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General Appraiser Site Valuation & Cost Approach Education Schedule (PDF)

Education Catalog (PDF)
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Students should check state approvals prior to registering for any Appraisal Institute program.

ClassroomOn-Demand Online EducationLive Online (Synchronous)

General Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach is a practical, online course designed and presented in a manner that addresses the actual employment and application of appraisal techniques learned in previous courses. It concerns two basic aspects of real estate appraisal: land/site valuation and the development of the cost approach. Special attention is given to the appraisal of various types of sites and the various means of measuring accrued depreciation. Another major course component is analysis that develops skills in developing a current cost estimate using market extraction, interview techniques, and information provided by professional cost data sources.

Two in-depth case studies are presented in this course. The Summerville case study features the valuation of an industrial property and demonstrates the fundamentals of site valuation, estimation of current improvement cost, and various methods of recognizing and measuring accrued depreciation. A second, shorter, case study, Oakvale Terrace, features the valuation of a residential subject site using the sales comparison approach.

Please note that participants must complete eight (8) mandatory assignments in the program. These assignments will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of the basic concepts in the program. These assignments are intense and require a fair amount of time to complete. Feedback will be at the discretion of the instructor. If you have questions about an assignment, or would like to request specific comments on your submitted assignment, please contact the instructor. Please allow up to five (5) days for the instructor to reply to your review request.

Students have 45 days from the session start date to complete the course material for this program. This course is completed at the student's own pace.

Do I have to take the course exam?

You are required to complete and pass a proctored offline exam if:

    • you are taking this class to meet state qualifying education requirements
    • you are taking this class to meet the qualifying education requirements for an Appraisal Institute designation

You may be required to complete and pass a proctored offline exam if:

    • you are taking this class to meet state continuing education requirements.  Most states do not require the exam for CE credit, but please confirm this with your state licensing board.

You are not required to complete and pass a proctored offline exam if:

    • if you are taking this class to meet the continuing education requirements of an Appraisal Institute designation
You will have 90 days from the time that you complete the course to take the proctored exam. Testing center locations in your area can be found by clicking on this link:

Module 1: Cost Approach Introduction
Module 2: Characteristics of Improvements
Module 3: Characteristics of Improvements (cont.)
Module 4: Introduction to the Summerville Case Study
Module 5: Current Construction Cost
Module 6: Summerville Case Study: Estimating Construction Cost
Module 7: Depreciation Concepts
Module 8: Economic Age-Life Depreciation Estimates
Module 9: Market Extraction Method
Module 10: Types of Depreciation in the Breakdown Method
Module 11: Exercises in Depreciation - Part 1
Module 12: Exercises in Depreciation - Part 2
Module 13: Cost Approach Review Problems
Module 14: Summerville Case Study: Depreciation Estimates
Module 15: Site Valuation Perspectives
Module 16: Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use in Site Valuation
Module 17: Site Valuation Procedures
Module 18: Oakvale Terrace Case Study: Site Valuation
Module 19: Extraction and Allocation Methods of Site Valuation
Module 20: Summerville Case Study: Site Valuation
Module 21: Reconciliation, Scope of Work, and Program Review

Learning Objectives:
    • Study in detail the development of a complete cost approach. The step-by-step process of estimating current construction cost is the focal point.
    • Learn about data sources and the comparative-unit method of cost calculation are explored in detail, and the specifics of the age-life and market extraction methods of estimating depreciation are discussed.
    • Learn to apply the breakdown method for estimating depreciation techniques including physical deterioration, functional obsolescence, and external obsolescence.
    • Discuss cost approach summation including a reconciliation of depreciation estimates.
    • Understand basic site valuation principles, the concept of market analysis, and the development of a highest and best use conclusion.

AI CE Credit for Designated members and Practicing Affiliates
• Attend Only = 175 points (residential) or 150 points (general)
• Attend and Pass Exam = 225 points (residential) or 200 points (general)
• Pass Exam Only = 200 points (residential) or 150 points (general)

General [Gen]

This class has been developed for appraisers who have an understanding of the fundamental concepts of appraising and are seeking general certification.

Required Technology

  • A financial calculator is required. The accepted model used in the course is the HP-12C. Candidates taking most AI exams may bring their own calculator to use during the exam. Candidates should be fully aware that AI courses are developed with HP12C keystrokes, and that using an HP12C is highly recommended.
  • IMPORTANT! You will be asked to clear the calculator's memory before and after the examination. Only one calculator is permitted in the testing room.
  • Laptops, cellular phones, tablets, iPads, wearable technology (smart watch, Apple Watch, Google Glass, etc.), and other devices that can store data or connect to the Internet are NOT permitted during the exam. In addition, all watches, wallets, bags, and purses must be removed and stored out of reach prior to taking the exam.
  • HP-12C calculator user's manual
  • You must be familiar with calculator operation when the course begins. Answers to problems in course material are shown using the HP-12C. Do not come to class expecting to be taught how to use a financial calculator.
  • Free Review:Using a Financial Calculator; Formulas, Symbols, Math Review, and Sample Problems and Financial Calculator Practice Exercises
  • For additional help with the HP-12C calculator, take our online seminar, Using Your HP-12C Financial Calculator
  • Recommended Text
    None Specified.

    AI Price: $ 469.00
    Full Price: $ 569.00

    Click Here for State Approvals

    Arlen C. Mills, MAI, SRA

    I agree to the terms and policies set forth under the Appraisal Institute Online Education Policy. I also certify that I am the person identified above under Personal Data and that I will personally complete each assigned module of instruction and any examination(s). I understand and agree that if I misrepresent my identity or arrange for someone else to represent himself or herself as me at any time during the Appraisal Institute online course or seminar, I will be immediately removed from the course or seminar and I will not be entitled to any refund. I further understand that if I am a member of the Appraisal Institute and participated in any misrepresentation of identity, by affirmative act or failure to act, that I will be the subject of a peer review proceeding under Regulation No. 6 for violation of the Appraisal Institute's Code of Professional Ethics and Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice, and that such peer review proceeding may result in termination of my Appraisal Institute membership.

    Additional Information
    Please allow 1 hour after registration to start an online session in progress (on or after the session start date). Go to and log in with the username and password you used when you registered. You will automatically be taken to the "My Appraisal Institute" page. Near the middle of that page your course will be listed with a link next to it that says "Go To Class".

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