Part Time Home Inspector breakeven/Overhead

I just joined and I’m going to start to task of becoming a home inspector. 38 years in construction management, operations, and field superintendent positions, along with my Engineering background, I’ve decided to move into a field where I feel I might be able to help. I plan to start part-time, evenings and weekends. Obviously, evenings in the fall-winter will be few as it gets dark too soon, however, I will see how it goes. I have been researching this for about a year, reading forums like this one and others, looking at training options (I already know a lot of residential code requirements plus commercial building codes, but I am rough in a few areas). Anyway, one question I have yet to see; What is a part-time home inspector overhead for starting out? I am planning my resources and costs and this, as an operations person, is very important to me to know for properly budget and plan. I guess what I am looking for is not how much I might make, I see a lot of that, but rather what are the typical breakeven dollars? I know it varies but there should be a general range.

Either your all in or you ain’t.

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Agree with Roy - This really doesn’t work part time. Mainly, because the business succeeds (or fails) on referrals and repeat business. If you aren’t available more than a couple times when they need you they’ll just move onto someone else. I’ve been at this for 21+ years and have/had a great client base but recently moved to a new location and am starting up a company. I still own my original multi-inspector company and even my most diehard regulars have stopped asking for me and (thankfully) work with others in my company. Agents and buyers have short memories and don’t have time to waste getting snubbed.

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I started part time simply because I needed the income to pay the bills. It started slow but every year business increased to a point where I had to quit my full time job. 20+ years later and I’m still inspecting. My biggest expense when starting was a website and tools, and now its E&O insurance (5,000+ a year).

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If you are in a crowded market, you will likely find that all revenue (and then some) will be spent on marketing in your first year or so. That is if you want your phone to ring anyway.

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Where are you located? Costs can be different for different areas.

E&O insurance (5,000+ a year).

Wow, Marcel! :flushed:

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Mine to Larry. Almost $6,000 for $2,000,000.00.

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Is that pricing a Canadian thing?

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I think so Larry. ><$4,500 for 1,000,000.00. I have $2,000,000.00 E/O + GL.
I heard 2022 might see some changes.

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I would recommend starting a budget, then fill in the blanks. The cost will vary widely. He are a few things you can start penciling in.

  1. Training
  2. License
  3. Insurance
  4. Vehicle
  5. Tools
  6. Legal
  7. Accounting
  8. Website and SEO
  9. Marketing
  10. Merchant services
  11. Phone and internet
  12. Uniform
  13. Fuel
  14. Report writing software
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Without #9 nobody will know your business exists.

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Unless… you have friends who are in the Realty business. Word of mouth bootstrap can’t be your plan without a backup, but it can work.
E&O insurance does not give much if any a discount for being part time, so that’s a drag on earnings right of the top.

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Thank you all for the responses. Tons of great info, thoughts and challenges. I still plan to pursue this plan and I know there will be pitfalls along the way. I will take all you advice to heart. Thank you again!!!

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