Home Inspector Certifications

 

(Inspecting your Inspector)

 

As I’ve stated elsewhere, home inspectors in Florida are completely unregulated.  Many claim to be licensed, but this is just misleading and unethical.  Those that claim to be licensed are referring to their occupational license tax, which is not a license, it is a tax all businesses pay (including me), and it is NOT a true license.  Any Florida home inspector that claims to be licensed deserves to have his credibility questioned.

 

Diploma Mill Certifications.  So how does an unqualified home inspector appear qualified?  Easy – there are NUMEROUS diploma mill certifications available.  For a few $$$$ they give you a nice official looking seal and logo to place on your stationary and web site.  They are totally worthless, but they look good to the unsuspecting public and it makes the inspector appear both official and credible.

 

Meaningful Certifications.  What makes a meaningful home inspector certification?  Basically 4 things.

 

  1. An entrance examination that is both difficult and proctored.
  2. Experience requirements.
  3. Continuing education requirements that are actively enforced.
  4. Have the quality of your work verified by association members.

Here in Florida, that basically weeds the field of meaningful certifications down to 3.

 

  1. ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors)
  2. FABI (Florida Association of Building Inspectors)
  3. NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors)

Of those 3 ASHI and FABI have the most stringent membership requirements, which is why I am a certified member of both.

 

Why not InterNACHI?  NACHI or InterNACHI is a very common “certification” that does not make the list for several reasons.  Although it is a good marketing organization, in my opinion it is nothing more than a diploma mill for the following reasons:

 

  1. I've taken the NACHI / InterNACHI entrance exam, and found it to be very easy and very short.  The exam is taken totally unsupervised at home, as many times as you like until you pass.  Cheating is very easy, if you don't know the answer, just Google the question.
  2. There are no experience requirements.  NACHI will designate a “certified home inspector” even if he has never completed a single home inspection or educational course.
  3. No quality of work verification.
  4. I know some InterNACHI members that swear they never turn in continuing education hours and continue to have their membership renewed.
  5. NACHI will provide you with a "Certified Master Inspector" designation with no proof of experience, education, or knowledge.

The bottom line is you deserve the best.  Make sure the home inspector you hire has several years of experience and is ASHI and/or FABI, or NAHI Certified. 

 

For more on ASHI, FABI and NAHI, please visit their web sites at ashi.org, fabi.org and nahi.org.

 

Anyone can take the NACHI / InterNACHI exam for free on their website.  I encourage everyone to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

profile picture