Intro to Home Inspection Business
July 6, 2018 2:10 PM   Subscribe

My partner has decided to take the career leap into becoming a home inspector. My question is, for those that have experience in the industry: What are we missing? Is there a way to make sure that she is being set up for success and not missing a crucial step along the way? Also, what would be considered fair wages for a home inspector? If you are a home inspector, what advice would you give someone starting in the industry? How to make sure that she isn't being taken advantage of by the person offering apprenticeship?

Luckily she has a friend that is taking her under their wing and offering to train her in home inspection, possibly passing the business on to her.
She's found a few books on the subject and has already started research into what she needs to incorporate as a LLC, purchase the correct insurance, and file for business taxes later on.
posted by shesaysgo to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have a good network of relationships with realtors
posted by saturdaymornings at 2:17 PM on July 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

I do this as a part time gig. It's fun, but a ton of work.

I'm certified through Inter NACHI. It's 500 dollars per year, but the training videos and such are well done. If she hasn't got a ton of construction experience, I think it'd be a good resource. Also, binge watch This Old House and Ask This Old House. There is *a lot* to know and look for.

You'll probably have to decide at some point if you want to preserve a relationship with a realtor or be honest with a client. I always choose the honesty - I'm paid by the client, and the house is what the house is. The client is free to ignore everything I say, and I have no investment in making the deal go through. I've pissed off a few realtors, unfortunately, and this has hurt my business with them. Its a trade I am willing to make because I value my integrity more than my bank account - but it sucks that they do that.

Absolutely have the insurance. Also, maybe a good lawyer on retainer. My partner and I are having an issue with a client over a broken doorknob in a bedroom. I did the inspection, noted that the doorknob was loose and needed work. He bought the place, and, I guess, it broke. It's a 30 dollar part - and I offered to buy it and do the replacement - but he wants 300 and this and a refund. Since he has already failed to get the seller to pony up, he's after us. Anyway - its worth the money we pay other people for that to be SEP.

Also, invest in good kneepads, respirator, and several headlamps. I also invested in an extendable painters pole - I can put my phone/camera on there and get to hard to reach/see areas pretty easy. Also makes it much easier to check out 12 pitch and gambrel roofs.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:08 PM on July 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

Ymmv but we are in Canada (Sk), and just got an inspection done on our new house today! He spent 2-3 hours inspecting the house and am hour with us discussing the findings, and his rate was approximately $525.00. This is average for our neck of the woods but prices I'm sure vary by region.
posted by DTMFA at 3:26 PM on July 6, 2018

What qualifications does she have?

When I look for home inspections I look for retired civil/construction/structural engineers. They know about the stuff happening around the age of the houses I'm buying.
posted by sanka at 4:40 PM on July 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

For this kinda thing, some construction & renovation experience would be good. If one was just gonna jump in without that technical expertise, then you could maybe make some gigs by promoting yourself a lot. But if you're gonna do that, maybe just be a realtor?
posted by ovvl at 6:55 PM on July 6, 2018

I looked into this a bit a little while back, and one thing I picked up was that a common path for home inspectors is to spend a couple of years working for a bank at the beginning, under one of their licenses. This might be an alternative way to get in the training and hours while still being paid, should your partner decide for whatever reason that working under their friend isn't the way to go.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:13 AM on July 7, 2018

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