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The best home inspectors are licensed, educated, and in the know with the latest legislative changes. Our ears are constantly to the ground. We keep you up to date on the latest news & developments in the regulation of the home inspection industry. 

  • 30 Sep 2016 3:36 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    http://GrowYourHomeInspectionBusiness... How To Become A Home Inspector

    The consumer movement has spawned a new breed of savvy and demanding home buyers who want to know all they can about their potential home before making their final decisions. As a result, the opportunity is there for you to become a successful home inspector.

    Becoming A Certified Home Inspector

    But before you go any further in the process, ask yourself these questions.

    Are you the kind of person who...

    • Doesn't want to be tied to a desk all day
    • Has a desire to run a small business
    • Is interested in construction and how things work
    • Has a technical mind and likes to figure things out
    • Is organized and clear-thinking
    • Enjoys meeting and helping people and
    • Is willing to learn and take initiative

    Home Inspection Career

    If that sounds like you, then now is the perfect time to start taking steps toward a challenging and rewarding career in home inspection!

    Home Inspector Salary

    On average, certified home inspectors will perform up to 250 home inspections per year and are generally hired by real estate agents and appraisers, lenders and banks, as well as relocation companies and home buyers. Since home inspectors will not need to make any fixes to the home, the work is often well refined. You show up, audit, and the home inspection process is usually completed in a single call with no loose ends to tie up and without an intricate follow up.

    How To Become A Home Inspector

    Fundamentals to become a home inspector fluctuate depending upon where you reside, but when it comes to home inspection training, you should seek out a training program consisting of many encompassing lessons. Certified home inspectors evaluate homes for many different items. They observe numerous components of a home and test many others.

    Make sure to know all state requirements even after you obtain your home inspection license. Governing bodies are subject to change their requirements at any time, and are not entitled to hold grandfather clauses. Many states and associations also require continuing education upon license renewal.

    Make sure to market, market, market yourself. Becoming a home inspector requires finding your niche in this area that will really make you stand out from the others. Some home inspection training schools will have a marketing section of their program, which is a helpful tool to getting started in this industry.

    A qualified home inspector must learn a number of subjects and have a keen eye, but because of their specialized knowledge they remain sought after.

    For more information on becoming a home inspector please visit ATI Home Inspector Training:


  • 25 Sep 2016 1:33 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    Drone photography is poised to play a substantial role in the marketing of listings—but that’s just the beginning. Drone operators are also taking photos to collect information for home appraisals, property inspections after disasters, and construction projects—and doing so more efficiently at lower cost than what could previously be achieved through aerial photography.


    When the Federal Aviation Administration started accepting applications for commercial drone operations in May 2014, over a third of the first 1,000 applications were for real estate purposes, according to a trade group, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. The growth of drone photography in real estate is likely to escalate once the FAA issues its final rules, expected this summer.

     There is a slew of ways that drones could be a boon for the real estate industry. National Association of REALTORS® 2015 President Chris Polychron testified before Congress last September about some of them. “Many structures are not well-suited for conventional photography due to their size, height, or unconventional shape or location,” he said. “The technology will allow the real estate practitioner to safely, quickly, and affordably obtain images that would otherwise be dangerous, difficult, or expensive to capture.”

     The insurance industry also sees vast potential for drone use in the aftermath of major storms and other natural disasters. Drones return critical information quickly to contractors in emergencies, says Tom Karol, general counsel at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. “Think about a gaping hole in your roof,” Karol says. “If we can get a contractor out there to put a tarp up, we can stop the rain from getting in the next day, and [prevent] the wood rot and the mold that comes with it,” Karol says. “We would like to have our policyholders taken care of and keep a $500 claim from becoming a $25,000 claim.”


    Stronger Appraisals

    Drone technology opens the door to high-level property information that’s currently difficult and expensive to acquire. The result, according to pilots with first-hand experience, is better -appraisals.

     Property appraiser Greg Mays, of Midlothian, Virginia, is a licensed pilot with a waiver to operate drones commercially. Mays specializes in using drone photography to appraise properties with significant acreage, especially where forestation, topography, and power lines, are a consideration. “The perspective you get is unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” Mays says. “It gives the lender assurance that what you’re saying in your report can be validated with images.” He says drones are useful when appraising property for the Federal Housing Administration and other entities with strict minimum requirements pertaining to property conditions.

     Manchester, N.H.–based real estate consultant Jeffrey Donohoe agrees that drones offer fresh opportunities. He says he first got involved in the business of drones “by accident” in 2012 while consulting in the community near North Dakota’s Grand Forks Air Force Base. Community leaders there, he found, were eager to support the base, which had a pioneering role in drone development. They ultimately invested in a business park focused on unmanned aircraft, an effort that led to the development of research facilities necessary to support further drone flights.

     Donohoe has seen up close what drones can do for real estate, noting their value in tracking utility lines, pipelines, and even wildlife in difficult terrain. “[They can reach] remote areas where you couldn’t get a guy on a 4-wheeler out to do visual inspections or [only one] who might cover a mile in a day,” Donohoe says. “UAVs can cover 25 miles in a day.”

