Home inspection career?

Hi, I am new to this forum, have a few questions.

  1. I am interested in getting into the Home Inspection Indusrty(for CA)
    can one of you professionals please advise re: getting into the Biz?

  2. Also what are best schools or training( also for Calif.)

Thank you all for any replies, or thoughts or opinions.
I am just gathering info. right now. I would love to get into the home inspection business. Why, I already own some rental property, I would
like to learn this business also cause I would be learning more about
real estate. Again thank you & have a good day.

First join InterNACHI then join the California chapter. From these two sources together, you will receive the information you need.

Yep, you can then start learning more on line to help whith your education.
Good luck in your decision.
If you are looking to make money at it you need full dedication , as it is not the gravy train they try to say it is…

Thanks for being honest, Robert!!!

At least in my area it’s a very rough time to get started - home sales are slow and there is a LOT of competition; you need to be able to charge $350+ per inspection for the business to make financial sense, meanwhile there is an inspector in my area (I’ve be told) offering $75 inspections, and several in the $200-250 range.

The best (and perhaps the only) way to compete in such as market while getting paid a reasonably amount for your work - which BTW includes considerable legal liability and occasional risk of personal injury or death - is to get your inspections via referrals from clients satisfied with your work, it’s these potential clients who already have been told by others that your inspection saved them time, money and aggravation, and they already at least half understand that you will likely save them far more than the cost of your inspection.

However, the way referring clients learn your value (assuming you provide it) is to watch you work.

And for that to happen, you have to get the work to get the experience to provide the value.

You see the problem.

So, especially in this market expect several lean years in which to build the business.

True Mike:
If you click my links , you will see I have a lot of sites.
This got me off the ground as a good stadegy but this year I am getting almost no cold calls.
Funny thing is my business is going through a great run right now.
The reason is referals from all the customers I took care of at the begining.
If I was starting this year , the business may never have made it, so look long term and not quick fix , if this is what you want.

Read every word of www.nachi.org/success.htm … twice. It will help you much.

Getting started in the home inspection business will always be slow and gradual, especially with today’s Real Estate mess throughout the U.S. Many newcomers to this profession get very frustrated during the first year and some finally throw in the towel and return to construction work or to their previous occupation. Selling your HI services to R/E agents before you have actual field experience is not easy, but it has been performed by nearly everyone who is an experienced home inspector today.

Instead of worrying about your lack of inspection experience, your better off telling people about your related knowledge and experience – such as contracting or whatever it was you did previously that relates to Home Inspections. Tell them about your certifications and any other professional credentials that might apply to Home Inspections. Tell them about your commitment to do excellent work. But don’t say you are a “continual learner” because that infers that you have not yet sufficiently learned about Home Inspections. And don’t ever tell them that you’re an “overachiever” because many agents are afraid of home inspectors who might “kill the deal” by being overly zealous. But when someone asks you how many inspections you’ve performed, just tell them the truth and let the chips fall as they will. Most people, however, won’t even ask if you act professional enough to make them think you’re GOOD.

R/E Agents are used to newby inspectors coming into this field all the time. At first, you may be dismissed as just another home inspector. But gradually, if you’re GOOD, you’ll get inspection orders – a few here, a few there. And if the R/E agents really like your work, they’ll call on you and refer you again, and again. And little by little, you’ll become an experienced Home Inspector.

But while you’re gaining that valuable experience, you’ll be missing property defects that would be discovered by a more experienced Home Inspector. These undisclosed conditions will result in callbacks, monetary claims and possibly a major lawsuit. So be sure to carry Errors-and-Omissions insurance, and do all you can to continually advance your HI education. The more you know and the more you practice, the more effectively you’ll serve your customers, the more protected you’ll be from liability, and the more often you’ll be recommended to home Buyers on a continuing basis.

If you make the wise decision of attending a professional home inspection school, you will see many ads that say you can make hundreds of dollars a day as a Home Inspector. The home inspection schools always print many of these ridiculous ads and what they claim is simply not true. They paint a bright rosy picture about the HI profession and how easy it will be for you to make a ton of money virtually overnight. Bullshi+… If you believe that story, I’ll tell you another, if your gullible enough to listen.

What these HI schools and the various companies’ (selling Home Inspection courses) won’t tell you is how difficult it is to be successful in this business, especially with today’s real slow R/E market. Some National HI schools make it sound so easy to get started overnight. They simply explain how easy it would be to start doing one or two home inspections a day with little or no effort. Don’t allow then to fool ya. The HI business is like any other professional business. It takes dedication, strong finances and a lot of time to become very successful.

