National Home Inspector Certification

by Tony Guerra

Many different people are involved in a real estate transaction beyond just the buyers and sellers. Most home sales require the services of mortgage professionals and real estate appraisers. Other people involved in a real estate transaction typically include lawyers and real estate brokers and, in many cases, home inspectors. Home inspectors are valuable to buyers because they can identify hidden structural and other problems in a home. Their work sometimes makes the difference between whether someone ends up buying a home or not. Certification can improve the professional credibility and job prospects of home inspectors.

Home Inspectors

Though most lenders only require a real estate appraisal as a condition of mortgage loan approval, home buyers are smart to obtain home inspections as well. A home inspection itself is a visual examination of the structure and associated components of a home. Home inspectors are trained to find equipment and other items in a home that don't function properly and might also be unsafe. They also look for issues such as termite infestation, asbestos, and problems with the foundation and electrical system. To be a successful home inspector, you need to obtain training, education and experience. You should also seek a national certification.

Home Inspector Certification

According to the National Association of Home Inspectors, 39 states require licensure for home inspectors. Even in states that don't require home inspectors to be licensed or even formally trained, such as Michigan and Ohio, obtaining training and then national certification is highly recommended. In addition to the NAHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) offer certification.

Home Inspector Training

NAHI doesn't offer home inspector training itself, but it does provide certification as well as contact information for schools that provide training. The ASHI, through the ASHI School, offers live home inspector training in the classroom and in the field. The InterNACHI offers online home inspector training, with in-field work required, as well as certification that's accepted by various state licensing agencies. Home inspector training and certification costs vary by the association or school offering it, though some of InterNACHI's offerings are free.

Certification Requirements

Home inspector pre-licensure course training hours vary by the state and by the home inspector association sponsoring or offering such training. For example, InterNACHI's home inspector pre-licensure course is 149 hours long and includes online, classroom and in-field training. Once you've been trained and licensed, you might need to conduct a number of inspections to achieve ASHI or other home inspector association formal certification. Home inspector associations also require inspectors to maintain their certifications through continuing education.

About the Author

Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

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