Thank you, I am new to forums and really awkward at asking questions lol
Welcome Pat! It appears you have only taken the free exams offered by interNACHI. Those exams are really not going to get you anywhere near being qualified for home inspections. If you really want to pursue this career, you need to join and take all or as many courses (free to members) that you can to help you pass the CPI exam. Even if you pass the exam, you will need to have all the required courses under your belt to become a CPI. I am not sure if CT is a HI licensed state, but interNACHI sure helps in preparing you for states that do.
I am not sure you are asking the right questions. The book learning is nothing more than determination, you will get through it. But then what?
Are you going to work for someone else or yourself?
Do you have the financial backing to last you through the start up?
How much is the start up?
What can I expect to earn?
If you’re not the “study type person” there are many video classes. As already noted above take as many as possible until you feel comfortable with getting out there and inspecting a strangers home. Then go for it!
I agree with Brian. Anybody can learn to inspect a home and write a report, although there is a lot more to inspecting than that.
What experience do you have, if any, regarding owning and operating a business? You can be the most awesome inspector in the world, but if you can’t run a successful business, you will be ‘dead-in-the-water’ in no time flat!
My suggestion (if you have no real experience operating a business) is before you jump into inspecting, take a course or two at a community college, ie. Business 101-102+. These basic courses will apply to any business you may operate, so will never be a waste of time. Inspecting, on the other hand, can bleed you dry before you have a chance to succeed. Is it worth the risk? Only you can answer that for your own situation.
I thought I knew much more than I actually do, sadly. I have passed the Interachi exam couple times and am absorbing as my grades are get better. I know so little about so much.
Been watching as many as possible.
I highly suggest you read:
Thank you, sounds right
Same here. I “thought” I had a good grasp on the knowledge of becoming a HI with my prior experiences in construction and renovations. I hit a “reality” wall when I started interNACHI. If you are willing to do so, and take the advice from others here (harsh at times), you should be able to get this done.
When you work in construction, normally you just either hire all or some subs and they do the work or you work in a trade, like electrical or plumbing. To inspect, you have to know all the main trades involved to a reasonable degree (there is A LOT to know). You don’t need to know how to swing a hammer but you need to know the type, how many nails, and where they should go. You may not need to know how to exactly pull electrical cable through a conduit but you need to know how it should look once it’s done. Often if you work for a construction company, they tend to do things the same way over and over, and you don’t get to see how it’s done different by different crews. In home inspection you have to know all the different ways a roof can be done, all the different cladding systems, all the different foundations, etc… Don’t forget liability… you now have to be accurate and correct every time so it’s not used against you in court of law. You have 1 time to get it right in the report – so there is a lot of responsibility. People are spending big bucks $$$, in part, based on your report. I highly recommend you get ride alongs to get a feel of how it’s done and get ahold of sample reports to read to see if it’s for you or not. Best of luck!
I have so much learning to do, I thought I would be much more knowledgeable but going through the course I realize I am almost just beginning the trade. Thanks to everyone here, I will make it
Keep us posted and best of luck.
That’s what the courses are for Pasquale. Study, learn the material, keep learning on every inspection you do. Most of us run into something new on a regular basis that we have to research. The key, in my opinion, to being a good inspector, is to never think that you know it all.
Welcome to the forum. Hopefully, your in the right place, FYI, with your experience, you could also qualify to inspect apartment buildings. I started checking SFD and apt buildings during the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. I had been working as a surveyor in civil engineering and because of the unsafe conditions from the '94 EQ, I had to ride along as a second set of eyes for a building inspector. I made the choice then, to change my path. Five years later, when I started inspecting apt buildings, I was told that eventually, the building defects, “will be jumping out at you”. and it was true. But, it really helped to have other seasoned inspectors I could call on and learn from when I found something complicated. I am also new to InterNachi and Home Inspection and I see alot of great stuff on this forum.
But, In regards to your initial question, when you join InterNachi, and wonder if you are gonna make it, you may want to also check out something with less personal liability, a job with a govt agency. The Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector certification class is here at InterNachi, Property Maintenance & Housing Code Inspector Course - InterNACHI® A lot of the agency’s will give you time to get your certifications as you work.
