Thinking of switching from IT to Home Inspection

So here is the back story. Nearly two decades ago I wanted to get into home inspection. I was very young, just starting out, living in an apartment, didn’t have any money for training, which although wasn’t required by my state (WA) at the time, I wanted to learn how to do it and it cost $2,000 that I didn’t have at the time…

So rather than borrow money and screw myself over on something that wasn’t a sure thing thus making my situation worse, I decided to go for a traditional four year University degree and got into IT. Fast forward to today. I am financially successful, make six figures, company paid health insurance, I have a few real estate investments, etc.

While I enjoy what I do for a living, I absolutely HATE corporate politics and during the process of buying several homes over the last few years, even in this market, realized that…every home inspector I called was booked solid. It was a real challenge to find one that had any openings!

Furthermore, each time I bought a house, I would talk to them about how much business they got, made per year, hidden costs, etc. Each one I talked to made six figures as well! None of them had a college education, just the basic state licensing requirements training. Some worked in construction before they got into HI, while others got into it from some random industry.

Seeing that they are self employed, generally deal with a client for a few hours during the inspection/report writing/questions and are out in the field rather than stuck in an office, I rekindled the idea of becoming a home inspector.

I figure why not? I have a degree and a lucrative trade to fall back on, and am financially prepared. I could even do it on the side on the weekends for now.

My question is, what do I need to know that I haven’t seen/am I crazy? Are there downsides to the job I am not aware of? I know crawling around attics and crawl spaces isn’t the most glamarous, but I’d rather do that than deal with corporate BS anymore. Again, I love what I do, but not the people I have to deal with at work.

I’ve looked into the training required in my area, and while some places seem to be getting rich offering training at 5-15K a pop, I found some places that offer the required training for 3K and are approved by the state. I figure it’s a reasonable price to pay and if it doesn’t work out, I didn’t lose too much. I don’t have any reason to not make it work though. Between education costs, truck, equipment, marketing, etc, I have the capital to put into the business.

In any case, if I missed anything, let me know.

You still have to deal with people in this job. Sometimes they are great, other are crazy. You will likely work more in this career, it is not 9-5, you will work at least some weekends. There are few benefits. You can make a good six figure income, most do not though.

I started inspecting at 16 with my grandfather as he paid a lot better than McDonalds, but left after college entered IT myself. While young, I could not fully appreciate this line of work and wanted that corporate job. I put up with it for 7 years (IBM) and finally walked away. I came back to inspecting in the late 90’s, and while I work much harder than I ever did in the corporate world, I would not trade it back for anything. The money is good for some, but certainly not all. There are approximately 300 inspectors in my local area and 20% of us do most of the work.
I could not imagine having to start from scratch, and lucky my grandfather built the foundation of our business before most knew what an inspector even was. It is a tough market to break into and expect early success. If you have the staying power however to see it through, it is a lot more rewarding than IT imo.

geographical areas vary greatly on price. average home inspection in my area is around 250-300. some are double or even triple that. I can comfotably do 2 a day and 3 a day if I want to work a 14-16 hour day. I try to avoid that. :slight_smile:
there will be slow times around thanksgiving through mid January most likely. (not last year). the start up will be slow and painful.

Thanks, you guys have provided some interesting perspective. I’m willing to work weekends, etc. Just tired of the corporate BS.

I make six figures in my IT career, but as I continue to buy real estate as rental properties, the need to make a six figure income is winding down. I’d be happy if it turned out to be something I like to do and made 60K…

The thing that attracts me most about it is that I’m not dealing with the same people all day every day like corporate. Even if you have a problem customer, after the inspection you don’t see them again. Sure, there will be OTHER problem customers, but it’s the aspect of it not being the same clowns day in and day out that is appealing.

Can I have your six figure IT job :slight_smile: without weekends?

I’ll give you my home Inspection License. Yes i know i can’t give my license to anyone :frowning: