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Job Description of a Foreclosure Inspector

A foreclosure inspector examines the physical condition of houses, buildings, and other properties under foreclosure by banks and other lending organizations. The condition of a property, including any needed repairs, help determine its value.

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Job Description

Foreclosure inspectors are responsible for assessing the value and condition of properties which a bank or lending institution has ceased or is about to take control of. When a homeowner or borrower is unable to make payments on the property, the bank will foreclose on the loan and assign a foreclosure inspector to determine the condition of the property.

The Inspection

As with home inspectors, foreclosure inspectors will report on system and components of the interior and exterior of the building, including electrical, heating, and plumbing. Inspectors examine the structure and foundation for damage and survey any additions, such as porches and decks. They also inspect attached and unattached features of the property, including carports and garages.

An inspection may last from two hours or longer, depending on the size and condition of the home, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.homeinspector.org). The National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) provides a standard of practice which outlines the responsibilities and limitations of home inspection (www.nahi.org).

The foreclosure inspector's report will help determine the value of the property. Because foreclosed properties are susceptible to vandalism, foreclosure inspectors may have to assess any physical damage beyond that of a standard home inspector. They will also need to determine if a tenant still occupies the property.

Certification and licensure

Many foreclosure inspectors will be employed as independent contractors who determine for themselves the amount of certification and licensure they need to be hirable. Most states and cities have laws which require home inspectors to carry a certain level of licensure to practice in a given jurisdiction. Typically, this includes a combination of education, experience, and examination. Renewing or maintaining a license usually requires proof of continuing education in the field.

A number of industry associations offer certification that is the required standard in some states and cities. The Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) has information on state requirements and offers an independent exam. The American Society of Home Inspectors offers training and continuing education opportunities as does the International Code Council (ICC), which also has certification offerings. NAHI offers the Certified Real Estate Inspector (CRI) program.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage of construction and building inspectors in May of 2013 was $54,450 (www.bls.gov). The BLS has predicted that inspector employment growth should consistent with the average rate predicted among all occupations from 2012 to 2022, with a 12% increase expected.

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