years. They must also take specific courses, have some college coursework in the field, be licensed and meet other requirements. Watson said today the wages for a beginning appraiser just don’t add up.
“It’s not an occupation that many young people are coming into,” he said.
Nevertheless, it seems Watson got in at the right time. The work has supported his family over the years. He and his wife have raised two daughters in Norwood. (They’re now grown and leading successful lives in the San Francisco area.)
For mortgages, it’s typically the lending company that calls Watson Appraisal Services directly. For divorce matters or construction issues, often an attorney or an individual will reach out.
To reach Watson, call 327-4221 or email email@example.com.