AI-GRS and AI-RRS – New Appraisal Institute Review Designations

Many appraisers have been curious about the Appraisal Institute’s plan for its new review designations.  Today we learned the acronyms that will be awarded:

  • AI-GRS (Appraisal Institute – General Review Specialist)
  • AI-RRS (Appraisal Institute – Residential Review Specialist)

AI Logo

The complete story can be found at this link:

Questions or comments?  Please leave them in the comment box below, I would be happy to clarify and/or expand.

Aloha, Chris


Appraisal Institute Launches First New Designations
In More than 20 Years

CHICAGO (Nov 19, 2013) – The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced it will begin issuing two review designations in 2014. The AI-GRS, (Appraisal Institute – General Review Specialist) and AI-RRS (Appraisal Institute – Residential Review Specialist) designations will be the Appraisal Institute’s first new designations in more than 20 years.

“Research shows that individuals who hold professional designations have enhanced earning potential compared to non-designated individuals,” said Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA. “This is especially true for individuals in the real estate valuation profession who hold a designation from a recognized professional association such as the Appraisal Institute.”

The Appraisal Institute Board of Directors adopted the review designation program after years of research, responding in part to the growing and important role that appraisal review plays in risk management and mitigation for many clients and users of appraisal services. According to Appraisal Institute research, there were about 12,500 review appraisers in the United States in 2012. As June 30, 2013, the total U.S. appraiser population stood at 82,250 individuals, reflecting all active state-licensed and -certified appraisers.

Beginning in 2014, the Appraisal Institute will offer four new courses to address review designations: Review Theory — Residential; and Review Theory — General are scheduled to be released in first quarter 2014. Review Case Studies — Residential and Review Case Studies — General, are scheduled to premiere in July 2014.

Appraisal Institute Designated members soon will be able to fulfill the requirements for the review designations. Those who are not already AI Designated members can become candidates for the review designations and begin the journey to designation, although some of the requirements that those individuals must fulfill are not yet available.

Learn more about the review designations.

The Appraisal Institute also confers the MAI designation on commercial and general appraisers, and the SRA designation on residential appraisers, who meet certain standards. The Appraisal Institute also recognizes the SRPA, SREA and RM designations conferred by its predecessor organizations.

“The Appraisal Institute confers designated membership on real estate appraisal professionals demonstrating the highest standards of education, expertise and ethics,” Borges said. “In its continuing mission to elevate the real estate valuation profession, the Appraisal Institute specifies rigorous requirements for designated membership regarding experience, education and moral character.”

He added: “Brokers, bankers, lenders, buyers and sellers working with appraisers who are Appraisal Institute designated members can know that Appraisal Institute designated members agree to adhere to the organization’s strict code of professional ethics.”

Real Property Taxes – Honolulu, Oahu – Tax Calendar

Honolulu Real Property Tax

We have arrived in November, an extremely busy time for the City and County of Honolulu Real Property Assessment Division.  October 1 is the “date of valuation” for the 2013-2014 tax year, and the County assessors are now busy preparing property values that will be mailed out to taxpayers on December 15…just in time for Christmas!

Taxpayers and property owners on Oahu should be aware of the following real property taxation dates:

September 1 Deadline for filing dedication petitions (Forms available)
September 30 Deadline for filing exemption claims (Forms available)
September 30 Deadline for filing tax credit applications (Treasury Division)
October 1 Date of Valuation
October 31 Deadline for dedication approval/disapproval
November 1 Deadline for reporting changes affecting exemptions (Form available)
December 15 Assessment notices mailed
January 15 Deadline for filing appeals (Forms available)
February 1 Certified assessment roll sent to City Council
June 15 Tax rates set by City Council
June 30 End of tax year
July 1 Beginning of tax year
July 20 First-half year bills mailed
August 20 First-half year payments due
January 20 Second-half year bills mailed
February 20 Second-half year payments due

For property owners considering an appeal of their assessments, the two most important dates are December 15 and January 15.  If you are going to appeal, you have to do it in that 30-day window.

If you decide you want to appeal your assessment, the chart above has links to the forms you’ll need.  If you’re having trouble, send me an email and I’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

General information about your Oahu property, including its assessed value and other tax data can be found at this website:

Questions or comments?  Please leave them in the comment box below, I would be happy to clarify and/or expand.

Aloha, Chris

Please read my disclaimer.


In property taxation disputes, the legal process by which an owner may challenge either an ad valorem taxation assessment or a special assessment.

