Inspecting The Inspectors

Thanks to Marcel Gratton for this link. I know that many of you dislike the author, but he makes some very good points. By the way, just so you know, Walter Jowers is a good friend of mine.

Bill Mullen
Sarnia, Ontario

Excellent article and excellent points…especially as to how it is not licensing that determines who will be in business and who will perform inspections.

Mr. Jowers goes to great lengths to show that, in his licensed state, there is corruption and variances in skills, integrity, and services to the consumer.

At the end of his article he points out what every opponent of licensing continues to hold true…that it will be the market that will decide who is in business or not. Not the state licensing boards.

Licensing solves nothing.

Unfortunately, you are right, Jim.

In a perfect world, licensing would mean something and it would ensure that people who got a license actually earned it and were worthy of that license. However, in almost every case, licensing has ‘dumbed down’ our industry and saturated the market with opportunists. This saturation means there are far too many wanting a piece of the pie, so fees plummet and many of our ‘colleagues’ become whores for the Used House Salespeople (Sorry Jim, but I love that phrase).

Bill Mullen

Don’t be sorry, Bill. The truth is the truth.

Used cars, used houses…a salesman only eats when he finds a buyer. The hungrier he is…the grander the car/house.

I do not believe even in a “perfect world” that licensing is the answer, and maybe somehow that misguided fantasy is what keeps the notion alive… “IF only we could cobble together the right phrases we too could succeed where other licensing bills have failed”. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We would all be better off if we simply recognized that turning our profession over to minimum-wage government clerks can never work in our favor regardless of how good the bill is written. Furthermore, we are all keenly aware that government bureaucracy rarely if ever improves anything it touches.

The sooner we acknowledge that home inspector licensing is a dead end with no hope of any actual benefit for either the home inspector or the consumer the sooner we can begin to once again move our profession forward. We must come to the realization that doing the same thing over and over again will not yield new results.

Quote from article…

Sounds like he is saying that E&O expenses and licensing fees will help get rid of the bad inspectors.
Just the facts of what he said.

…because they do not consider that a worthwhile investment while they are so short of funds, because…?

Keep in mind, when business was good, they paid it.

In Illinois, they don’t renew their licenses…but just keep on inspecting without it. No one even asks for it, I’m told.

I try not to read into the article my ideas…

The man seems to be saying that he sees this filtering process (E&O and
licensing fees) as a good thing to eliminate the bad from the good.

For better or worse… he is not condemning this process in his state,
and actually points this out, in his article, as a positive indicator of
who to hire as an inspector.

That is what I read from his comments on this point.

As far as Illinois goes, there are few people that ever ask to see my license
either. If someone cannot afford $28 a year in Texas to renew their
license, then I doubt if they will last very long.

Texas does not make much money off my license fee. Another urban
legend about licensing is that the state just wants to make money from
me. It does not play out in reality here.

Hopefully, when you read…you bring your prior knowledge and experience with you as you discern and interpret what the writer has to say. If not, I urge you never to read anything written by Osama bin Laden.

If you do with Mr. Jower’s article, you find 750 Tennessee inspectors who - last year - had no problem paying the fees and carrying the required insurance. What factor(s) changed…from last year to this…that would make those expenses unaffordable.

Let’s see…would it be an INCREASE in business that brought them MORE than the expected amount of capital? Would it be the prospect of CONTINUED good business to offset the costs of being in business?

Jowers is an ASHI bum who cherishes anything that eliminates his competition. He has shown that in other articles. What he accidentally did, here, was show how the market…not the legislation…is eliminating his competition, which is the way it should be.

Frankly, John, I think it is your lust to be governed that limits your abilities to freely discern these facts with an open mind.

Notice, I have not implied you have some kind of inner brain damage
or condescending mocking remarks. Treat me like you want me to
treat you.

I apologize for being rude.

In the free states, we are fighting some pretty well funded and underhanded opponents and I am quick to the sword when I don’t have to be.

I have much respect for your opinions and have learned much from your
comments. I think most of what you say about licensing is very true.

I appreciate that and I have to force myself, sometimes, to accept that there are licensed states — and that someone becoming a home inspector under an existing law will not feel the same sense of loss and intrusion as will one who was a home inspector before the law.


I hear all the veracity about licensing laws and I wonder what place
they are talking about. When I find out that they are talking about
my area, I am dumb struck with amazement. I don’t live on the
planet they are talking about. Not even close.

So yeah, I think we can both learn from each other.

In the mean time, you can call me numb nuts from time to time
as a token of your affection for me…:mrgreen:

What a marketing strategy."Are you Certified? "NO, but I do have E&O! “Great, that’s all that matters!”

The fact that I don’t have E&O makes me a better inspector, I know there is nobody standing behind me, to bail me out if I overlook something or cut corners.

At the risk of inviting another attack from an insurance salesman with a law degree, I agree with a part of your position.

The honest salesmen, like Ben Garrison, will agree that E&O attracts claims. In areas where it is not mandatory, insurance salesmen will advise clients NOT to advertise their coverage…but in areas where it is mandatory, awareness of coverage is built into the process.

Being mandatory, this puts the insurance company in a position of power to decide who will and who will not be in business.

On another thread, I pissed off an ambulance chaser who sells insurance and…in his anger…he stated that he had placed me on a “do not insure” list. Is such a list for real or is this just a figment of his imagination or something he heard from the voices in his head? What if there is something like this jerk suggested?

What happens if a good inspector has his second payout as a result of a claim? If he is cancelled, and no one else will insure him…he’s out of business. Should he be?


If Mr Ferry’s service stops a claim before it goes into auto payout by
the insurance company, then it seems to be a needed service. Thus
helping to stop the process you speak of regarding inspectors going
out of business because of too many claim payout’s.

If you and Mr Ferry could talk to each other without all the ad hominem
then you both have things to bring to the table.