Catalog of Courses

The following is a list of courses offered by Columbia Institute. If you are interested in purchasing a course(s): From the menu navigate to LIVE Virtual Instructor-led classes by state, select your state, then select the course title.  

 2022-2023 7-Hour Equivalent USPAP Update, No. 803 

The 2022-23 USPAP 7-Hour Equivalency course focuses on how to use the USPAP publication* to help solve appraisal issues that affect daily appraisal practice. This course meets the 7-hour USPAP continuing education requirement for the 2022-23 cycle. This course includes the USPAP Reference eManual.

*The USPAP publication did not change for 2022, and this course does not include the required USPAP book. You can utilize the 2020-21 USPAP publication. If you do not have a copy, please contact The Appraisal Foundation to purchase.

 ADU: Regulatory Changes & Valuation Challenges, No. 823

This 3-hour course is intended to assist real property appraisers in properly identifying, analyzing, and valuing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) using market-based data.   While guest houses and secondary units are nothing new, there is an emerging trend of modifying local zoning ordinances to encourage expanded development of ADUs on sites where previously such development was not permitted or not feasible due to cost.  This course will provide an overview of the forces driving changes in the ADU laws and regulations, the different types of ADUs and their design characteristics, and review a case study that highlights the challenges an appraiser can face along with the techniques an appraiser can use to value these amenities.

ANSI Z765-2021 - Practical Applications for Appraisers, No. 804

This 3-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to improve their understanding of the basics of the Z765-2021 ANSI Measurement Standards.  

This course was created to provide a broad overview of basic techniques and procedures for measuring single-family residential dwellings. The measurement and area computation methods are based upon the American National Standards Institute Square Footage-Method for Calculating ANSI Z765-2021.

This course begins with a discussion of why measurement standards are necessary and discusses some of the issues related to measurement errors from current processes. The first module will also provide an overview of the history of ANSI. Module Two will review the ANSI document in detail. Emphasis will be placed on each of the specific sections within the document. Module Three will demonstrate practical applications using examples of ANSI requirements. Module Four will review Fannie Mae’s requirement to use ANSI Z765-2021 effective April 1, 2022.

The real estate market is dynamic and in constant fluctuation. In this course students will gain a better perspective on measuring residential square footage based on the ANSI 2021 update.

Disaster Appraiser Disaster Readiness, No. 162 

This is an 8-hour course that provides the necessary framework for real property appraisers interested in or already completing appraisal on real property after a disaster occurs.

Appraiser's Guide to Calculating & Supporting Adjustments, No. 163

This 8-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to improve the quality and consistency of the analyses performed by appraisers in the sales comparison approach.   This course begins with a lesson on the importance of market-based adjustments, aimed at helping appraisers understand their obligation and duty to make real-time, market-based adjustments when producing an appraisal.

During this course various methods and techniques for calculating market-based adjustment will be demonstrated using the market data available. The student is asked to work through the calculations alongside the instructor to ensure complete understanding of the mathematics and data involved in each technique.  Once confident in the conclusions, the student will properly apply the adjustment in the sales comparison grid and work to reconcile, fully explain and support the adjustment applied.

The final module requires the students to independently apply the learning in a case study to demonstrate mastery of each recognized method and technique.

The goal of this course is to help appraisers produce credible assignment results and build consistency between appraisers through the use and application of various recognized methods and techniques for calculating market-based adjustments.

 Appraising Pre-Foreclosures, Short Sales & REOs, No. 825

This 4-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to improve the quality and consistency of the analyses performed by appraisers when appraising preforeclosures, short sales and REO properties or when using distress sales as comparables.  

This course begins with a lesson on the importance of understanding and properly identifying the type and definition of value (market value, disposition value or liquidation value) and demonstrates how to properly apply appraisal practices that support that definition of value.  

Learning will center around the life cycle of a defaulting loan and the various types of appraisals needed along the way. These types of appraisal services are commonly misunderstood and incorrectly performed; therefore, attention will be focused towards how to avoid the most common blunders and produce credible assignment results within the context of the scope of work and intended use. Also covered, is how to successfully complete the Supplemental Real Estate Owned Addendum form, including repair costs and estimates of the market value “as-is” and “as-repaired” based on a client-imposed restricted market exposure time.

As real estate markets react to an unprecedented time in our history, staggering unemployment rates and nationwide uncertainty, mortgage delinquencies are sure to rise. Appraisers will leave this class with a solid understanding of their obligations and duties when appraising pre-foreclosures, short sales and REO properties and better prepared to appraise in the turbulent times ahead.

*New! - This course is now available on-demand. (#725) Approvals updated regularly.

 Bias in Real Estate & Fair Housing, No. 800

This 5-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to improve their recognition and understanding of Fair Housing Requirements and Bias.

