Real Estate Rookie Podcast

Rookie Podcast 11: Using Home Inspections to Spot “Deal Killers” and Negotiate Better Prices with Rose Buckley

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OK, you’ve got a property under contract. Now the real work begins!

In today’s episode, you’ll learn all about about a crucial step in the home-buying process: home inspections.

Find out how they work, how much they cost, and how they could wind up saving you a boatload of cash—or help you negotiate a sweet deal!

Rose Buckley is a certified home inspector who has walked 1,000-plus homes. And with her background in teaching and translating, she enjoys breaking down this part of the business for up-and-coming investors.

Rose shares her tips for finding a great local inspector and reveals which defects are no biggie, which are challenging, and which ones can be “deal killers.”

And yes. We, too, noticed Rose is a female in a male-dominated profession. That led to a great discussion about how she approaches that challenge, how sometimes it’s actually an opportunity, and why training as a home inspector—regardless of your gender—may get you closer to your investing goals.

Subscribe to Real Estate Rookie in your favorite podcast app, and if you enjoyed this episode, please pass it on to just ONE friend or family member who might, too.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Ashley:
This is the Real Estate Rookie Show, number 11.

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Rose:
So, every time that I walk into a house, there’s something. I always tell my clients, “You’re going to hear me say the word water about 500 times today.” Water is the number one enemy of a house. So if the gutters aren’t put in the proper space, or if there’s water leaking into the roof, or if there’s water being pushed against the foundation, not drained away as you just said, those are the biggest issues.

Ashley:
My name is Ashley Kehr, and I’m here with my cohost, Felipe Mejia, who had to postpone this intro recording because he had to get his hair cut.

Felipe:
That’s right. And if I would’ve known…

Ashley:
Always waiting on a woman.

Felipe:
If I knew you were going to throw me under the bus, I would not have gone. But my barber told me, “Hey Felipe, I’m booked until like Monday, but I can squeeze you in right after my lunch.” So I said, “Perfect.” But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, Felipe’s hair. So, we have a amazing home inspector today. Her name is Rose, and Miss Rose is a great business woman, entrepreneur, and in the business that she’s in, it’s male-dominated but she is crushing it. So before we talk about her, though, I do want to bring a little PSA. We did record this show prior to coronavirus, so we don’t talk about it a lot. Not that we didn’t want to be sensitive, we just didn’t know at that time. So, just PSA for that.

Felipe:
But, Rose comes in and tells some great stories. What it looks like to hire a great home inspector, what to look for in a good home inspector, what are red flags from a home inspector. I mean, great nuggets. Definitely get out your pen and paper.

Ashley:
Right. And why you should hire a home inspector. I mean, she really does give great reasons, because currently I haven’t used one in a very long time, but Felipe I think you give a great tip as to the strategy you use a home inspector for. So make sure you guys listen to that too. But let’s bring Rose Buckley on, and hear all about what it takes to be a home inspector and what you need to know from one.

Ashley:
Hi Rose. Thank you for joining us today.

Rose:
Hi. Thank you so much for having me.

Felipe:
Rose, we’re so excited to dig into your story today. Thank you so much for being out here today and talking to us.

Rose:
Absolutely. Thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure.

Ashley:
So, Rose is a home inspector, and where do you work out of?

Rose:
I live in Frederick, Maryland, which is about 45 minutes west of DC. So most of my market is in Maryland, DC and I’ve just got licensed in Virginia as well.

Ashley:
Very cool. What made you want to become a home inspector?

Rose:
Well, I was at a crossroads in my life. I got divorced, and I had a clean, fresh slate, and I wanted to try something new. I used to be a teacher, and I love teaching. I have a master’s in education, and I used to be a translator before that. So I experienced the corporate world and the education world, and I just wasn’t able to really find that the income was sustainable for me. So, just like almost everybody else I watch HGTV and I thought, “That looks like fun. I want to flip houses.” But I was pretty realistic in knowing that, if I’m going to change careers, I want to be as educated as possible so I mitigate my risk.

Rose:
And so, I decided to… My boyfriend, he got his real estate license, and so I figured both of us don't need to be licensed as a realtor, so I went and got my home inspection license just so that when we went on to distressed properties to evaluate them to see if it would be a good deal, I would have the eye of a home inspector to be able to catch major issues and say, "That's a $40,000 fix. Let's walk away from this deal." So it was just kind of to prepare myself to start doing flips, but once I got into the home inspection realm, I fell in love with it and I've been doing it for over three years now. And I plan on doing my first flip either this year or early next year.

Ashley:
That is so cool because a lot of people think, "Okay be a property manager. Be a leasing agent. Be a realtor, and that's how I'm going to get started in real estate investing." Or, "Be a maintenance tech." Or, "Work construction jobs." But you found a different job that you could do to get involved in real estate investing and learn houses, how they're built, what to look for with issues. And I find it interesting, too, that a lot of times in a couple's relationship, it would be the woman that went for the realtor position and maybe the guy for the home inspector. So, I love that. That's very different and unique.

Felipe:
Let me ask a question that I know our listeners are going to want to know. Why? Because I want to know. When you are hired as the home inspector, do you ever get backlash from the people that are hiring you? Or say, “Hey are you good at this job? Have you done it long enough?” Do you get the questions that you know home inspectors don’t usually get?

Rose:
Oh that’s a really good question. A lot of times I do get that. I do have a large social media presence. A lot of the way that I decided, when I first started home inspecting, was to get myself out there and do marketing by social media marketing. And I do a lot of videos online. So I have a presence that a lot of my clients will find my through my Facebook page, so they’re already familiar with me and I’ve actually had some people hire me because I’m a woman. So a lot of people do come in to the situation knowing what they’re getting. Occasionally, though, I will have somebody, because I work for a large national company, that they call the company and say, “I just need a home inspection.” And they don’t really care who gets sent out, they just need a home inspector. And when I show up and it surprises them, their face is usually really surprised, and usually I win them over in the first five to ten minutes. So, usually it’s not a problem.

Rose:
Most of my issues come when, let’s just say a young couple brings their parents along. The dad is usually in the corner with the stern face, and with the crossed arms and he asks me really tough questions about things. And usually by the time that I say, “Well actually per code this is what you’re supposed to do. This is how it’s supposed to be.” After I speak a little bit, I usually win them over. So I do get some questions that normally people… I have to prove myself to some people a little bit more, but I’ve never had anybody leave the property feeling bad about what they had done.

Ashley:
I want to talk about how when you started, whether a woman wants to get started or a man, what are the startup costs to become a home inspector. You talked a little bit about how you use social media to market yourself, and that right there is a great tip for rookie investors. Whether you’re starting a new business venture or just want to find your first deal, market yourself on social media. It’s free, and word of mouth is a powerful referral. “Hey, I know this person is actually buying in this area. I saw them post something on their Facebook page.” So I’d like to explore your startup costs, and all of your marketing, is that free that you do on social media? Is there any paid?

Rose:
I usually don’t do paid. I do so much content, and I share it on so many different platforms and I interact with people, so that helps the algorithm favor my videos to get more views. So that’s been pretty successful for me. I think I’ve only, when I do really special videos, for instance my very first year I re-wrote the Night Before Christmas, and I pretended like I was sitting down in front of a fireplace reading it, and it was, Twas the Day of Inspection, and I wrote out the whole…

Ashley:
Oh cool.

Rose:
Yeah I just rewrote the whole thing. It was a funny parody, and I paid to have that pushed out because it was holiday themed. It had nothing to do with, “Oh this is a foundation crack I found.” It wasn’t anything like a daily thing. It was a special thing. So I would say I’ve maybe done maybe 10 videos total where I boosted them, and I haven’t spent any more than $25 boosting them. But the startup costs as far as becoming a home inspector, barrier to entry into home inspecting, is not too high. Usually for some states, a lot of people are surprised to learn that you don’t have to have licensure in certain states. So, for instance I was just telling someone earlier that in Washington DC, where I am right now, you do not have to have any license to perform home inspections.

Ashley:
Wow. Huh that’s interesting.

Rose:
Yeah. It’s a little bit surprising, especially with homes here that are from the 1800s. You want someone who’s licensed, but yeah in certain states like Maryland, I had to pay $1100 for my class, and $400 for my exam. Every state throughout the country is different as far as their licensure requirements and things like that. In Virginia you have to have 25 ride alongs in addition to your, I think it’s 120 hours of learning. Something like that. But every state is a little bit different. But it’s really not too expensive to get licensed. Once you start your business, it can be… You can spend a lot of money on marketing. I haven’t found that I’ve had to spend too much. It’s usually stopping by real estate offices with baskets, holiday baskets and things. But the tools are the biggest thing. I have about $7000 worth of tools.

Ashley:
Wow.

Rose:
Yeah it’s a big bill at first because you want to have the best tools for the job, so that’s a little bit of the biggest thing that you can have. But, I work for a company and they handle all of that, luckily. So that’s one of the reasons that I chose to go with them when I started.

Felipe:
Interesting. I’m getting this trend that education and preparation is really important to you. Is that spot on?

Rose:
Absolutely.

Felipe:
You spent money on your license that, I think you said you don’t have to in your state. Is that right?

Rose:
Well in the state of Maryland you do have to be licensed.

Felipe:
Oh you do. Okay. You do.

Rose:
Yeah. But when I come out to Washington DC, you don’t have to have license.

Felipe:
You don’t have to. So you got your license. You spent $7000 on tools. I think the only other person that I know that spends that much up front is like mechanics. So that’s insane. So it seems like being prepared is very important to you. Does your clients, do you think they see that, the education portion, what you’ve invested in your social media, all that? How important is that to your clients?

Rose:
I think that’s one of the main reasons that my clients hire me, and a lot of real estate agents choose to work with me, because I take the time. I specialized in first time home buyers because I give them a walk through of the house and I say, “You’re going to have to do this maintenance on this house. This is what you can expect to do.” Whereas, home inspectors don’t have to do that. Our job is to evaluate the property and provide a written description of the defects of the home. We don’t have to do that. But I take that time to educate people because I want people to be well-informed and responsible home owners. That’s a big part of what my ethos for my business is. So, definitely being prepared. And education is huge for me. I think my clients definitely see that through my Facebook videos. I do almost daily, a video about how to maintain your home or things that can go wrong and how to prevent them.

Ashley:
As the home inspector, what do you think the point of a home inspection is? And do you highly recommend that people get them? Is there any circumstance where they don’t need to get a home inspection?

Rose:
I always recommend having a home inspection. The point of a home inspection, when you have a home inspection done, I liken it to getting a physical from a family doctor. So when I meet my clients I say, “Have you ever had a home inspection?” If they say they haven’t, I go through my whole spiel and I shorten it if they have, just to remind them. But a home inspection, as a home inspector I’m a generalist. I am not a specialist in any one area, just like your family doctor. I have a breadth of knowledge, not a depth of knowledge. So I have trained in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, but I’m not a specialist in any of those areas. Never did a deep dive in them. So I’m going to go through the house, just like your family doctor would give you a physical, and I’m going to give the house a physical. And that’s really valuable information to know that with the tools that I use I can tell if there’s water leaking behind the walls, or if there’s a structural issue that can cost thousands of dollars, or even if it’s just little things throughout the house that won’t cost that much money, but would need to be fixed to prevent further damage. .

Rose:
And obviously, the education portion for me, they get the extra value with learning about their home that way. So I think it’s really valuable information, and often people have that contingency for the home inspection when they’re buying, just so that they can decide whether it’s something they want to go forward with. So it’s extremely valuable information. And I think… I know that this podcast is specifically for rookie investors, which is wonderful, and I think investors can really get a lot of value out of it too. One of my recommendations is always that, before you invest in a home, walk through with the home inspector and let them tell you if there’s going to be, “Oh that foundation crack is going to cost you $40,000 to fix generally.” And that can let them decide whether they want to get into that deal or not, and prevent them from losing a lot of money. And it’s just a really wonderful tool for people to use. And anyone who moves into the house wants a safe, comfortable house, and the home inspection helps them identify how to make that happen.

Felipe:
Rose, I use my home inspector as a negotiating tool, not necessarily because I would say… I do need them, but I use my inspector as a negotiating tool. So let's say the property is going to be 200,000, and I want to buy it for 190. I offer 200, and knowing that I'm going to bid down to 190 based on the inspection report. Do you have anyone that does something like that? And how do you feel about that? I've never asked my inspector how he feels about me leveraging his inspection report to lower the price of the property to where I want it.

Rose:
It doesn’t matter to me what people do with the home inspection report after I complete the home inspection. So I’ve had people who have had me come in and identify issues with their house, whether or not they’re selling. So whenever somebody hires me, I come in, I do my job and whatever they do with my report afterwards is up to them. So, it wouldn’t bother me at all if that’s what somebody did. I don’t really have people do that very often. In the Washington DC area, I do have people come and hire me to do what we call walk and talks. With a genera home inspection I would go through the entire house, evaluate the house and write a report so that they would have a written report. But with a walk and talk, a lot of times people in the DC area, there’s bidding wars. Like, 20 offers on a single house because the inventory is low often, and the housing market is very hot.