Most learn at their own pace.
The only way to be better is through education and by practicing.
Enough with the self doubt. Put your nose to the grindstone and get it done.
Pasquale, it seems that you are very well qualified to do this job. Of course, there is a learning curve to meet the market (customers & realtors) needs and most importantly, their expectations. Once in the job, you will come to a balance with those demands. My advise, most sincerely, stick to the Minimum Standards of Practice (SoP) in phase One and you will be safe. Do not let anyone drive you to overextend your reach out of the SoP, don’t play “builder on the job”, you are hired to be a “Home Inspector” only and only!
About the CPI Test, Do your thing and stay calm! There is no way you will ever feel totally prepared for that experience. You got what it takes, experience and it runs in your family! You have done your homework! You have join the most reliable source of Home Inspection knowledge (InterNACHI)! You have taken the InterNACHI exams! You are ready…! Sleep well before the test, and don’t be disappointed if some of the questions in that test are out-of-wack… You will think… “Where is question coming from…?”, “What happened to these guys…?”, “Are they crazy…?” Just do your best to concentrate and never get stuck on one crazy question, move forward, respond as many as you honestly can…! You have 4 hours. I personally never reviewed my answers, No way I would be able to correct myself…! At the end! Submit your responses and cross your fingers! I passed in the first try…! For what I read, You will too…!!
I recommend doing some ride along’s.
This was my first thought. There are professions such as medical doctors etc that may be top in their field but have little Business experience. But, not anyone can be a doctor. Anyone can be a Home Inspector.
A doctor has a lot of assets (or plenty of credit). What are your assets? Can you get buy through the time it takes for any business to get off the ground? Can you cover accounting, insurance etc with no profit margin for a while?
Doctors do not have to market for every patient they see. HI’s do. They don’t have to talk to people and give proposals. You will never see them advertising on Angie’s List. They don’t price their services below other doctors to get more work. HI’s work for free (after taxes) just to get jobs. They market like Walmart. This is a service business, not a retail business. No discounts, coupons, no two for one sales…
You know what a house is. You have a ton of exposure.
I grew up in a family owned construction corporation. I fell off my first house and knocked myself out when I was 8 yrs old. When I wanted to look for a job to buy a dirt bike, my father told me no. He told me to grab a hammer and show up at the job site. There I watched plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors do their thing. I knew nothing about building code, but I knew what was inside those walls. Our Plumber took me fishing after work for helping him clean fittings. My first job as an HVAC Service Engineer many years later, was for his company, now operated by his daughter.
You do not need to know all the stuff we discuss here. Your State Home Inspection standard specifically states what you need to observe, test, and report. It also states what you are not required to do. Few Inspectors follow these guidelines however. You only have to take the house for a test drive. Operate everything and see if it responds as intended. Do a good job at it. Know the SOP. Don’t make stuff up as you go along. Don’t try to out do the other guy.
I would imagine you know more people in your past industry experience that could possibly help you such as Real Estate Agents etc. They may not know you, but they may know about you or people you worked for. At least your making a warm call, rather than a cold call to someone who doesn’t have time for you and all the other HI’s knocking on their door for work they don’t have yet.
You seem to be reading and looking things up more than the average poster here. But you say you don’t learn well. Overcome that thought. You will learn a hell of a lot more by looking things up, rather than come here and ask questions from people who can’t see what your looking at.
On that note, one thing we don’t know, is what the Home Inspection and Real Estate Market is within the service area of your choice.
I never worked where I live. I drove 100 miles every day for many years to work in a market that was conducive to the services and fees I desired. This you must figure out for yourself.
Get a website established so you can direct people for your company information. You need this for any type of marketing you peruse.
Never tell anyone your prices when they ask, and don’t put them on your website. Your website is to make your phone ring, to introduce yourself, and allow you to have a conversation about their wants and needs (beyond the cost).
Good luck. No one succeeds without taking risks, or failing a time or two.
Thanks for all that, great advice