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How to Become a HUD Inspector

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts inspections to ensure that all properties owned, insured or subsidized by HUD comply with federal regulations. These properties may be houses, apartment buildings, elder housing developments and group homes for disabled people. You can become an inspector of HUD properties or, if you have professional experience in home improvement, a self-employed consultant for the HUD's 203 (k) loan program. The certification process for each type of inspector is different.

Prepare and Apply

Prospective HUD inspectors must be knowledgeable about the function and administration of HUD inspectors and the Uniform Physical Condition Standards, which ensure consistency and objectivity in inspections. Study the UPCS deficiencies that would raise concerns, such as inadequate drainage, which can water damage, or broken walkways, which pose a tripping hazard. Fill out and submit the Inspector Assessment Form, found on the HUD website. If HUD deems you a qualified candidate, you will receive a welcome letter and instructions for pursuing a position.

Training Phases

HUD training is divided into three modules. The first and second are self-paced online training courses that cover topics such as HUD's responsibilities, the inspector's role, areas to be inspected and how to use HUD's software systems. You must complete this training and pass the online test for each phase to proceed to the third module, which is a four-day classroom session. This is followed by a two-part certification examination. After you pass the exam, you will receive a badge that identifies you as an inspector candidate. This allows you to begin the on-the-job portion of your training program.

First Assignment and Certification

With your badge in hand, you may bid on your first assignment via HUD's reverse auction website. Choose an inspection job and submit a bid for your fee. The lowest fee bid wins at the end of the auction. Or you may receive an inspection assignment directly from a mortgagee or contractor. You will perform this inspection under supervision of HUD staff. After several successful supervised inspections, you may be approved as a full-fledged, certified HUD inspector.

Become a Consultant

HUD uses consultant inspectors when a prospective buyer or owner applies for a 203 (k) loan to purchase, refinance or repair a home. You must have at least three years of experience as a home improvement contractor, commercial home inspector or as a licensed architect or engineer to become a consultant. Prepare a resume that includes relevant education and a description of your ability to perform inspections. Your application also must include certification that you have read HUD Handbook 4240.4, REV 2, and the materials listed in Mortgagee Letter 2000-25. Submit your documentation via HUD's website. If HUD finds you qualified, you will be listed on the FHA 203(k) Consultant Roster provided to 203(k) loan applicants, who must get an inspection to qualify for the loan.

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About the Author

A retired federal senior executive currently working as a management consultant and communications expert, Mary Bauer has written and edited for senior U.S. government audiences, including the White House, since 1984. She holds a Master of Arts in French from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in English, French and international relations from Aquinas College.