Rose:
So before people even put in an offer, they will have me come out and they’ll, I guess, rent my brain for two hours. And I’ll walk through, do the whole home inspection, but I will not provide a written report. They take notes as I walk around and talk to them. And that, I think, is the biggest thing that people in my area have been doing, both investors and buyers alike.

Ashley:
What about sellers? Do you ever have sellers contact you and do a home inspection before they even put it on the market?

Felipe:
Oh good question.

Rose:
Well it’s something in the home inspector community that we’re trying to push, it’s called a pre-listing inspection. And a lot of people are trying to make it more popular and educate the public so that they know that this is an option for them, because it helps the homeowner before they put the house on the market. If they find something’s going to be very detrimental to the house, like a structural issue, they can either choose to fix it, or they can choose to price the house appropriately so that there’s less negotiation on the back end. And that’s our main argument, that it just makes everything in the process go much smoother. It’s not very common, though, unfortunately, because sellers don’t generally… A lot of times when people are selling their house, sometimes it’s for divorce or they have to move out of town, and sellers want to offload the property often, and they just don’t want to deal with paying any extra fees. So generally, they won’t do it unfortunately. But it’s definitely a movement that home inspectors are trying to get to catch on.

Ashley:
Yeah. Very cool. So, when you meet with someone, can you walk us through the step by step process of when you first… Or even when they first contact you, how the home inspection process works?

Rose:
Absolutely. So, usually when somebody's looking to purchase a house, or purchase a property to rent, they will negotiate with their real estate agent to get an offer put in on the house, and then the real estate agent will put in the offer. If it's accepted, then they have a certain time period for inspection contingencies. And that's when they get their appraisals done and that's when they get a lot of paperwork done and the inspection as well. People will reach out to me. Often it is the real estate agent that reaches out to me because they recommend, they just say "I have a great home inspector. Let me reach out to them for you and figure out a date." Sometimes they will say, "Here are three home inspectors I recommend." And if I'm chosen, then the client will reach out to me directly. We then set up a day and a time, and schedule everything out.

Rose:
I usually prefer to arrive an hour in advance of the appointment, and that allows me to clear my head, get a feel for the property, because I explain to them as a home inspector I’m doing three things at once. I’m inspecting, I’m writing a report, and I’m presenting to them. So it’s important for me to have the time to do each one of those things without losing the quality. So, I arrive early and I inspect and write the report on the exterior and the roof of the house. And once my clients arrive an hour later, I say “I’ve already done the outside. Let me walk you around and show you everything.” So I put my phone away and I give them my full attention when I’m presenting to them.

Ashley:
Do your clients always meet you? Or sometimes do they just have you go to the property and they don’t even attend at all?

Rose:
Often they will meet me if they’re in the area. But, for instance, I did an inspection yesterday and the buyer was actually out in Colorado. So, they were not able to make the inspection. But their real estate agent did come. I would say, 1% of the time I’ll show up to a property by myself, the real estate agent or the buyer will not show up, but I would say nine times out of 10 they will show up to the inspection because they know that they’re going to get valuable information and be able to see the things that I’m talking about.

Felipe:
I invest in my state, but a lot of people are probably out of state, so one of the things that I do with my home inspector is I ask him to send me what I call a red, yellow, green, and then green is basically just “Hey send me things that can be pushed out a whole year.” Yellow would mean, “Hey these are things that Felipe needs to look at in the next six months.” And then red is “Hey you need to fix these in the next 30 days.” So that 30 days things is things that I personally use to negotiate. Like, “Hey Felipe. These sockets are not up to code,” or, “This isn’t a GFCI approved whatever.” There’s different things that he’s like, “You need to do now.” And those are what I use. So someone who’s out of state could probably ask you for some of that if they can’t make it to the inspection.

Felipe:
That’s something that has helped me out a lot, because sometimes I’ll have two inspections going on at the same time, and I can’t make it to both. Or if I’m out of state or whatever the case may be. On vacation. Whatever. I’m like, “Hey. Would you mind going a little above and beyond and sending my a list of your things like, ‘Hey Felipe, you have to do these things now.'” So I really appreciate my home inspector that does that.

Felipe:
But my question to you is, how long does a typical inspection take? What’s the average for you? And then what’s the difference between a good inspection and a bad inspection?

