Darwin Ernst – SRA, AI-RRS

darwin-ernst-agent

I have more than few different experiences, a variety of jobs, and a sound education that have brought me to my current career as a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser in WA, ID, UT, and MT, working as a residential review appraiser for HomeStreet Bank and also as a licensed real estate agent here in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley of Montana.

I think my strong work ethics began as a kid when I first started working summers on the “Ranch” at nine years old… yes, I could drive the tractor, but had to literally get off the tractor seat, jump onto the clutch with both feet, to get it out of gear and then go across to the other side to jump onto the breaks, which I had to make sure were connected, so I did not just jump on the right or left break pad, which never worked out very well!!! 😊 I worked each summer all day, every day, except for meals and a few hours here and there catching fish on the river. Summer ranch work occurred until I turned 18 when I became the youngest firefighter to be hired by the State of Montana. During my four years at Concordia College in Chicago, I worked as a janitor cleaning the dining hall floor every night for two years, along with waitering double shifts on Sundays at Neilson’s Restaurant, a science department lab assistant for 20hrs a week, and the resident assistant for the third floor of “Kohn”, which we affectionately called “Tappa Kappa Brew aka TKB”, even though we lived in a dry village, so there was no alcohol allowed on campus!

I graduated from Concordia with honors and a BA, so I was now officially ready to be a doctor! Problem was, I was not sure what kind of doctor I wanted to be and could not fathom how to pay for the additional education I wanted/needed to become a doctor, so I took a job at Rocky MTM Labs in Hamilton, MT as a lab assistant in a department that worked on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy aka BSE, or “Mad Cow Disease”. After nine years of working for the government on the slowest persistent “virus” disease known, I realized I had missed my window for returning to med school and therefore decided I needed a new occupation. I found that real estate appraisal work was a chance to complete a brand, new puzzle every day, which I enjoyed, so I left the lab and started training as a real estate appraiser!

It took a few more years of education and experience to obtain my license as a certified real estate appraiser in MT, but once I reached that goal, I saw more potential in advancing my knowledge in the valuation process and career opportunities as an expert in real estate in general. (Unfortunately, I also discovered that many of the real estate agents often had minimal knowledge of real estate, which I confirmed when I took the one-week course required for application to become licensed as a real estate agent in MT.) I obtained my license as a real estate agent license in 2008 and my SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute in 2009, which led to my dream job as the first 100% remote employee for a bank doing work as a review appraiser in 2015.

Ultimately, I have 20 years of experience as a certified residential real estate appraiser in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana and I have an additional 13 years of experience as a real estate agent in the same market area, so I know a lot about every aspect of the real estate here in Ravalli County. I also serve as the Ravalli County Tax Appeal Board Chair, the Chair of the city of Hamilton’s Zoning Board of Adjustments, and a Governor on the Montana Regional Multiple Listing Service, appointed by the Bitterroot Valley Board of Realtors. As I always tell people: “The man or woman who dies with the most toys, is dead”, so I am here to help others while I am alive rather than trying to make the most money. To that end, I love to help others with their real estate questions/needs, so please reach out to me and I will be glad to help!