So You Want to Be a Home Inspector?

What I am about to tell you may get me in hot water with all those self help experts and schools that promote home inspection courses and basically anyone who makes money off of new home inspector’s. That’s OK I can take the heat.

First let’s take care of the myth that a home inspector can make $20,000 to $30,000 a year part time and $60,000 to $80,000 full time. This myth is perpetuated by educators and self help experts. The reality is that you do not make any where near that type of money in the first year, maybe the second year but for most it’ll be the third year. Many new inspectors are not aware of this reality and become disillusioned and do one of two things either quit or slash their inspection fees hoping to gain more business. The latter is not a good idea because it will hurt your fellow inspectors and more than likely you’ll quit finding that the lower fees won’t pay the bills.

Another reality that you are not informed about is cost. It can cost you a pretty penny from thermal cameras, high tech equipment to educational courses. These could cost you between $10,000 and $15,000 and that doesn’t even include vehicles, licenses, errors and omission and general liability insurance, association fees etc… Are you scared yet? you should be.

You need to walk into this with your eyes open and you’ll be OK. Oh, and by the way you will need a second income to survive. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great industry to get involved in and the rewards can be great in the long term and the key words are long term. You need to develop a game plan and stick to it through thick and thin and it should involve a lot of marketing, website development and personal study. Below are some quick pointers to guide you along the right path.

Before you start anything do your research and the first place to hit is the industries message boards. Here you will feel the pulse of the industry from new and seasoned inspectors. Go to local chapter meetings. When you have completed that first step and feel you still want to become an inspector research your local community and see if it can support another inspector at this time. In the big urban areas this is not as much a factor as it is in rural areas.

If you are still interested then it is time to research your education. Research your home inspector schools, not all are created equal. Pick the best one that fits your budget. If you have a trades background you’ll have a leg up, but remember building, repairs and installation are different animals than inspecting. If you do not have a trades background it’s time to hit the books and read on everything about the systems of a home.

You should also join a national association, the three biggies in the U.S. are the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, American Society of Home Inspectors and National Association Of Home Inspectors. In Canada you have the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and Canadian Association of Property and Home Inspectors. For dollar value I think InterNACHI is the best with the amount of free education and member benefits they offer inspectors. Many states and provinces have their regional associations as well, think about joining them they represent you at a local level.

Now that you are on your way to becoming a home inspector, another item that should be in your arsenal is your reporting software. The most popular are Home Inspector Pro, Home Gauge and 3D. I personally use HIP because of it’s ease of use. The other inspecting programs are just as good. You need to research which one will suit your needs. They all offer free trial downloads so that you can experiment with them. Remember, you definitely need software, checklists are so 80’s and 90’s that they scream newbie. Also get a website that matches your software. In this day and age of online shopping you are basically dead without one.

I have given you some reality checks and some pointers even though I did not touch on many things that will effect you, that is part of your research assignment about entering the property inspection field. Remember my warning, this isn’t a get rich quick scheme, instead it is a lot of hard work and long hours. If anyone tells you differently they are doing you a disservice. So take off those rose colored glasses, get down to some hard work and a lot of studying, some heart breaking moments which will eventually be followed by elation and join me in this wonderful world of home inspections.

Best Experiences Can Be Found in Home Inspector Schools

The role of the home inspection in real estate transaction is powerful. Deals in residential properties depend on the judgment provided by home inspectors. A very good home inspector means the one with good skills and knowledge. All of these start at home inspector schools. In school, the whole process of home inspection is tackled and also the opportunity the profession brings to an individual.

There are different kinds of courses offered in different schools and training centers. Students can choose any of these depending on their time and resources. Classroom courses offer the curriculum where the students are required to study home inspection class at school or training centers. The Home study or Online courses are offered to those individuals who prefer to study at the comfort of their homes, managing their own time and resources. Questions are answered through online also. Some training centers provide the Continuing Education. This is offered for marketing course, technical course or specialty course, depending on the needs of the applicant. The basics of the inspection are vital in producing licensed, certified or qualified inspectors. What the individuals learn is the knowledge that no cost can compare.

