Just a little about the home inspection process. I would NEVER suggest that anyone move in the direction of purchasing a home without first getting a home inspection. It is important.
However, I have always been disturbed by how unregulated the home inspection industry is in Florida. Real estate is, on the other hand , extremely regulated. I posted to my BLOG about this issue. Access my BLOG at the home page of this website. Look on the left under "about". See my post of July 5, 2009. I have also posted just below a recent article from Angies List about the new law. I totally disagree with the comments that this law is unnecessary. I think it is very necessary. I note that some of the comments below say that the law does not go far enough. Those comments are being made by home inspectors.
Nonetheless, I have worked with some very competent home inspectors. The decision is yours as to whom you choose but below are a few who carry my endorsement:
Southern Home Consultants Raney Oven 668.0917
Florida home inspectors lambast state licensing law
Published on June 24, 2010Homeowners can check now for a home inspector’s license at myfloridalicense.com, but enforcement is still one year away.
Photo courtesy of International Association of Certified Home Inspectorsby Matthew BradyFlorida's new law requiring home inspectors to be licensed appears to have little support.The two largest national home inspection groups say the law makes it too easy to become an inspector. A construction industry expert calls it "disastrous." One state official says that with only six home inspector complaints in 10 years, the state didn't ask for licensing. Even the legislator who sponsored the bill says it's not ideal.But as of July 1, home inspectors must be licensed. The law includes a one-year grace period to educate inspectors and finalize details.Bill sponsor State Rep. Ritch Workman says state regulation is not his first choice for protecting consumers from bad contractors. "I'm not really a 'big government' guy," he says. "I think the free market can protect you if you are shrewd enough to shop around."The industry, he says, lobbied to be licensed and he says it does give homeowners an extra tool. "Before, if you hired a bad home inspector and he missed stuff or didn't do his job, the only recourse you had was to sue," Workman says. "Now you can go after their license."
At least two national and one state home inspection associations offer their own credentials and continuing education requirements. While not a guarantee of quality, membership can indicate the inspector is properly trained.American Society of Home InspectorsInternational Association of Certified Home InspectorsFlorida Association of Building InspectorsAngie's List member Ceridwen Taliesin of Temple Terrace, Fla. says she would have appreciated that resource when she was looking for a home inspector last year. "I knew that anybody could call themselves a home inspector in Florida and they may not be telling you what you need to know," she says.In addition to going after a bad contractor's license, the new law requires contractors to carry at least $300,000 in liability insurance so homeowners can file a claim if a job goes bad. But critics say the false sense of security the new law gives homeowners outweighs those benefits.The law's requirements — 120 hours of classes, an exam and a criminal background check, but no experience needed — are too low to make "licensed" synonymous with "qualified," they say."You can't take somebody who knows nothing about construction and three weeks later graduate them as a home inspector," says Bob Koning, director of the Contractors Institute. "What they've effectively done is lower the bar so low that anybody can get it."Nick Gromicko, founder of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, says the law's grandfather clause is also appalling. Through February, people can get a license with an exam and 14 hours of classes."We hoped that licensing would strengthen requirements, but by the time the grandfathering clause was put into the rule, it becomes a hurdle that everybody can just step over," he says.Koning says homeowners should look for inspectors with a residential contractor license, which has stricter requirements. Many of the top-rated Tampa inspectors on Angie's List hold that license.However, Mark Cramer, owner of Mark Cramer Inspection Services in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., says the residential contractor license is not always a reliable indicator of quality because "inspection and construction are entirely different things." He holds a construction license, but says, "You don't know what you don't know" until you've been trained in home inspection.