This course begins with a review of background events related to Fair Housing and Real Estate Appraisal Bias, as well as, a short bias test to help participants recognize that we all have bias.  

Any appraiser is subject to many potentially biasing influences which compromise the accuracy of the appraisal. In this course we will apply knowledge from psychology and real estate research to valuation practice and our understanding of bias.

 Calculating & Supporting Adjustments, No. 819

This 4-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to improve the quality and consistency of the analyses performed by appraisers in the sales comparison approach.   This course begins with a lesson on the importance of market-based adjustments, aimed at helping appraisers understand their obligation and duty to make real-time, market-based adjustments when producing an appraisal.

During this course various methods and techniques for calculating market-based adjustment will be demonstrated using the market data available. The student is asked to work through the calculations alongside the instructor to ensure complete understanding of the mathematics and data involved in each technique.  Once confident in the conclusions, the student will properly apply the adjustment in the sales comparison grid and work to reconcile, fully explain and support the adjustment applied.

The goal of this course is to help appraisers produce credible assignment results and build consistency between appraisers through the use and application of various recognized methods and techniques for calculating market-based adjustments.

 Desktop Appraisals: Next Generation Valuations, No. 828

This is a 5-hour course that provides the necessary framework for real property appraisers, financial institutions, underwriters, AMC personnel, and regulatory entities interested in or already completing desktop valuation services.  Topics involve the most typical intended use and user(s), definition of the appraisal problem and proper scope of work determination. This course will provide resources, technology and tools for data collection and verification. Instructions on how to best develop a credible sales comparison approach from the desk. Also included is guidance on how to ensure USPAP compliance when using these forms. Above all, this session will discuss how credible results are possible in the context of the intended use and within the scope of work.

 Developing Compliant Reports Using TOTAL, No. 124

We'll cover TOTAL inside and out, pointing out along the way how each feature helps you achieve our goals of writing clear, more accurate reports, in less time, that comply fully with critical regulations, and then communicate those reports to your clients clearly and efficiently.

By learning how to effectively leverage all of TOTAL’s features to their fullest, you’ll gain marked improvements in: 

  • Accuracy – Reduce errors by using technology to organize data and eliminate retyping.
  • Compliance – Ensure compliance with industry and government regulations through understanding TOTAL’s complete feature set.
  • Productivity – Get more work done by understanding how each feature can be used to it’s fullest.
  • Consistency – Leverage tools that help you present your reports in a more consistent manner.
  • Communication – Whether it’s direct one-to-one communication, or supporting your value, use technology to effectively clarify your point and communicate effectively with your client.
  • Time Savings – Get your work done faster and more efficiently, allowing you to do more without compromising accuracy, compliance, or communication.

 

 Fundamentals of Appraising New Homes, No. 824

This 5-hr course is dedicated to appraising proposed, under construction and brand-new residential properties. First and foremost, this course will teach you the reasons why appraising new construction is fundamentally different from appraising an existing home. 

Covered in this course is data collection expectations which entails expanding search parameters and verification measures far beyond the local MLS and assessor’s records.  This course will provide clarification on how the various sources of information directly impact the market trend analysis, comparable selection process, market grid adjustments and contract analysis pieces of the appraisal process. In addition, this course will tell you what to pay attention to and how to fully develop and report these known distinctions in a credible and non-misleading manner. To assist in application accuracy and efficiency, this course provides a complete, authoritative guide for applying common appraisal methodology and techniques in less familiar ways to solve various new construction appraisal problems.

If you do happen to treat all residential appraisal assignments the same, then this course is for you!

 Identifying Adverse Environmental Conditions, No. 826 *formally Dirty Digs: Brownfields and Superfund Sites

This 5-hour course for residential real property appraisers aims to amplify awareness of environmental risks and elevate investigation and analytical proficiency to credibly assess environmental factors which drive value.

Students will be introduced to a variety of hazards and disasters, natural and manmade events, the consequential costs in terms of physical, monetary, or human casualties, and the relationship between these events and a real estate environment. 

Exploration of superfunds and brownfields, some of the nation’s most contaminated real estate, will lead to discoveries of their significance to economic, government, and social influences. With 1 of 6 Americans living within 3 miles of a superfund and the existence of over 450,000 brownfields in the US, students will learn to appreciate the enormous presence of environmental adversities and their repercussions in virtually any market.

Through case studies, students will be equipped to recognize a variety of environmental conditions and then apply critical thinking within an analysis to ascertain how those elements might affect a market’s topography, economy, demographics, supply, and demand. 

Research skills will be enhanced by application of investigational concepts and the engagement of key, relevant resources which focus on environmental information.

