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National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc.

19 July 2009 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

See original story on About.com

Description of NAHI

The National Association of Home Inspectors Inc. (NAHI) is a professional organization for home inspectors in North America. It has more than 2,000 members, with chapters throughout the US and Canada. NAHI strives for professional excellence among its home inspector members, thorough training, standards of practice and a code of ethics. It also educates consumers as to the benefits of professional home inspections1.

NAHI History

NAHI is a non-profit association started in 1987.

NAHI membership requirements

NAHI’s Associate Members have completed a 40-hour home inspection training program or conducted at least 20 paid home inspections. NAHI’s regular members have conducted at least 100 paid home inspections. Certified members have done at least 250 paid home inspections

NAHI’s members also abide by the organization’s standards of practice and code of ethics. They also participate in ongoing training to update their skills regularly.

What a Home Inspector Does

A home inspector conducts a thorough review of a residential house, checking everything from the foundation and plumbing to electrical outlets and unsealed windows. Inspectors check the house for areas that affect safety, focusing mostly on structure and condition. However, home inspectors can only inspect what they can access and see. For example, they might report suspected wood rot or a cracked foundation, but they cannot confirm what might be behind the drywall or buried in the ground. They also cannot guarantee the condition of a house or provide a home warranty2. You may still need to do repair or maintenance work on the house in future.

Areas of inspection

Areas of a house that an inspector checks generally include the following:

  • Foundation
  • Exterior
  • Walls
  • Roof3
  • Attic4
  • Basement5
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Windows
  • Insulation
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Air and heating system
  • Interior

Why Use a Professional Home Inspector?

Only some states require home inspectors6 to be licensed. This means that a home inspector’s knowledge, experience and ethics can vary widely. An inspector associated with an industry organization adheres to certain standards of practice and a code of ethics, so you are assured a high level of professionalism.

  • Buying a house: A professional home inspection can be a crucial step in your decision-making process. You will want to know beforehand what works and what does not work in the house, before you actually complete the sale. If a house has defects, you may use the inspection report to request seller repairs7 to be done prior to purchase. You might also negotiate a lower price or back out of a contract8 altogether. Even if you are buying a new house9, a home inspection will help you pinpoint the areas that you may want to improve or enhance. It can also give you peace of mind.
  • Selling a house: If you plan to sell your house10, a professional home inspection can give you a better idea of the value of your home. Knowing this information can help you price your home11 attractively, as well as prepare you for concerns that a potential buyer might have.

Cost of Home Inspections

Home inspections typically range in cost from $150 to $500, depending on the size and location of the house. You can obtain estimates in advance for a comparison.

What to Look for in a Home Inspector

Ultimately, you want to find a knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy inspector. You can do due diligence on prospective home inspectors by checking whether the inspector has:

  • A state license (although not states license inspectors)
  • Received any consumer complaints filed at the US Better Business Bureau, US Department of Consumer Affairs or local government agencies.

You can also ask the inspector if he or she has:

  • References
  • Errors and omissions insurance
  • Been accepted as a member of a professional association

You’ll want to make sure that the home inspection report can be easily accessed by the lender or insurance company. You can ask if the report will:

  • Be handwritten or computer generated (computer generated is easier to correct)
  • Include regular or digital photos (digital is easier to send)

Finally, you’ll want to ask about the inspector’s experience. Ask:

  • How many inspections have you done?
  • Were they mock or paid inspections?
  • Have you had any disputes with homeowners?
  • If so, how were they resolved?

How to find an inspector

NAHI has a referral network on its web site. You can search by state, ZIP code, inspector name or company. You can also ask your real estate agent12 or mortgage broker13 for referrals.

Contact Information

4248 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, Minn. 55416
Phone: (800) 448-3942, (952) 928-4641
Fax: (952) 929-1318
Email: info@nahi.org
Web site: www.nahi.org

Description of NAHI

The National Association of Home Inspectors Inc. (NAHI) is a professional organization for home inspectors in North America. It has more than 2,000 members, with chapters throughout the US and Canada. NAHI strives for professional excellence among its home inspector members, thorough training, standards of practice and a code of ethics. It also educates consumers as to the benefits of professional home inspections1.

NAHI History

NAHI is a non-profit association started in 1987.

NAHI membership requirements

NAHI’s Associate Members have completed a 40-hour home inspection training program or conducted at least 20 paid home inspections. NAHI’s regular members have conducted at least 100 paid home inspections. Certified members have done at least 250 paid home inspections

NAHI’s members also abide by the organization’s standards of practice and code of ethics. They also participate in ongoing training to update their skills regularly.

What a Home Inspector Does

A home inspector conducts a thorough review of a residential house, checking everything from the foundation and plumbing to electrical outlets and unsealed windows. Inspectors check the house for areas that affect safety, focusing mostly on structure and condition. However, home inspectors can only inspect what they can access and see. For example, they might report suspected wood rot or a cracked foundation, but they cannot confirm what might be behind the drywall or buried in the ground. They also cannot guarantee the condition of a house or provide a home warranty2. You may still need to do repair or maintenance work on the house in future.

Areas of inspection

Areas of a house that an inspector checks generally include the following:

  • Foundation
  • Exterior
  • Walls
  • Roof3
  • Attic4
  • Basement5
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Windows
  • Insulation
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Air and heating system
  • Interior

Why Use a Professional Home Inspector?

Only some states require home inspectors6 to be licensed. This means that a home inspector’s knowledge, experience and ethics can vary widely. An inspector associated with an industry organization adheres to certain standards of practice and a code of ethics, so you are assured a high level of professionalism.

  • Buying a house: A professional home inspection can be a crucial step in your decision-making process. You will want to know beforehand what works and what does not work in the house, before you actually complete the sale. If a house has defects, you may use the inspection report to request seller repairs7 to be done prior to purchase. You might also negotiate a lower price or back out of a contract8 altogether. Even if you are buying a new house9, a home inspection will help you pinpoint the areas that you may want to improve or enhance. It can also give you peace of mind.
  • Selling a house: If you plan to sell your house10, a professional home inspection can give you a better idea of the value of your home. Knowing this information can help you price your home11 attractively, as well as prepare you for concerns that a potential buyer might have.

Cost of Home Inspections

Home inspections typically range in cost from $150 to $500, depending on the size and location of the house. You can obtain estimates in advance for a comparison.

What to Look for in a Home Inspector

Ultimately, you want to find a knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy inspector. You can do due diligence on prospective home inspectors by checking whether the inspector has:

  • A state license (although not states license inspectors)
  • Received any consumer complaints filed at the US Better Business Bureau, US Department of Consumer Affairs or local government agencies.

You can also ask the inspector if he or she has:

  • References
  • Errors and omissions insurance
  • Been accepted as a member of a professional association

You’ll want to make sure that the home inspection report can be easily accessed by the lender or insurance company. You can ask if the report will:

  • Be handwritten or computer generated (computer generated is easier to correct)
  • Include regular or digital photos (digital is easier to send)

Finally, you’ll want to ask about the inspector’s experience. Ask:

  • How many inspections have you done?
  • Were they mock or paid inspections?
  • Have you had any disputes with homeowners?
  • If so, how were they resolved?

How to find an inspector

NAHI has a referral network on its web site. You can search by state, ZIP code, inspector name or company. You can also ask your real estate agent12 or mortgage broker13 for referrals.

Contact Information

4248 Park Glen Road
Minneapolis, Minn. 55416
Phone: (800) 448-3942, (952) 928-4641
Fax: (952) 929-1318
Email: info@nahi.org
Web site: www.nahi.org

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang.

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