Choosing a Certified Home Inspector can help in weeding out fly-by-night inspectors. Licensing of home inspectors only sets a minimum standard, and in NY State that standard is very low. The perception of many home buyers is that if a home inspector is licensed they must be qualified, but there are hundreds of home inspectors in NY State with very little or no real home inspection experience. National and local organizations have appeared to help lend credibility to the home inspection industry by instituting certification programs.
It is no guarantee but hiring an inspector who is associated with a professional home inspection association can help weed out many of the fly-by-night inspectors. The high turnover rate of home inspectors is in the multiple hundreds per year in NY state with about 50 home inspections schools that have sprung up in just the last several years. Constant batches of laid off factory workers and others are being sent, with state financial aid, for job training in new careers as home inspectors. Seems no one has figured out the market is over saturated with home inspectors. Most never find full-time work and are off to other careers in less than a year. The most helpful step in choosing a good home inspector is to check and verify their home inspection related experience.
Three of the top more reputable associations are the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the National Institute of Building Inspectors, (NIBI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI.) Please note that these associations are and sometimes their members are competitors, each claiming they are the best and downplaying the others.
Be careful though, not all home inspection associations have entrance requirements and some encourage their associates to go out and perform actual inspections for unsuspecting consumers as the only way to achieve full membership. Some are much better than others and over all, most of the certification associations raise the low bar set by state licensing. For example InterNACHI states they “turn down more than 60% of the inspectors who want to join InterNACHI because they can’t pass our Inspectors Exam, and we turn down 90% of those left because they can’t fulfill our membership requirements.”
After doing my own research I choose to go with InterNACHI membership for certification. I have been certified with NACHI Since 2004.
To become a certified InterNACHI member, an inspector must complete each of the following requirements:
- Join InterNACHI.
- Pass InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Examination.
- Complete InterNACHI’s online Code of Ethics course.
- Complete InterNACHI’s online Standards of Practice course.
- Sign an affidavit to become a certified member.
To maintain their certification and membership in good standing, our members must:
- Substantially adhere to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice or the standard required by law in their jurisdiction.
- Abide by the InterNACHI Code of Ethics.
- Take 24 hours of Continuing Education courses each year, per InterNACHI’s Continuing Education Policy.
Within the first year after becoming certified, our members must complete the following FREE courses:
- InterNACHI’s online Safe Practices for the Home Inspector course;
- InterNACHI’s online 25 Standards Every Inspector Should Know course;
- InterNACHI’s online Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors course;
- InterNACHI’s online How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections course;
- InterNACHI’s online How to Perform Roof Inspections course;
- InterNACHI’s online How to Inspect HVAC Systems course;
- InterNACHI’s online Structural Issues for Home Inspectors course;
- InterNACHI’s online How to Perform Exterior Inspections course;
- InterNACHI’s online How to Inspect the Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior course;
- InterNACHI’s online How to Perform Deck Inspections course; and
- InterNACHI’s online How to Inspect for Moisture Intrusion course.
Also, each year, they must pass InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Examination with a score of 80 or better.
InterNACHI inspectors are also covered by InterNACHI’s $10,000.00 Honor Guarantee™.