I am getting ready to start my business in PA (2 mock inspections left) and would appreciate any advice (other than “Don’t do it” !!)
Get yourself a membership here first. Tons of great stuf available to the membership here.
You may want to consider going to a home inspection school and taking the NHIE if you are just starting out. There is currently legislation going through the State Senate that is likely to pass within the next year or so to make provisions for the licensure of home inspectors in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you do not have 300 home inspections under your belt within the 3 years immediately before the passage of the Bill, you will not be Grandfathered into the new licensure requirements. This can effectively put someone who is compliant with the laws one day, out of business the next day.
What part of PA are you from?
Join InterNACHI… (the members only education and members only forums are worth way more then the price of admission)
Determine what is a profitable price for your inspections that covers all your costs of doing business, is able to give you a living and makes a little profit for your business. Not understanding what it will take to actually make a living in this business is one of the top reasons for all the churn in the industry. To many folks new to business who just don’t understand that if you don’t charge enough to make a profit yu can’t make it up on volume. (The factors are your total overhead costs including your living, what it costs you to do each inspection. How many you think you’ll be able to do once you get fully functioning (usually 2-3 years down the road) based on the available billable work days or hours (about 125-175 days or 1000-1400 hours) in most cases. Decide on a profit margin for your business (no that’s not your living) and add it to the toal. Divide by the number of inspections and that gives you a good approximation of what you have to get per inspection to be successful (make enough money to prosper and pay all your bills)
I strongly advise you to reject the notion that selling your services below your real cost (lowballing) is a path to success. It isn’t. Better to know what you need to charge and figure out how to get that price then to subsidize every inspection out of your pocket.
Third: Learn to package and market your services so that consumers see the value of paying you your price. If the onlt thing you sell on is price then you will be disappointed as the next new guy can eat your lunch just by undercutting your price. Down that road is business suicide.
What part of PA are you in?
Actually I DID join a couple weeks ago. I keep coming up as a Non-member for some reason. I’m from the northern Pocono area (about 15 miles SE of Scranton). I took a course and after an established inspector let me tag along on a few inspections, I’ve now completed 3 of my 4 mock inspections for NACHI. From doing the mocks, it seems to me that it’s actually easier to break down the home into sections and THEN list things into your field notes as you come upon them, rather than going item by item. Sound like it makes sense?
Is this something that will supercede Act 114? I’d like to read it if you could direct me to it. Now I’m hopin’ I didn’t waste my time/money
Log out of the message board, then log back in using your members-only username and password. If you don’t know your members username and password, email me at email@example.com and I’ll send them to you.
Thanks Nick. Good thing I saved the emails I got when I first joined! It’s amazing how many user names and passwords one can accumulate.
Dont undercut your pricing!!!
If it finally passes through this time around, it will amend PA Act 114.
I appreciate the copy of the bill. I’ve emailed my local State Rep. to check its progress since it’s not showing up in any of the recent PA Bulleting I checked. After reading the entire thing (yawn), It seems to me that if I haven’t completed 250 fee-paid inspections immediately preceeding its publication, then I’ll have to go through the licensing procedure, yay !!
What do YOU think?
Section 3. For one year from the publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that the regulations required under section 5 have been adopted and are in effect, an applicant who meets all of the requirements of former [FONT=Times New Roman]68 Pa.C.S. Ch. 75 and this section may be licensed as a home inspector without having to complete a board-approved training program or course of study involving the performance of home inspections. The applicant must:[/FONT]
(1) Be at least 18 years of age.
(2) Have passed a written examination to test competence in home inspection practice.
(3) Have completed no less than 250 fee-paid inspections over the three years immediately preceding publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that the regulations required under section 5 have been adopted and are in effect.
(4) Show proof of professional liability insurance consistent with [FONT=Times New Roman]68 Pa.C.S. § 75A09.[/FONT]
hi all. i have read this bill 3 times over and over and i did not see anywhere that it said one will be grandfathered in as a home inspector. nor did i see that you have to have had 250 or more inspections under your belt in order to get your license. i did see that the board members had to have 250 or more inspections within the proceeding 3 years in order to be on the “BOARD” and i pasted it below. to be qualified and licensed as a inspector in PA you have to have the following which i have also pasted below under the first paste.
by no means am i trying to start anything just asking a question and trying to clarify things on my end. so does this mean that if you have no sort of schooling as a home inspector say like from kaplan or pennfoster or somewhere like that you cannot qualify to be a inspector. for instance. i am a 20 year volunteer firefighter/emt, construction electrician and i have no formal training as an inspector only the training that i received as a firefighter on structures commercial and residential, and that in the construction field as an electrician and from taking the online courses from internachi but i took the internachi test and passed the second time first time was a 78 second was in the 80’s low score but passed. I am just getting into this area bought most of the tools that i will need most i already have from construction just need a TIC and my insurance to get things going. am i wasting my time and should be taking a class or should i be ok and just wait. BTW im in PA south of pittsburgh. hope someone can help answer this, best way i can explain it. thanks.
The following members, who shall be citizens of the
United States and residents of this Commonwealth, appointed
by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate:
(i) Two members representing the public at large.