Many HI schools do not tell you about the massive liability side of the home inspection industry. The home inspection industry is and always will be a very high liability profession. Every single home you inspect, is a potential lawsuit for you. It doesn’t matter that you may be the most thorough home inspector in your area. Home Inspectors are sued over things that the homeowners thought they should have found whether or not you could actually see the defect or not. There’s an old saying in this business. It’s not IF you get sued, but WHEN you get sued. So if you can’t live under this sort of pressure, you’d be best off looking elsewhere for a different profession.

All it takes is a ladder, a flashlight and pickup truck…right?

Well, guess what? Here’s more bad news, and I apologize but it’s the absolute truth. Like most legitimate businesses, it takes a little more than a few simple tools. A new home inspector is going to need about $5000 worth of tools just to get started in this business. Then there is the issue of insurance. Errors & Omissions Insurance will cost a new inspector (if you can even get it) anywhere from $3,000 to $4500 per year. Then there’s General Liability Insurance that will run you anywhere from $500 to $1500 per year. In some states, you can’t even get started without this insurance.

Do you have a rainy day fund?

I hope so, because it will absolutely rain on your parade! Just like any new business, the 1st year or two will be very rough. It may take you anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to even get to the point where you’re bringing in a hefty steady income. Many Home Inspectors came into this business by doing home inspections on the side or on a part time basis. That is the exact approach I would advise any new inspector to take. Don’t quit your day job just yet!

What about the Real Estate Agents?

The schools make it sound like there’s a R/E agent behind every tree just waiting for good ole’ you. Odds are that R/E agents have their favorite Home Inspector already and they’re not likely to use a newbie Home Inspector because they do not know what to expect from you as of yet. It will take you many months up to a year or more before you’ll be getting regular referrals from your favorite real estate agents. Don’t count on them to feed your family when you first start your HI business. This industry can be very rewarding in many ways, however it’s likely to leave a sour taste in your mouth if you enter thinking that it’s a pushover to get started in this industry. I’ve seen way to many good people go broke trying to get started in the HI business because home inspection schools and trainers left them unprepared for what they were about to face in the real world.

I really wish you all the Luck in your career decision and whatever your goals may be. After hearing me tell you the real truth about this industry and you are still truely thinking of dedicating yourself to become an HI, the first thing you should do is join iNACHI](http://www.nachi.org/membership.htm) and then participate in this MB on a daily basis. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in a single day.

Well said David.

If you build it they will come.

David, you depressed me and made me want to quit!

Thank you, Richard.


I apologize, but I’m simply stating facts here.

Take a couple of these and call me in the morning…


Well… it would be interesting to know how many of us would have started if we fully comprehended what was involved. I would have, but I also had (and still have) other sources of income - rental propeties - and a spouse with a reasonably secure job that provides us both with excellent - if expensive - medical insurance.

It’s not as glorious as the education providers make it out to be. I invested about $20k my first year. I spent close to $6000 for vehicle expenses alone last year. That’s $500 a month.

Excellent info David.

It is tough to start any business right now, except maybe a Repo business.

Ya know, I spent a lot of time and quite a few $ building my HI business. Then wham!! on a spur of the moment decision, we sold our house and moved 4 hours away. I still get calls to go back where I’m from for inspections, but I generally refuse them. I want to take the time to finish my house and get more known here where I live. I get a lot of calls for reno’s. I have 2 people, 1 a RE agent and the other a building inspector, constantly asking me to start up HI again so I dont think I’ll have to much trouble getting established.
In the meantime, building my house and fixin’ othepeople’s keeps me goin seven days a week. 1 day off so far this year, 8 last year. When things slow down, then I’ll go back to HI full time.

All you have to do is steal market share from people that have been doing this longer than you, know more about the business, have the requirements for the business in place, have a network of contacts, have placed their name in front of the public (via advertising or whatever), and are working at it 24/7 (if you sleep you miss calls). Other than those points it is a snap. Hang your shingle and the customers will beat down your door. :eek:
Sorry, went through that for the previous 2 years and Rose colored glasses don’t work in this business. When I went full time last Dec. I started butting heads with good, experienced HIs (okay there were some slugs too) and you begin to doubt if it is all worth it.
If your serious - join INACHI and we’ll help.

bump that