The goal of this course is to stimulate an appraiser’s confidence and competency with conditions of a market’s environment and the quintessential role they play in the value of real estate.

  Investigate Your Appraisal: Report and Support, No. 822

Every appraiser hopes they will never get the dreaded letter or phone call from their state investigator, advising them that a complaint was submitted to the state and an investigation is being opened into their work product. Nevertheless, state appraiser regulators regularly receive complaints from parties of all kinds:  lenders, AMCs, real estate agents, borrowers, owners, and the list goes on.

Some complaints have no merit and may fall by the wayside. But most have some merit and will be investigated. How do parties – especially AMCs and lenders – identify these issues that prompt sending complaints to the state?

Investigate Your Appraisal looks at what happens to a report after the appraiser delivers it to the client:  reviews and screening may reveal errors, confusing items, or other real or perceived inadequacies that trigger additional scrutiny. At that point, the appraiser may be dealing with revision requests, reconsiderations of value, or even the dreaded state investigation weeks, months, or years after the initial delivery of the report to the client.

Beyond the various types of scrutiny appraisal reports face after delivery, the course examines how to proactively prevent errors and revision requests, and how to ensure requirements are met in each report – especially in case a state regulator takes a look. Participants in the course will examine not only USPAP reporting requirements, but best practices and common errors related to both the development and reporting process – and ensuring there is a logical link between the two.

CCAC Marshall & Swift Commercial Cost Approach Certification, No. 177

The Commercial Cost Approach Certification provides an overview of Cost Approach Methodology and detailed training in creating cost estimates. This course will provide a detailed overview of basic concepts and economic principles of the cost approach, such as when to use the cost approach and how to successfully use a cost service such as Marshall & Swift. This course is designed to detail the eight steps used in the Marshall & Swift cost approach.

RCAC Marshall & Swift (Residential) Cost Approach to Value, No. 159

This is an 8-hour course that provides instruction and guidance to real property appraisers who are looking to enhance their accuracy when completing the cost approach to value. This course builds skills using a handbook designed for providing estimated replacement costs in the residential market.  Gain a thorough understanding of the Square Foot Method, including identifying comparable building types, refining and adjusting the base cost, applying depreciation principles and modifying the final cost for localization. The course incorporates the use of the Marshall & Swift® Residential Cost Handbook and a participant guide. The Residential Cost Handbook provides an authoritative appraisal guide for developing replacement costs, insurable values of buildings and other improvements.

This course incorporates the inclusion of Teach-back methodology, also known as 360 learning where the participants apply skills learned in the class and present back to the class results of a case study and how they came to that conclusion including their professional opinions. The class then enters a discussion where additional learning occurs.

 

Mastering Residential Appraisal Review, No. 802

This 4-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to help meet the growing demand for real estate appraisal reviews. This course focuses on residential appraisal review assignments and industry expectations for reviewers of residential reports. This course begins with a lesson on the importance of properly identifying the appraisal problem to be solved and establishing an acceptable scope of work, aimed at helping appraisers understand their obligation and duty when producing appraisal review reports.

Course learning will center around an understanding of what constitutes an appraisal review, the USPAP Standards regarding appraisal review, common deficiencies and the communication of findings. Lastly, the appraiser will demonstrate mastery of the subject matter by performing a review in a case study format.    

The goal of this course is to help residential appraisers produce compliant and quality appraisal reviews and appraisal review reports.

 Mobile Appraiser Workflow, powered by a la mode, No. 122

Mobile appraising is all about improving in three key areas:

  • Accuracy – Reduce errors by using technology to organize data and eliminate retyping, Communication
  • Communicate more effectively with clients
  • Time Savings – Get your work done faster and more efficiently, reducing appraisal turn time

Appraisers save time out of the office by gathering their data faster, communicating more effectively with clients by having access to their workfile data wherever they are, and maximizing their productivity while in the field.  Back in the office, appraisers save time and improve accuracy and consistency by not having to recreate or re-do work – which improves accuracy. This could be something as simple as using QuickLists in the field or originating property sketches electronically while on inspection.  And clients expect that appraisers stay up-to-date with mobile technology and how it affects compliance (USPAP, GLB, UAD, UMDP, etc.).

 

 Real Estate Economics and Market Trends, No. 801

This 2-hour course is for residential real property appraisers and is intended to improve their understanding of the basics of Real Estate Economics and analyzing market trends.  

This course begins with a review of the connection between real estate and the overall economy. The introduction includes a look at some current market activity.  The course then reviews the fundamental economic theories that influence real estate and how they impact the appraisal process. The course then reviews a case study relating to changing market dynamics and market conditions adjustments.

The real estate market is dynamic and in constant fluctuation. In this course we will apply knowledge from economics and valuation practice to address handling changing market conditions.