1. The official valuation of property for ad valorem taxation.
2. A single charge levied against a parcel of real estate to defray the cost of a public improvement that presumably will benefit only the properties it serves, e.g., assessment for the installation of sidewalks, curbs, or sewer and water lines. 
3. A determination of the amount paid by or to the owners of real estate to defray the cost of a public improvement that is presumed to benefit the properties it serves in an amount at least equal to the cost of the improvement, e.g., assessment of benefits and/or damages for public sewer or water lines. 

assessment date (date of valuation)
The status date for tax purposes. Appraised values reflect the status of the property and any partially completed construction as of this date

1. The head of an assessment agency; sometimes used collectively to refer to all administrators of the assessment function. (IAAO)
2. One who discovers, lists, and values real property for ad valorem taxation.

property tax

Any tax that is imposed on persons on account of their ownership or possession of property and is measured by the number of units, the value, or some presumptive evidence of number of units or value, of such property. Note: This tax is generally, but not necessarily, intended to be a direct, proportional ad valorem tax.

tax exemption

Total exemption or freedom from tax; granted to educational, charitable, religious, and other nonprofit organizations. Partial exemptions from ad valorem tax are granted to homesteads in some states.

tax rate
The factor used to calculate the total tax for a property, typically expressed in dollars per $100 or $1,000 (mills) of assessed value. The tax rate can be calculated by dividing the total amount of the taxes for a community by the total assessed value of all properties in the community.

Source for all definitions: Appraisal Institute, The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 5th ed. (Chicago: Appraisal Institute, 2010).

The Appraisal of Real Estate, 14th Edition – New AI Video

The Appraisal Institute recently published the 14th edition of The Appraisal of Real Estate, the premiere textbook in the real estate valuation field.

The Appraisal of Real Estate - 14th Edition

2013 Appraisal Institute President Rick Borges, MAI, SRA discusses the new book in this video:

Appraisal research and reference are now much more efficient when using the PDF version of the book.  Words and phrases are easily searchable and citations from the text are straightforward.

Thank You Rick!

The Hawaii Chapter of The Appraisal Institute was honored to host Mr. Borges and Fred Grubbe, MBA, CAE (CEO of The Appraisal Institute) in Honolulu earlier this year–it was a wonderful event that will be talked about for years to come.   A shameless photo-op with the 2013 President and yours truly:

Richard L. Borges, II, MAI, SRA and Chris Ponsar, MAI

Richard L. Borges, II, MAI, SRA and Chris Ponsar, MAI, SRA

Oahu Neighborhood Tour – Launani Valley

Launani Valley:  The Central Oahu neighborhood you’ve never heard of.

Launani Sign (2)

Located in Central Oahu, just behind Mililani Mauka, is Launani Valley, a peaceful and inspiring neighborhood that was developed in the mid-90’s/early 2000’s.  Longtime Mililani residents describe Launani Valley’s climate as being similar to “Wahiawa Weather”, meaning cool enough in the summer to not need air conditioning, and frosty enough in the winter to require a full complement of blankets and sweatshirts.  It ain’t the arctic circle, but by Oahu standards, it can get COLD (in the mid-50’s).

The Launani Valley Community Association (LVCA) is a master association that is comprised of 833 homeowners in 6 condominium projects.

Launani Valley Aerial
Launani Valley – Aerial View of its 6 Condominium Projects
Project Year Built 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed Total
Gardens at Launani Valley 1993 206 32 238
Ridge at Launani Valley 1992 138 44 182
Streamside at Launani Valley 1996 / 2000 60 24 84
Terraces at Launani Valley 1995 / 2000 100 50 150
Woodcreek 2000-2003 56 46 102
Woodcreek Crossing 2003-2004 39 38 77
  Totals 504 245 84 833

As shown, most of the condominium units in Launani Valley have either two or three bedrooms.  The Woodcreek and Woodcreek Crossing developments have a total of 84 four-bedroom units.  While many of the Woodcreek and Woodcreek Crossing units have single family designs–like the rest of the homes in Launani Valley, they are legally condominiums.

Project 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed Overall
Gardens at Launani Valley 792 925 810
Ridge at Launani Valley 772 893 801
Streamside at Launani Valley 833 927 860
Terraces at Launani Valley 1,095 1,289 1,160
Woodcreek 1,260 1,450 1,346
Woodcreek Crossing 1,200 1,531 1,363

The Gardens, Ridge, and Streamside units have floor areas that are typically in the 800 to 860 square foot range. The Terraces units are larger, averaging over 1,100 square feet.  Woodcreek and Woodcreek Crossing host a mix of single family condo and duplex units–each project averages about 1,350 square feet of living area.

The following amenities are available to Launani Valley residents:

  • Two Tennis Courts
  • Basketball Court
  • Children’s Playground
  • Paved Jogging Path
  • Comfort Station
  • Extensively Landscaped Greenbelts
  • Full Time Site Manager
Launani Valley Amenities

Launani Valley Amenities

LVCA Rec Center

LVCA Rec Center

In a future article, I’ll discuss details of each condominium project.

Questions or comments?  Please leave them in the comment  box below, I would be happy to clarify and/or expand.

Aloha, Chris

Please read my disclaimer.