(ii) Five professional members. Professional members
shall have completed no less than (100 removed and changed to) --> 250 fee-paid home
inspections per year in this Commonwealth over the
five THREE years immediately preceding appointment to the
board. Except as set forth under subsection (f),
professional members shall be licensed under this chapter
as home inspectors.
[FONT=CourierNewPSMT]§ 75A06. Qualifications.
(a) General rule.–To be eligible to apply for licensure, an
applicant must fulfill all of the following requirements:
(1) Be of good moral character.
(2) Be 18 years of age or older.
(3) Have successfully completed high school or its
(4) Satisfactorily complete a board-approved training
program or course of study involving the performance of home
inspections; such study program shall be for no less than 120
hours of instruction and include no less than 40 hours of
actual in-field training.
(5) Satisfactorily complete a board-approved examination
that is designed to test competence in home inspection
practices. The board shall contract with a professional
testing organization for the examination of qualified
applicants for licensure. All written, oral and practical
examinations shall be prepared and administered by a
qualified and approved professional testing organization in
the manner prescribed for written examinations by section
812.1 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175 ) , known a s
The Administrative Code of 1929.
(6) Pay the fee set by the board.
(a.1) Ancillary services.–In the event that an ancillary
service is performed by a licensed home inspector, the inspector
shall be licensed or certified to perform that service as
required by State regulation. Inspectors found to be performing
ancillary inspections for the home-buying public without the
required license or certification shall be subject to discipline
by the board.
This bill sure has A$HI and NHIE written all over it.
Sounds no different than any other state really. Yes according to the bill you need to sign up for training in your area that your state approves. Once done pass the national exam. Once done apply for your license and your all set. Check to see if your state requires E&0 they may.
Scroll down to page 39 of the PDF version of the Bill and you will see this:
Section 3. For one year from the publication in the
Pennsylvania Bulletin that the regulations required under
section 5 have been adopted and are in effect, an applicant who
meets all of the requirements of former 68 Pa.C.S. Ch. 75 and
this section may be licensed as a home inspector without having
to complete a board-approved training program or course of study
involving the performance of home inspections. The applicant
(1) Be at least 18 years of age.
(2) Have passed a written examination to test competence
in home inspection practice.
(3) Have completed no less than 250 fee-paid inspections
over the three years immediately preceding publication in the
Pennsylvania Bulletin that the regulations required under
section 5 have been adopted and are in effect.
(4) Show proof of professional liability insurance
consistent with 68 Pa.C.S. § 75A09.
This is the Grandfathering clause that is to go into effect once the Bill is passed. I was at the stakeholder’s meeting and we went round and round about the old requirements that were in the original Bill. This is what the state made a compromise with.
PA is in the process of licensing all the contractor trades before this is likely to get passed. We just recently had the general contractors and home improvement contractor licensure pass. There was also Bills being pushed through at an amazing speed for the licensure of plumbers the last time I checked. Once all the trades are licensed, this is going to go through like a greased pig. The reasoning behind that is that if we are licensed as a home inspector, then we can only defer further evaluation over to another qualified professional. This means another licensed contractor. We pushed for this at the meeting because without it, a licensed trade would be referring work over to someone who has no certification or education requirements.
Here’s the thing with your advice to this guy Billy…
There are NO approved classes by the state yet because the Bill hasn’t passed and there is not Board yet to approve classes. If you look at the New Jersey licensure approved schools, you will probably see that those corrispondance schools are not approved. The Bill has been speculated to be a way for washed up home inspectors to start schools so they can take in more money from tuition than doing inspections.
The association-neutral Bill originally came about because of InterNACHI’s persistence in pointing out how a fake organization (PHIC) was exploiting the existing regulation to line their leader’s pockets and to scam mentoring fees out of newer inspectors. I personally met with Senator Greenleaf (the Bill’s sponsor) and encouraged him to clean up the existing regulation. This Bill does exactly that.
Although we are pleased that the association-neutral Bill would all but eliminate PHIC, InterNACHI couldn’t wait for it to be enacted into law. We’ve been suing PHIC , its leaders, and its individual members (and winning one-by-one) into the stone age and will continue suing them and their spouses forever or until they run out of money and are awarded their personal homes. See www.nachi.org/phicscam.htm
Yeah PA requires E&O. I have it now for being a electrical contractor, think i would be able to convert that over to HI insurance. I have been looking for E&O insurance for HI in PA but cant seem to find any at a decent price. Right now I pay $740 a year for $2m.
On another note, if in PA you will be required to have 250 or more inspections under your belt before that bill passes, could one say that if you charge like $50 per inspection for 300 inspections would one then be grandfathered into the licensing. just asking a theory is all
I doubt that your existing E&O (Professional Liability Insurance) will be able to be converted into a policy for Home Inspection. The coverages are drastically different. Expect to pay in the thousands for quality E&O insurance. This is one place were you do not want to pinch pennies starting off as a new inspector.
As far as doing inspections for $50.00…
If you think it is a wise business decission to do 300 inspections for $1500.00 by all means go for it. I can tell you though that you wouldn’t recieve a drop of respect from your fellow home inspectors, any realtor worth their salt, or clients that have a half of a brain cell in their heads.
Sounds like a sure fire plan to fail if you ask me.