Hardest part about getting an appraisal now is getting someone willing to come this far east for just one job, or maybe two. It's much easier when the sales market isn't very active everywhere, including close to home. I can't blame them for not wanting to spend a day doing one appraisal, when they can stay inland and do three or four in that time and make more money, but it's nerve wracking for people financing and watching their rate lock count down.
There is no shortage of local appraisers here. This is what confuses us so much, banks are the ones that contact and hire the appraiser since they are working for the lender. The appraisers I know here all tell me the lenders hire the cheapest appraisers they can find and sometimes they are not here but in Raleigh or near there.
A couple years ago when the hiring the cheapest appraiser started showing up here. I contested an appraisal we got on an oceanfront house because the appraiser used comps in Kitty Hawk. I actually spoke with the appraiser who had recently moved here from the Charlotte area. While speaking with the appraiser I mentioned that he used a Kitty Hawk oceanfront comp to a house south of Kitty. The appraiser asked me why I was objecting to that house being used and I said because it is on a non-rebuild-able lot. He had no idea what I was talking about and stuck with his appraisal. Learning on the job is not the best way for an appraiser. I know of 2-3 more appraisals they messed up over the next year.
Local appraisers aren't relevant for many of the large scale lenders because they have to contract with appraisal companies or conglomerates that cover a large portion of the areas they serve. Local appraisers apparently generally don't work for or with those larger services. It's not usually a problem because while the OBX is always a busy market, inland markets are less busy. Now that those are bustling as well, the appraiser has to sacrifice work to do it, and they don't want to. You'd think they'd just hire a local appraiser, but the trouble is they have contracts they need to honor that would be problematic for them to breach. Lenders and appraisers have more work than they can handle, so there isn't a financial motivation for them.
I've never waited more than 4 days for the appraisal to be done, and wouldn't now with my primary, but an acquaintance of mine hasn't been able to get an approved appraiser even with an offer of $2,000 over the normal fee, which is crazy. I gave her a list of local options and none of those were appraisers the lender could use. Told her to push for an exception or consider other financing where there might be a wait, but not this nonsense. Oddly enough, she was one of several people having the same issue, with different lenders.
There's no real learning on the job now with conventional federally backed loans. Their criteria is set and you can challenge the appraisal, but the appraiser you use has to be bound by the same criteria. They fixed one problem and sprouted a new one.