Are you buying a home? It's probably the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the value of the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring an InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspector® is almost insignificant. I recently wrote a blog about why even if you are building a home, you should get it inspected. The number of people who do not get inspections is concerning. Too many things can go wrong in the life of a home. Hiring the right home inspector will help you identify those systems and components that you will need to keep a close eye on.
For first-time home buyers, getting an inspection is even more crucial so you can learn the ins and outs of your home. I am First-Time Home Buyer Certified, meaning that I accept clients who have never bought a home and will spend extra time with them to help them understand how their home works.
You have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages, and trying to get the best deals. Don't stop now. Don't let your real estate agent, a "patty-cake" inspector, or anyone else talk you into skimping here.
I am an InterNACHI Inspector. So what does that mean exactly? Well for starters, I passed their test for the State of Florida to earn my license. I also have access to thousands of hours of continuing education credit. Every week I am taking a new course or giving myself a refresher. Why? So that I can be the very best in the business! The licensing of home inspectors only sets a minimum standard. Much like being up to code, any less would be illegal. InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, front-ends its membership requirements.
- have to pass InterNACHI's Online Inspector Examination, and re-take and pass it every three years (it's free and open to everyone, and free to re-take);
- have to complete InterNACHI's online Code of Ethics Course (free to take after joining, and self-paced);
- have to take InterNACHI's online Standards of Practice Course (free to take after joining, and self-paced);
- must submit a signed Membership Affidavit;
- substantially adhere to InterNACHI's Standards of Practice;
- abide by InterNACHI's Code of Ethics;
- have to submit four mock inspection reports to InterNACHI's Report Review Committee (for free) before performing their first paid home inspection for a client if the candidate has never performed a fee-paid home inspection previously;
- within the first year of membership, have to successfully pass the following free online, accredited, and self-paced courses and exams:
- InterNACHI’s "Safe Practices for the Home Inspector" course,
- InterNACHI’s "25 Standards Every Inspector Should Know" course,
- InterNACHI’s "Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Perform Roof Inspections" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Inspect HVAC Systems" course,
- InterNACHI’s "Structural Issues for Home Inspectors" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Perform Exterior Inspections" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Inspect the Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Perform Deck Inspections" course,
- InterNACHI’s "How to Inspect for Moisture Intrusion" course, and
- InterNACHI’s "How to Inspect Fireplaces, Stoves, and Chimneys" course.
- have to pursue inspection-related training by taking 24 hours of additional accredited Continuing Education each year;
- have to maintain their Online Continuing Education Log (free), per InterNACHI's rigorous Continuing Education policy;
- have access to InterNACHI's Message Board for exchanging information and tips with colleagues and experts;
- have access to InterNACHI's "What's New" section so that they can keep up with the latest news and events in the inspection industry;
- have access to InterNACHI's time-tested Inspection Agreement, which keeps them (and you) away from lawsuits;
- have access to InterNACHI's Report Review/Mentoring Service;
- have to carry E&O Insurance (if their state requires it);
- have access to a real estate agent Hold-Harmless Clause;
- and have access to many other benefits, training, marketing tools and information to help themselves, as well as consumers and real estate professionals, provided for free by the world's largest inspector association.
I am amazed at the number of people who shop based on price alone. Sure, the guy down the road from me might be $50 cheaper. But what if he does not have the credentials? What if he is not InterNACHI Certified? After looking at the list of items above, would you trust him? I realize that I am not going to be the right fit for everyone, and that is OK. I strongly encourage you though when you are shopping for an inspector, to ask them questions about their certification. InterNACHI is the foremost leader for education, training and development of home inspectors. Make sure your inspector is InterNACHI certified before you hire them.