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On Matrimonial Appraisals

The interesting situations, we appraisers encounter.

Sleeping with the Enemy? (Or have I been watching too many episodes of Desperate Housewives) - Perhaps one of the scariest moments for me was when I received a call from a housewife to appraise the contents of her home for marital dissolution. While spending three hours typing inventory, I listened intently to the stories of her tepid marriage, which weaved an unnerving portrait of her husband - highlights of which included him replacing her diamond engagement ring while she was taking an afternoon shower and the strange disappearance of several paintings off the walls of her home, that had been replaced with mediocre copies. My mind was awhirl with thoughts of Julia Roberts being stalked in “Sleeping with the Enemy” and at that point, I realized the trickiest part of this appraisal was completing the inventory and getting out quickly. The husband’s bedroom, which also had to be inventoried was behind a locked door and only accessed by “his” key. I was told, to my relief, that he was out of town but minutes later, nearly completing the job-at-hand, I heard a disturbing sound of car keys hitting the table in the kitchen downstairs followed by heavy footsteps coming in my direction. Finding myself cornered in a side bedroom behind a vulnerable, nervous spouse (a closet would have been preferable) I wondered why situations like this weren’t covered by any of my professors in college and I made a mental note to start backing my car into driveways from now on for a quick getaway!

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