North Carolina Home Inspector Association
The Newsletter of the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Association

NCLHIA small logo
September 2015
The mission of the NCLHIA, the premier nonprofit association of licensed home inspectors in North Carolina, is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession, and to meet the needs of the home buying/selling public.


In This Issue

The Newsletter of the NCLHIA
Jamey Tippens - Editor

with valuable help from
Dave Hahn

Benefits of Joining NCLHIA
  • Meet and Share your experiences with other Home Inspectors at the local chapters 
  • Save on Continuing Education at the Annual Conference
  • NEW! Discounts on Radon Certification Training through  RTCA  (see below)
  • Special Pricing for Insurance through AFLAC
  • Special pricing with Legal Shield 
  • Stay up to date with the latest developments concerning Home Inspectors in  North Carolina  
  • Inspector Directory on the NCLHIA Website helps your clients find you!  


President: Bob Scott

Vice President:
Wayne Mander

Jamey Tippens

Treasurer and Past President: 
Eric Coates

 Executive Director:
Robert Wilson

 Charlotte Chapter President:

Dave Hahn


Triangle Chapter President:

Wilson Fausel


Coastal Chapter President

John Gainey



Discounted Radon Certification Training


As a benefit to NCLHIA members, Radon Testing Corporation of America (RTCA) is offering a $100 discount for on-line training for radon certification and continuing education.


Benefits of Radon Certification

  • Extra income - NCLHIA members have reported that from 15% to 40% of their inspection customers also want radon testing along with the home inspection. With radon testing prices from $125 to $175, this can be an additional source of income.

  • Free listing on the NC Radon and the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) web sites will bring you more business


How The Discount Works

For all NCLHIA members, contact Robert Wilson via email at and let him know you are interested in this program. He will forward your information to RTCA who will contact you with your login for their on-line program, apply the discount and RTCA will collect their fee - NCLHIA does not collect any fees. Once you have completed the training with RTCA, you will contact the NRSB. If you have never been certified, you will  take an exam administered through the NRSB or by an approved proctor in your area (information on approved proctors will be sent to you by the NRSB). If you have been previously certified, there is no exam.



Inspectors with no previous certification:

The on-line course through RTCA is $225 for NCLHIA members ($325 for non-members). Price for an exam through NRSB is $90. After passing the exam, the certification fee through NRSB is $85 for 1 year or $135 for 2 years.


Inspectors previously certified through NRSB:

You take the on-line CE through RTCA at $225 for NCLHIA members ($325 for non-NCLHIA members). Then the certification through NRSB is $85 1 year $135 for 2 years - no exam is required.


Using the NCHILB recommended language for Stone Veneer?  Check the link!


The link to the Masonry Veneer Manufacturer's Association on the original recommended language no longer works.  Here is the new link:
Call for articles
Probings is always looking for articles for upcoming issues.  If you have a tip, a suggestion, a funny or scary or informative story about home inspections, please email Jamey Tippens:
Welcome to Probings, the NCLHIA newsletter.   Want to improve your business, learn new skills, stay ahead of the curve?  NCLHIA is here to help.  Please enjoy the newsletter, and let us know what you think.

Information about new rules for real estate closings
New Regulations about Building Codes
Tips and techniques
New benefits for Members


18th Annual NCLHIA Education and Home Inspectors Convention in Winston-Salem 


The annual NCLHIA home inspectors' convention will be held the last weekend in February.  Stay tuned for more information in our next issue. 

Join the NCLHIA

For only $150.00 a year, enjoy all the benefits of membership.  Just click here to join - it's easy.   


From NCLHIA President 
Bob Scott

   Greetings, I never thought I would address this association as President again. I believe in our profession and I am willing to do what is necessary for this industry and this association to enhance who we are, what we do and how the public perceives us.

   There has been a lot happening in the real estate and home mortgage industry in the last year or so. Many inspectors have seen their business pick back up, maybe not to the level before the recession, but an immense improvement. We are all looking forward to growth in the industry.

   As you know there have been changes in the process to obtain a home inspection license. We hope that these changes will bring more qualified individuals to the profession and help raise the bar in what we all do. I encourage you to help these new people as they will come in behind many of us that have been around for a while and continue what we have started.
   Our association is growing. As a strong group, we all need to work together to keep our businesses sound and profitable. The NCLHIA board is doing more to promote our association and its members, so be sure to use the NCLHIA Logo on your correspondence and utilize the web site and other benefits that are there for you. Attend your local chapter meetings to learn and support your association.  

   Thank you for allowing me to serve as your president.  I wish continued success to everyone.

   If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 704-843-7601.

                                                                                   Thank you,
                                                                                    Bob Scott 

ConferenceChanges to Real Estate Closings That Might Affect How YOU get Paid  

By Jamey Tippens 

New closing rules go into effect October 3, 2015 


Beginning October 3, 2015, there will be major changes in Real Estate Closings in NC and around the nation. This part of a process started by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to make mortgages and lending more clear and simple for consumers, and to make the loan process simpler to negotiate. The new rules are called TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure)


This article states the basic facts about the changes to closings and how this MAY affect home inspectors and their clients. Most of the information here comes from a great presentation given by a knowledgeable real estate agent at the Triangle Chapter meeting last month.  I encourage you to join your local NCLHIA chapter so you can learn from the experts.   


Borrowers' privacy will be more thoroughly protected than in the past. Closing attorneys and lenders must transfer documents through an encrypted portal - this will increase the costs of closings. Buyers and sellers will have separate closings.


