Home inspection as a business?

Does anyone have experience in this area? There was an ad in the local paper for a class that was 60 hours (10 hrs per day, Friday, Sat and Sun spread out over two weekends). It included one field trip to participate in a home inspection. After the class, you were supposed to be prepared enough to pass a certification test in Illinois. I live in Ohio where there is no certification requirements. The cost was $1795, which after researching other classes on the web, wasn't unreasonable. There is an opportunity to make $100/hr since each home inspection takes 3 hrs to complete and typically costs $275 - $325. The guy I spoke with said he knows one person that's making $200K/year but is doing 3 inspections per day which is pushing it. I imagine the hardest part of this business would be marketing your self to realtors and getting your name known. The yellow page had quite a few home inspectors available but I'm not sure what the demand would be to know if the market is saturated. Does anyone know of any pitfalls to this line of work? TIA Lit Ticker
*Please REMOVE the obvious for my correct email address*
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"Lit Ticker" wrote in message

Interesting you write about this. Not long ago there was an article in the business section of the Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio) about a local entrepreneur which started such a business. He paid to become a home inspector. Something he learned after the fact, was to belong to the NAHI ( http://www.nahi.org/ ) you must have logged 275 home inspections before joining. What's interesting is, realtors only use inspectors belonging to this organization. You must pay to belong, plus fumble through trying to get your own business of 275 customers before joining. He had high hopes he could get 275 customers within 3 years on his own, otherwise he would be out of business and broke. Think about it, you won't get any referral business through a realtor until after you join NAHI. Comes down to, do you think you can survive for the time being running ads etc., for the first 275 customers? There are now some large companies which know how to play the game, will you be able to compete with these on your own?
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wrote:

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but NAHI is not the accepted certifying agency in most of the country. Check the American Society of Home Inspectors for the most widely accepted certifications.
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On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 22:28:56 GMT, Lit Ticker

I hate to discourage you, but if you have to attend a class to do this, you're probably going to have a hard time. Every house is different and a solid background in building, remodeling, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and code requirements is just the beginning. I do home inspections but I also do a lot of new construction inspections and commercial plan review work as well. Client expectations are high and you better be prepared to back your report up in court if you don't want to wind up broke. Check the International Code Council's web site for additional qualifications that could help you stay out of trouble. That said an ASHI certificate is virtually a necessity.
Good Luck!
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Dan wrote:

Also wouldn't he need liability insurance? Tony
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Speaking as a homeowner, I doubt very much that I would ever hire someone who's only experience was 60 hours of "classroom" training.
Look at the math: I could hire you with zero eperience in the business and zero experience in construction and pay $300 or I can hire someone who's been a contractor or engineer or builder for years and has also maybe done 1,000 or more home inspections for .... $300 or so. See the problem?
And even if you undercut the price, I'm not interested in saving a hundred bucks or so when the item being inspected is a $400,000 house that will hold my family and my life. Maybe if you posted a bond for the value of the house and left it there for five years until I knew the place was as sound as you said it was. Probably cost more than you'd make ont he job though. :)
This is one business where you need experience to even think of starting or only fools will hire you and fools are often the first to sue when things go sour.
Not to be offensive but consider becoming a city code inspector, judging by reports here, some places only check to see if you are breathing before they send you out to pass judgement on other people's work. :)
Jim P.
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In my area of the country, there are some hot-button issues with home inspectors. Dry-rot is one of these issues and if the home inspector misses it, by not going down a tight crawl space and thoroughly checking every area, they can and will be sued by the new owner of the property when the s..t hits the fan.
Beachcomber
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Lit Ticker wrote:

I've never done this type of work, but have sold real estate and have been an owner of a small business for about 20 years. I would be very careful when someone takes "gross sales" and says that that is what they "make". It is not what they make it is what they gross. There is a huge difference.
Peter H
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On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 22:28:56 GMT, Lit Ticker

Soon you'll be expanding- selling franchises- making Millions!! Just give me $4000 - I'll show you how.
Or better yet, pay me $1795. Work for me for 60 hours & I'll show you how to make thousands of dollars. (really)
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I remember a friend of mine used a home inspector recommended by her real estate agent years ago when she bought her house. He found the leaking toilet, the dripping faucet, and the absence of GFI receptacles. He failed to see the extension cord running through the basement joists feeding the sump pump, the decaying chimney, the foundation problems, and the outward bow of an outside wall . She wound up suing him and settled out of court and spent a lot of money to make the necessary repairs.
There is a lot more to home construction then you can learn in a week and a half. Unless you have a background in one or more building trades I'd suggest that you spend money for training in some other field.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 22:28:56 GMT, Lit Ticker

Thanks all to those providing feedback! Yes I'd thought about the liability insurance too but forgot to mention it in the post. I stick with what I know for now and hope I find a job soon! Lit Ticker
*Please REMOVE the obvious for my correct email address*
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