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
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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?
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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