The closing document will no longer be called the HUD-1, but will be replaced by a "Closing Disclosure" or CD. Buyers must have the closing disclosure in hand three days prior to closing if hand delivered, and six banking days if delivered by other methods, and no changes will be allowed after that time. Banking days are Monday through Saturday. This is a change from the present condition where changes can be made up to the time of the closing. For home inspectors who will be paid at closing, this means your invoice must be at the attorney's office well in advance of the closing or you may not get paid.

The CFPB will fine attorneys $20,000 a day for violating this rule.

Due to these restraints, large banks will no longer trust anyone but themselves to handle closings - and you'll see many more closings in-house through the lenders rather than through local real estate attorneys. Some banks will still allow closing attorneys but the big national banks will not.


So my advice is get paid at the time of inspection, not at the closing. It's no longer the job of the Realtor or the paralegal at the lawyer's office to accumulate all of the invoices - it becomes incumbent on the inspector to make sure the invoice is in the proper hands.


Lenders will want all invoices within FIVE days of contract formation. This will make arranging inspections difficult, since most of us schedule two or three weeks in advance during the busy months. If you are going to be paid at closing, you should submit your invoice immediately on scheduling the inspection - even if the inspection is two weeks away. Some attorneys and Realtors may want to submit invoices on behalf of inspectors from a verified price list.


Lenders will have much more control over the real estate process than in the past - this will put extra pressure on Realtors.


Additional costs for borrowers:

  • The encrypted portal cost will be necessary whether or not the transaction goes to closing.

  • Most attorneys now wait until the last minute to acquire title insurance for a transaction. The new rules mean that title insurance must be purchased sooner and buyers will have to pay in advance, not at closing.

  • Due diligence fees will likely increase.

  • Closings will likely be slower.

  • On most loans, the additional costs will be out of the buyer's pocket and not payable at closing. This means that buyers will have less cash at the time of the inspection and may want to pay you at the closing.

Buyers will be so financially committed that sellers will refuse to make repairs - sellers will have the upper hand.

Buyers are making more of a gamble.

Realtors may hold off on forming the contract until after the inspection to give the buyer a chance to terminate before investing more money.


Buyers will be looking for places to cut costs.


Some Realtors will be lost and confused when the new rules come into effect, though as of August 31, more than 80% of Realtors surveyed

have had some training about the rules. If you plan to be paid at closing it may be necessary to go over the agent's head and deal directly with the attorney or lender.



For more information about the new processes, CFPB has a web page for real estate professionals.  


The bottom line for inspectors is: Get Your Payment Now. Don't wait until closing.







How to Break a Soap Dish

by Tom Pickett 


1970 home with a nice tiled bathroom.  I had tapped around the tile and found a couple of hollow sounding tiles.  Being the diligent Home Inspector and concerned about accidents I pulled GENTLY on the tile soap dish and before I could say OH FUDGE!! the dish pulled off and broke into a million pieces in the tub. The photo shows the hole behind the dish and the rotted and moldy wall behind.  I found the problem but did cause some commotion with the sound of breaking ceramic.

So now I am putting one hand under the dish and pulling with the other hand.





You'll Be Seeing More AFCI Protected Circuits  

By Jamey Tippens


As you probably know, the 2011 NC Electrical Code required more branch circuits in new construction to be AFCI protected than in previous cycles.  But there's also a North Carolina rule coming along January 1, 2016, that when replacing or repairing receptacle outlets in all houses, regardless of age, that AFCI protection be included.  (406.4(D)(4) Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.  The receptacle manufacturers have an AFCI Receptacle for sale that looks just like a GFCI receptacle except that it's marked "AFCI".  You're likely to start seeing these soon.  Your GFCI tester won't trip them or properly test them.  


As of now, our Standards of Practice say we don't have to test AFCI devices:  .1110(e)(2)  "The home inspector is not required to test or operate any overcurrent device except ground fault circuit interrupters."

For more information about AFCI receptacles read Ruben Saltzman's blog entry.  Ruben is a home inspector in Minnesota and he often has helpful posts.   


Building Code Regulatory Reform Bill Becomes Law


By Dave Hahn

Building Code Regulatory Reform, formerly known as House Bill 255, has become law in North Carolina, effective Oct. 1, 2015.

 Here are the main provisions of the bill:



* Provides that single-family residential construction, repair, and replacement work may be done without a building permit when the cost of the project is $15,000 or less - the previous requirement was $5,000. Note: Some building work, no matter the cost, always requires a permit. This includes most electrical, mechanical and plumbing changes, along with the addition, repair or replacement of load-bearing members or structures, like decks, carports, garages, backyard storage buildings, room additions, finishing unfinished attic space, kitchen cabinet replacement, or sub-floor repairs.

* Provides for separate residential/building code committees that will review issues and recommend changes to the state Building Code Council.

* Provides for architects and engineers to certify selected elements or components in one- and two-family dwellings, eliminating the requirement for plan review and inspections on those items, if a report is provided to the local code enforcement authority.

* Requires that the state Department of Insurance/Building Code Council must post commentaries and code interpretations on the Web within 10 business days.


If you would like to review the complete text of the law follow this link:


Water Pressure vs. Functional Flow

During home inspections, I am often asked, "How's the water Pressure?"  They are surprised when I state I do not check the pressure, I check for functional flow.  Then I explain:
If I took apart my ink pen and blew through it, I could get 2 or 3 pounds of pressure.  If that was water, it would not be enough to take a shower.  If I used a 4" pipe and ran water at 2 or 3 PSI, there would be plenty of water for a shower.  I tell them that what I am looking for is, can I run the shower, run a sink and flush the toilet without reducing the flow  in the shower to unusable.  That's good functional flow.