Rural Area Appraisals: Freddie Mac Guidelines and Property Eligibility Requirements


Appraising rural properties can be challenging. A lack of comparable sales, uniqueness of homes, time between sales, and an expansive geography are factors appraisers must consider.  This often means more time, research, and justification to determine an acceptable value for a property. To make this task less daunting, Freddie Mac identified common pain points and misconceptions among appraisers and lenders regarding collateral guidelines for rural properties. With the Appraisal Institute, they have developed a comprehensive rural appraisal training for practicing residential appraisers.

This 7-hour seminar addresses eligible and ineligible property qualifications; price ceiling limitations in rural markets; how urban development, farm productivity, and conversion to residential uses affect land prices; highest and best use problems in rural residential appraisals; how the Freddie Mac Appraisal Guidelines relate to rural appraisals; how to extract and support adjustments in rural residential appraisals; how to support deductions for unusual designs or functional problems; and how to use regression analysis to support a conclusion regarding highest and best use. An integrated case study reinforces the concepts presented.
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State Approvals

Program State Approval & Hours

Some AI educational programs may not be approved in every state and every delivery format. To see a list of all state approvals across all formats for this course, please use the link below.

View all approvals for this course

Who should Enroll

Residential appraisers and reviewers who are currently working in the secondary market lending space: appraisals for loans that are ultimately purchased by Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, USDA or Fannie Mae.


  • Describe issues lenders have when defining rural markets and the eligibility of properties that secure loans to be purchased by Freddie Mac.
  • Identify the issues regarding defining rural, suburban, and urban neighborhoods.
  • Describe geographic and  demographic issues in rural appraisals.
  • Demonstrate issues of highest and best use analysis in rural appraisals.
  • List and describe Freddie Mac Guidelines in section 5601 of the Freddie Mac Single Family Seller/Servicer Guide.
  • Review methodologies for extracting and supporting adjustment rates for comparable sales.


  • Licensed and Certified Residential
  • HP-12C calculator or another financial calculator


No Exam



Appraisal Institute CE Points

Attend: 35 AI Points

Class Time

7 hours


Yes. PRE-CLASS ASSIGNMENT:To maximize your learning experience, it is important that you read and review the case study and case study appendix for this seminar before class begins. 
After you register for this class, please go to your Education and Events page for details on what you must complete BEFORE class begins.
To access your Education and Events page, log on to the Appraisal Institute website at (click on the three horizontal lines to the left of the AI logo and select “My AI Account” from the drop-down menu).

Program Overview

Required and/or Recommended Equipment

Bringing a PRINT copy of the materials to class (rather than the download) will enhance your learning experience.

Additional Information

Seminar Materials Include:
  • Seminar Handbook (305 pp.)
  • Participant Case Study and Solutions Booklet (188 pp.)
  • Pre-Class Downloads (116 KB)
  • Pre-Class Assignment: Case Study Appendix (127 pp.)
  • Pre-Class Memo (1 p.)  
  • Opt Out Form (1 p.)
Important! You may want to consider ordering print materials for this seminar, or simply print all materials on your own and bring them to class. Having print copies of the materials will enhance the learning experience for this seminar.
This program is made possible through collaboration with Freddie Mac.
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