Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard

Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard & Gives Away Excel SpreadsheetsWe owe a huge debt of gratitude to Don Machholz for his willingness to assist appraisers…


A well respected appraiser who has voluntarily helped many of us has decided to hang up his clipboard, and remove the batteries from his laser measurer.

I first became aware of Don Machholz back when the screwball GSE designed MC form was introduced in 2009. Don was one of the first appraisers who used his skills with Excel programming to design and distribute an Excel computation spreadsheet for the MC. Many appraisers have been using that, and his other Excel spreadsheets, ever since.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Don for his willingness to assist appraisers in the ways he has. If you wish to send him a message, his email address is below.

The message below from Don was in one of the forums I subscribe to, posted on Feb. 18, 2018.

Very best wishes to you in your next phase of life’s journey.

This is Don Machholz from Colfax, CA.

I have retired from appraising.

A few circumstances have allowed this to happen. Please let me explain.

Two years ago my wife Michele and I began taking care of her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s.

Nineteen months ago we took in my mother after her auto accident and my dad after his fall (both happened in the same week). Both were confined to wheelchairs.

My mom passed away in our house 14 months ago.

We had to place my wife’s grandmother into a facility two months ago.

That left just my dad. He passed away late last month.

Care giving is never easy, especially when you are working as an appraiser 60-70 hours per week. The folks went me on almost every appraisal visit and really enjoyed getting out of the house almost every day. Nights were difficult as I would get rung out of bed by their wireless doorbell (very handy to have) an average of 6 times per night, to help them go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, or just talk. My wife and I could never go anywhere together alone, unless we brought in my son to handle a few hours, and later, a couple of days here and there.

In the end, it was worth it. Not easy, but rewarding in many ways. They had the best life that they could ever have while in our house.

My father, a good guy and a Christian, taught me discipline and perseverance, two traits that have made me what I am today. He did the Dave Ramsey thing long before Dave Ramsey (buying with cash only, saving and investing) and thereby made it possible for me to move on with the next phase of my life.

At this point of my life our care giving duties are behind us and I have the means to retire. So I have retired.

Being a real estate appraiser has been the best job I have ever had. But it was not easy, and challenges had to be met every day. Even if you do everything right you can still get into trouble. Those in these forums understand this and are keen to the changes occurring in our field. That is good; and the discussions taking place here can prepare each appraiser to be in the ideal position to continue appraising successfully.

I am grateful for these forums and thank you all.

My website ( remains active, with one major change. All excel spreadsheet templates are now free. Prior to this and for the past 3 years the 1004 MC spreadsheets have had a minor charge for the one-time download. For some templates you still have to put them into the cart and give your information, but they are free. The 1004 MC 5c which is written for some but not all MLS, provides 19 charts, quarterly information and of course the 1004 MC data for use in the reports. Note that the 5c will probably require a custom download and please follow the instructions at the top of the spreadsheet about deleting excess rows, etc. When I’m available, I will still be able to help those with questions and my phone number (530-320-8204) will remain active for at least the next few months.

As for my future plans, I am leaving California. I could go on for five pages as to why, but if you follow state politics you can probably see where this state is headed. Over the next few months my wife and I will be moving to the southwest, off the grid, where the night skies are dark and clear and I can continue with my astronomy. I’ll be doing a ton of other things and my astronomy website ( will have occasional updates.

I will be getting tail insurance for my E/O and keep many boxes of work files for the next five years. I’ll be letting my license lapse next year and I’ll be sure to tell them my new address within ten days of moving.

Take care and God’s blessings on you all.

Don Machholz
Colfax, CA

Dave Towne
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Aunt Bee says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I also spent many years as a caregiver for my parents while running my appraisal business. The rewards definitely outweighed the inconvenience. So glad you were able to get the folks out of the house sometimes. My 90-year-old Dad often went with me on assignments. His comments about “big fancy houses” were priceless. We always stopped at Golden Corral for lunch. Enjoy your retirement. Happy Trails to you!

  2. Avatar Ceraunavodka says:

    Dave Towne, thanks so much for the post. Really thank you! Keep writing.

  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    Great article. I’m focusing on family myself, trying to effectively limit my appraiser hours to 60 max. Going off grid is the dream of dreams. Land, liberty, freedom.


Leave a Reply

We welcome critical posts & opposing points of view. We value robust & civil discourse. You may openly disagree, but state your case in an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which everyone has a right to a particular view about the topic of conversation. Please keep remarks about the topic at hand, & PLEASE avoid personal attacks. If the poster gets you upset, it is the Internet, you can walk away from it.

Personal attacks harm the collegial atmosphere we encourage on AppraisersBlogs.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

xml sitemap

Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard

by Dave Towne time to read: 3 min