Seminole County Property Appraiser David Johnson is a true local, having grown up in Sanford, about 10 miles away from his office.
He was actually born in the building he now works in, the Seminole County Services building, which was formerly Seminole Memorial Hospital.
Johnson was drawn to being an appraiser “because I enjoy real estate and its dynamics. It is so fluid, with ups and downs and varied interactions between buyers and sellers,” he said.
He gets to work with people "performing a public service, which involves creating property taxes that provide necessary services to the citizens of Seminole County, such as public safety, funding for public schools and services such as roads and parks,” said Johnson, who has been in his position as the elected property appraiser for 12 years.
This is a unique perch “because I get to see the dynamics of the real estate market, new construction and how that effects the overall economy of Seminole Country,” he said.
Johnson has made property appraising his entire career. He started in the office as an appraiser trainee in 1986, right after he graduated from Stetson University with a degree in finance.
Being from the area gives him a leg up because he has such a familiarity with the all that comprises the real estate market in Seminole County. He also has seen dramatic shifts. “There are areas now with shopping centers, like on Lake Mary Boulevard, where I used to ride my horse,” he said. “I have certainly seen the county change from a rural, agricultural place to one that is much more urban."
Johnson is still a Sanford resident, living not too far from the house he grew up in.
“I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else,” he said. “I love the people and Sanford’s historic aspects, especially the downtown area, and have deep family ties here.”
When not serving the community, Johnson enjoys traveling. Some of his favorite place are Western Europe because of his Scottish and English roots.
He is also a big history buff, especially fascinated by early U.S. history “because it is the foundation of who we are today.”
Biographies are another passion. “I love learning about people and places and how things came to be,” he said.
He enjoys spending time with friends and family, going out to dinner and swimming.
When home, he is never too far from his 10-year-old pit bull/labrador retriever rescue mix Levi, who gives Johnson plenty of exercise on long walks.
All in all, Johnson feels very fortunate. “I have a wonderful job and life and I never would change it,” he said.