Rose:
Very good questions. So as far as the home inspection, how long I’m spending on the property, if the client doesn’t attend, then that takes out the whole presentation portion of it, so it’s a lot quicker. Usually between two and three hours for a single family home, three to four bedroom house. But if the client is there and I’m going through with them and I’m presenting to them, explaining all the different aspects of the house and how to maintain them, generally about three to four hours. If it’s an old house, so for instance the house I did yesterday was built in 1872, and there were quite a few issues with the house. So we were there for about five hours. But that was because we had a very vibrant discussion about a lot of different things on the property. And there was a lot to go through, especially with all the different renovations and trying to piece everything together.

Rose:
But yeah, a good inspection would be having someone come in and, I usually set the ground rules. Not the ground rules, but just, "This is how I prefer to have my inspections flow." Just explaining, I like to do the outside. We'll take in three stages. I do the outside, and I'll show you everything. I'll go inside, inspect and write the report of the basement, the main systems, and then I'll grab you, I'll show you everything. And then I'll go throughout the rest of the house. And then we'll do it that way in three stages, so that way nobody's overwhelmed, I don't forget anything, and my client isn't overwhelmed with too much information at once. A bad inspection would be if someone ignored that and stood over my shoulder the entire time, because that distracts me from my inspection. And I fear often that that will distract me enough… Sometimes people talk the entire time and I have to ask them, "I need to focus on this because I don't want to get anything wrong."

Rose:
So a bad inspection would be somebody completely disregarding the way that I like to have my work flow, because I am at work. And I don’t want to be distracted when I’m doing my work. A good inspection would be if somebody was really respectful of everything and really engaged. It’s very difficult to be so passionate about homes and explain to people things and then just have them stare at you and be like, “Uh huh.” And then walk away. So having involved clients, but clients who are not only involved but also respectful of your workflow.

Felipe:
Good. Yeah that’s really interesting because with the home inspectors that I’ve run into, a lot of them actually don’t want me to be at the property. Or they’ll say, “Hey just meet me after if you care.” So I’ve never actually have one be open to allow me to be there. I mean, I can be there if I want. There’s not a question of me not being able to, but it’s always like, “Yeah if you want I’ll call you 45 minutes before I’m done and then you can meet me out here.” Would you say that’s a red flag?

Rose:
I wouldn’t say that’s a red flag. I would just say that that’s the way that that person does their inspections. I work on a team of 26, and all the other guys on my team have a different flow to how they do their work. Some of them prefer to be alone to do everything, and then hand you the report as they walk out and give you a summary. I have other people who just take photos as they walk around, and they’re able to write the report later. I wouldn’t be able to do that, my brain wouldn’t be able to process all of that and remember everything in the right order. So everybody has their own flow, and I do know some inspector who are absolutely fantastic and amazing, and especially if you’re an investor, I think having that… If you get that green, yellow, red list, then I think that that’s pretty much what you need, especially with the written report. But if it is somebody who’s buying a house, I would prefer to have them on site with me. It’s pretty much up to their flow.

Felipe:
Yeah, I feel like it would make a new home buyer very comfortable. So speaking of new home buyers, and some of our listeners are probably going to be buying their first property soon. Hopefully. We’re rooting for you guys. What would you say is something they need to look out for for a bad home inspector? What are red flags of a home inspector that you’re like, “Oh yeah I probably should pass on that guy or girl?” What are some of those red flags for some of our listeners that are writing notes on this?

Rose:
It’s hard because I’m very into the home inspection industry, so I don’t want to make anybody feel bad. But there are some home inspectors who are extremely alarmist. Any house that I walk into, there could be some major issues, but I’m not going to raise my hands to be like, “Oh my God.” The gestures that they make, their body language and things like that, and just how they describe some things. So, if there’s a major foundation issue, I explain the foundation issue, and I say, “This might be a little bit expensive to fix. It’s going to be an investment. I would have somebody come out and take a look at this. Just keep that in mind. It looks like it might be a little bit expensive.” And I’ll explain why the foundation is cracking in a certain way. But there are inspectors who I have actually watched walk into properties and say, “The foundation’s cracked. That’s going to be $50,000.” And that scares people.

Rose:
So any time that you see an inspector, in my opinion again, in my opinion if you have an inspector that’s very alarmist and scares people, then that’s definitely a red flag.And then I’ve also seen inspectors who are like, “Yeah there’s a crack in the foundation. All right.” And if they’re too relaxed, if they don’t tell you what it is and explain it fully, and say, “This could be a major issue, but have somebody take a look at it.” If they’re too relaxed or if they’re too energetic, those are two big red flags, at least for me.

