How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Do home inspectors have to be licensed and insured?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

In Florida and almost all other states, yes they do. But, until a few years ago, being a “licensed” home inspector was not an indication of professional competence. Anyone could get a license to do home inspection by simply applying at the local county courthouse or city hall and paying a small fee. No experience or educational credentials required. 

   That changed back in July of 2011. Now, anyone offering home inspection services must be licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) before they can obtain a local business license. And the DBPR requires proof of experience and competence for current home inspectors, or proof of education and taking of a license exam for new people entering the field. Plus, continuing education credits must be obtained for license renewal, just like in any other regulated profession.

   We were among the first to present our educational and experience credentials to the state for licensing after the law was enacted and hold Home Inspector licenses #15 and #27. Our other licenses include: Florida Building Contractor, Florida General Contractor, Florida Radon Technician, and Florida Certified Pest Control Operator.

   Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O) and General Liability coverage is provided for all our inspections too. Proof of insurance is a requirement for licensing in Florida.

   While Florida’s licensing requirements mean that any inspector you hire will have a baseline competence to do the job, it’s still a good idea to take a few minutes to do some on-line research, and then call an inspector you are considering hiring, to talk for a few minutes, before you decide. A brief phone interview can tell you if the inspector you are considering is in-sync with your needs and expectations, and if you will feel comfortable working with them to evaluate your future home.

   Also, membership in a national home inspector organization is a good sign. There are several, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors), and InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors), along with FABI (Florida Association of Building Inspectors), a regional group. Every home inspector will tell you that the association they belong to is the best one and has the highest professional standards. Actually, it’s not so important which association the inspector belongs to, but just that they belong to one of them. Each group has annual conventions and continuing-education requirements for membership renewal. We were members of the oldest association, ASHI, for many years, but have recently switched to InterNACHI.

   The good news is that there are a number of qualified, competent home inspectors in North Central Florida. So, with a little research, you’re likely to have a good home inspection experience.

  To see the State of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) minimum standards for home inspection, effective October 22, 2013, read our blog post Are there any minimum inspection standards that a Florida licensed home inspector must meet?

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

If we already looked at the house very carefully, do we still need a home inspection?

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosure? 

What should I look for when buying a former rental house?  

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What should I look for when buying a house that is being "flipped" by an investor seller? 

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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