     Areas with a booming drone manufacturing industry benefit the real estate industry for another reason: New jobs push up demand for homes and office space. An industry study by AUVSI forecasts more than 100,000 drone-related jobs will be created though through 2025.

     The FAA today allows licensed pilots with a Section 333 waiver to operate drones commercially. The process is expected to change when the rules are released. Although details aren’t yet available, safety, privacy, and liability issues will continue to be paramount.


  • 21 Sep 2016 3:21 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    What does a home inspector look for?

    Inspectors run down a checklist of potential problems. While we won’t list all 1,600, here’s the boiled-down version:

    • Grounds: Inspectors are looking for current or future water issues such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts. They check out landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition (an arborist will give you a more detailed assessment); and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and railings.
    • Structure: Is the house foundation solid? Are the sides straight? Are the window and door frames square? This part of the inspection is particularly important when you’re considering buying an older home.
    • Roof: The inspector’s looking for defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia, all of which can cause ceiling drips; loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights.
    • Exterior: The inspector will look for siding cracks, rot, or decay; cracking or flaking masonry; cracks in stucco; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture (although dirt can be in contact with the cement foundation).
    • Window, doors, trim: If you want to keep heat in, cold out, and energy bills low, windows and doors must be in good working condition. The inspector will see if frames are secure and without rot, caulking is solid and secure, and glass is undamaged.
    • Interior rooms: Inspectors are concerned about leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings that could point to water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and insufficient heating vents that could make a room cold and drafty.
    • Kitchen: Inspectors make sure range hood fans vent to the outside; ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection exists for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink; no leaks occur under the sink; and cabinet doors and drawers operate properly.
    • Bathrooms: Inspectors want to see toilets flushing, drains draining, showers spraying, and tubs securely fastened.
    • Plumbing: Inspectors are evaluating pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature.
    • Electrical: Inspectors will check if the visible wiring and electrical panels are in good shape, light switches work correctly, and there are enough outlets in each room.


    How a buyer can help the inspector

    Bring any and all concerns about the property to your inspector before he begins, so he’ll keep a sharp lookout for possible problems. If the seller has disclosed damage, give your inspector a heads up about that, too.

    Another smart move is to accompany the inspector during his rounds. It’s in your best interest to understand the home, its systems, and potential problems. For instance, an inspector can introduce you to electrical panels and shut-off water valves (which the seller may not know how to operate or forget to show you), and if he spots a problem, he can show you exactly how a system is malfunctioning and what it means. And this info will serve you well not only before you buy, but afterward as well.

    Source: Yahoo News.

  • 15 Sep 2016 1:18 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    Wise move to make it a condition of the sale

    Buying a house is often said to be one of the most stressful events in people’s lives — and it’s one of the most expensive investments most will ever make.

     Once people find the home they think will fit their needs, it would be wise for them to first get a home inspection as a condition of the sale.  

     When choosing a home inspector or home inspection company, buyers should do a little homework. Ask for referrals from friends and family. Real estate firms often have a concierge desk or table with the business cards of home inspectors that do work in the local area.

      Mike Hogan of Fenton is a former professional home inspector. He said the entire home inspection process depends on the age and size of the home.

     “The bigger, older homes like the ones close to downtown areas in Fenton, Linden and Holly take longer because of their size and potential for more problem areas than a newer, traditional home,” he said.

     The average inspection takes anywhere from two to five hours, he said. The cost of an inspection depends on the square footage, with the average price ranging from $250 to $400.

     Home inspectors almost always work for buyers so it is important for sellers to remember a few things before the inspection appointment.

     Since the attic and basement are key areas to be inspected, Hogan said it would be helpful for sellers to keep access to those areas free of obstructions.

     He also said some people “for some reason” like to store toys or folded clothing and other laundry in the bathtub. Home inspectors need to fill each bathtub in the home as part of the plumbing inspection.

     Some people are of the impression that if the home inspector finds a problem, he can repair it as well.

     “We only point out that there is a problem, we don’t fix it,” Hogan said. “We don’t require them to fix it either. Whether it gets fixed or not and who pays for the repair is usually negotiated between the buyer and seller, with the help of their agent.

     “What it comes down to, is whether the buyer wants to pay for any needed repairs, or if the seller wants to take it off the price, that’s up to them,” he said.

     Home inspectors do not determine property values either, Hogan said. That is up to the appraisers.

     “Everyone loves their own home,” said Hogan. “Both buyers and sellers should remember that there is no such thing as the perfect house. Each has its own quirks.

     “Houses age just like we do,” he said.

    Source:  TCT

  • 07 Sep 2016 3:15 PM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    My water pump and water tank went out. I have been in my house only a year. I have no home warranty insurance. Whose responsibility is it to replace it? I did have a home inspection done. Also how do I go about getting my money back from the home inspector?

    We hate to say this, but you are responsible for replacing the water pump and water tank. As a homeowner you now have responsibility for maintaining and keeping the home in tiptop shape. Things break. Things go wrong. They have to be fixed. Maintenance and repair are a big part of homeownership.