The home inspection process involves the steps being done prior and during the arrival at the site, the process during the inspection, communicating the findings and reporting. Home inspection follows specific guidelines in structural inspection. It is also the same with dynamics of the house structure wherein the weight, movement, wind and water, and internal stresses are taken into consideration. The foundation inspection includes inspecting the home’s footing’s, foundation walls, block foundation, poured concrete, brick and wood foundation, and piles, piers and beams. Home inspector schools provide tips on inspecting crawl spaces like accessing and inspecting the floor, ventilation and insulation. Inspecting the roof structure means checking the framing members, roof trusses and sheathing, water penetration and attic moisture.

The exterior inspection is one important part of the inspection. This includes the inspection of trim, windows, doors, areas of the house (steps, porches, balconies, patios, driveways, etc) and garage. One of the services done in home inspection is inspection of roofs. Home inspector is understood to have knowledge about the different types of roofs, the equipments needed and the natural enemies of roofs. Electrical and plumbing systems are part of the process and the same with the heating and cooling systems, insulation and ventilation systems.

A home inspector upon discovering flaws uses his or her judgment in inspecting. The checklist is reviewed and findings are filled-in on the report. An advanced home inspection company nowadays uses software that generates a formatted report. Good and unbiased reports usually win the trust of the home buyers and sellers. A Federal Housing Administration or FHA home inspector also provides a detailed report to protect the lenders and assures that the property is habitable.

Home inspector schools are really homes of certified home inspectors. Basic knowledge about home inspection is introduced in schools. An importance must be placed as early as this stage in order to instill to individuals what are the roles of the home inspection profession to the real estate world.

Why Online Home Inspector Training? Flexibility, Convenience and Much More!

As you prepare for a new future in home inspection, you may wonder what type of learning method provides the most advantages for you. If you haven’t considered learning online, you should take note of the many benefits of enrolling in an online home inspector training program. You’re a busy adult and need an education that is tailored to your life. From a flexible schedule to a self-paced course, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation of home inspection knowledge with these benefits:

Learn Anytime, Anywhere – One of the biggest advantages of choosing online training is that you can log onto your online course day or night. Because the course materials are accessible on your computer, you can literally determine your study schedule. If you work during the day, complete your assignments, quizzes and tests during your lunch break or at night after dinner. Additionally, if you have a laptop computer, you can learn on the go – take your computer with you and study whenever you have free time.

Create a Steady Pace – If you want learn the concepts faster, you can move at an accelerated rate. If you need to slow down to concentrate harder on the terminology and procedures, you can do that too. The best news is that you’re in charge! You never have to feel that you’re behind; you set the pace, which means that you call the shots in your education. You’ll know the material because you are learning it your way.

Receive High-Quality Materials – If you do your research and enroll in an accredited school, you’ll have the same high-quality materials that you’d find at a traditional brick-and-mortar school. From in-depth textbooks with full color illustrations to comprehensive DVDs that clearly depict home inspection concepts, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to succeed on the job. Additionally, some schools provide case studies and mentor ride-alongs so you can gain the hands-on experience you need to transfer into your career.

Keep Your Current Job – There’s no need to quit your job or take time off to prepare for your home inspection career. With online home inspector training, you can maintain your same schedule, with no disruptions. There’s also no additional time away from home. If you have a family, your study time doesn’t interfere with dinner, sports or after-school pickups. It’s the easiest way to keep things the same while you study for an exciting future.

Save Money, Time and Your Sanity – You can say goodbye to the negative aspects of traveling to a live school. There are no gas costs or parking fees. You don’t have to endure long commutes or time away from home. The distance between you and your training will be a short walk to your computer. You’ll sit down to study and be relaxed, calm and ready to focus on your studies.

Get Personal Assistance – Learning online doesn’t mean that you learn alone. In fact, most online schools provide one-on-one assistance with their online education. If you have a question, you can call during regular business hours and talk to someone. Course questions, technician issues or encouragement – you’ll find it all at an online school.

You have many choices when it comes to your education. You have to determine if the benefits of enrolling in an online home inspector training program are what you need with your career training. It’s an ideal way to prepare for your new future your way. If you like the idea of creating a custom education that works for you, then online learning should be your first choice. Online education can provide the flexibility, convenience and opportunity you’re looking for.