    You can’t blame your home inspector for these issues. The items you mentioned seemed to have worked for the first year you lived in the home. The inspector didn’t tell you that they would work forever. He probably gave you a report that indicated that these items were in working order at the time of the inspection. Pumps, appliances, furnaces, air-conditioning units, washing machines, dishwashers and other items can go at any time.

    Even new items can have problems. However, when you purchase new items, like appliances, you may have a manufacturer’s warranty and can then ask the manufacturer to repair them. We’d say that it looks like you probably had a good inspector if you didn’t have any issues pop up until a year after your purchase.

    The bigger issue with home inspectors is when problems surface shortly after the purchase. An example of a big problem: Right after you moved in, you found structural problems with the home that the inspector should have caught. In your case, something failed a year after your purchase. We think it’s time for you to acknowledge that ownership has its benefits and its costs, and step up.

    These repairs will be one of many you may have while you live in the home. Our experience is that appliances don’t last as long as they used to. We’ve started to become accustomed to replacing washing machines, dryers, toaster ovens, air-conditioning units and even electrical switches way earlier than our parents. We’ve replaced our clothes dryer twice in the past six years. (And we chose one with excellent ratings, which don’t seem to matter at all these days.)

    Manufacturers are in the business of selling products to consumers. While they may give consumers the impression that their goods stand the test of time, they may not. It may be our fading memories, but we seem to remember our parents’ appliances lasting for 20 years, but now we’re lucky when appliances last more than seven years. Recently, a delivery person for a large appliance dealer in our area indicated to us that some appliances made by a large appliance manufacturer were failing after only a couple of years, just like ours.

    All homeowners should save up extra cash to replace appliances on a regular schedule. And if you’re looking for a home, be sure to add in a line item for maintenance and upkeep, because you’re sure to need it.

    Source:  The Washington Post

  • 05 Sep 2016 11:24 AM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)
    A Home Inspector Event you don't want to miss!  Reserve your seats now!

    Just 10 Seats Left for the TSI 11th Annual Workshop October 4-6. Are you going to join us?

    The information and networking you'll enjoy at the workshop is invaluable. The food is awesome and the Big Tent out back is the BEST place to meet and greet!

    If you can only attend one workshop this fall, this should be this one!

    There are a few seats left and hotel rooms at the historic Woodbridge Inn, so if you're thinking of joining us in October, get your seat reserved and hotel booked because once we reach our limit, then we're closing the doors!

    Reserve Workshop seats!

  • 01 Sep 2016 8:43 AM | Amy Newcomer (Administrator)

    Q. The people who are buying my house hired a home inspector. When he was inspecting the attic, I climbed his ladder and watched what he was doing for about 10 minutes. I asked him what he looks for in an attic, and he just said: "The usual stuff." I didn't want to press him, but I sure would like to know what it is that takes so much time when a home inspector looks at an attic. What do you guys look for?

    A. There is a long list of things that home inspectors routinely look for in attics, as well as unusual findings: things that inspectors don't look for but that arise as big surprises.

    The usual things that are inspected in attics include the condition of the roof framing and decking materials that cover the framing. These are inspected for proper installation, apparent damage, and water stains resulting from roof leakage. Insulation and ventilation are also evaluated. Insulation is needed for energy efficiency of the home, and ventilation is needed to minimize heat gain in summer and to prevent moisture condensation inside the attic.

    Aside from the general construction of the roof and attic, there are electrical, plumbing and mechanical components that need to be inspected for function and safety. Faulty wiring is often found in attics, especially when homeowners have made alterations for lighting, ceiling fans or other fixtures. Examples include exposed wire splices that should be installed in junction boxes, or disconnected wires with exposed live ends.

    Plumbing problems are also found in attics, such as sewer vents the terminate inside the attic, rather than venting to the outside of the building, or PEX water pipes that are exposed to sunlight at the attic vents.

    Fire hazards can also be found in an attic. The most common of these involve flue pipes for gas-burning fixtures and fireplace chimneys. Flues and chimneys have minimum clearance requirements to combustible materials, but home inspectors often find these to be touching the wood framing members. In some cases, the wood is charred from heat exposure.

    Forced air heating systems are often installed in attics, and this is one of the most important aspects of a home inspection. Furnaces have to be checked for proper installation and performance, with particular attention to fire safety compliance. When systems include air conditioning, there are additional considerations, especially with regard to drainage of moisture condensation.

    Even when the heating and air systems are installed elsewhere in the building, there are likely to be air ducts in the attic, and these can be damaged, separated, or improperly installed, affecting the overall efficiency of the system. There may also be problems with the duct insulation.

    Aside from these common issues, there are unusual situations for an observant inspector, such as damaged vent screens that allow birds or bats to nest inside the attic. There are traps or droppings that indicate possible rodent infestation. In some cases, there is evidence of a previous house fire. There may be excessive storage of personal property causing damage to the framing. There may be spots of sunlight shining through the roof, indicating potential roof leaks

    For an experienced home inspector, the foregoing is a summary list of the many defects that can and do occur, to one degree or another, in nearly all attics.







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