Ashley:
Interesting. I haven’t used a home inspector for several years now. I used them on my first couple properties, and then I helped my sister buy a house hack and we used one for her, and then we used the same person each time and he was great. But what he gave us was a binder that had all of the reports in it, and so when I’ve done other properties, I’ve taken that binder with me and gone through the checklist myself, but I’m buying properties that I know just need lots of work, and I know that there’s going to be things wrong with them. But what kinds of checklists or book or binder do you give your clients that they can take with them? Or do you give them a CD with pictures? What do your clients walk away with when the inspection is done, besides just talking with you?

Rose:
That’s a great question, and every inspector’s going to be different. I’ve seen people give out binders. The professor who taught me actually gives out binders to her clients. But as for me and my company, we went completely paperless, and so they will be getting an email within an hour of me leaving the property with the full report. They’re able to click on the photos that are embedded within the report. They can extract those photos and save them separately so that they can zoom in if they need to and things like that. I do try and give my clients something tangible to walk away with, and so I give them a tiny folder and it has all four seasons of maintenance checklist, and I tell them on the first day of the season, bring that out and it’s a checklist of things. Go around and make sure that all of your siding is in good shape and things like that. Just to keep the house maintained. So they have all four seasons of maintenance checklists.

Rose:
I give them a coupon for an HVAC filter, and it’s for a company that we work with that does an HVAC filter subscription. So they get their first one for free with us. I also give them a residential life expectancy. So it’s everything listed that can be in a house and what the life expectancy is, like water heater, life expectancy is generally 15 years. So it tells them what to expect as far as that goes. And then another little piece of paper that describes… It’s a home buyer checklist on one side, and if you flip it over it’s a home seller’s checklist. Just last minute things to make sure that you get done before purchasing the house, or selling your house. So they walk away with that. But everything else is online.

Rose:
So I also add as much information as possible. If I’m in Washington DC and I’ve noticed that they have a lead pipe, then I will upload the information for DC Water where they can get more information on the grants that they can get that removed. Or if they get a radon test, I’ll attach the EPA’s citizen’s guide for radon, just so that they have more information.

Ashley:
Would you be okay with sharing those checklists with us? For even people who already have properties, I think they would add great value. We can attach them to the show notes at biggerpockets.com/rookieeleven. If you guys want to take a look at them, I know that I will because that would be very useful. And that’s almost like a little bonus benefit that you’re giving your clients to walk away with.

Felipe:
Rose, what would you say are the most common issues? You were saying you have a checklist, and I was really excited about this show today because I think home inspections can be used in many different ways, right? Ashley doesn't even do one anymore, but the home inspections she did have, she kept his checklist. I use my home inspection as a leverage tool to the purchase property be less and an automatic checklist for 30 days, this is what I have to do as soon as I get the property. Big things or little things, having the water run away from the foundation, to cleaning the gutters, to changing out shower heads. Whatever the case may be that's leaking. So I actually love home inspectors, but not as a decision factor, whether I'm going to buy the property or not. Typically, I already know I'm going to or I'm not by that point. The home inspector is just more of, "Here's, two, three, $400, whatever they charge. And you're giving me a full rundown of the property." It's great.

Felipe:
But what are the most common issues that you run into with houses in your area? What is the some of the main things that you see over and over and over again?

Rose:
I would have to say they’re water-related. So, every time that I walk into a house, I always tell my clients, “You’re going to hear me say the word water about 500 times today.” Water is the number one enemy of a house. So, if the gutters aren’t put in the proper space, or if there’s water leaking into the roof, or if there’s water being pushed against the foundation, not drained away as you just said. Those are the biggest issues. Just trying to get water drained away from the house appropriately so that there’s no damage. And a lot of times I see cracking in foundations because of hydrostatic pressure, water pushing against the foundation. The gutters inappropriately put in there, or even, I think on 80% of my inspections I write out that there’s no kickout flashing. Whenever you have a gutter that butts up against a wall or a chimney, you have to have this flashing that pushes the water into the gutter, and often if you don’t have it there it can run over the gutter and against the wall and deteriorate the wall. I see that in 80% of the homes that I’m in.

Rose:
So a lot of times it’s the little things that I write up every single day. But I would say almost everything has to do with water.

Felipe:
Yeah, that’s interesting because that’s, for me, has always been one of the cheapest fix. And I’ll ask you a question about that in a minute, but gutter cleaning and making sure that the water goes into the gutters has been one of the cheapest fix and one of the biggest causes of foundation… And you can tell me if I’m wrong, but if I’m not mistaken, gutters not flowing correctly has been one of the biggest problems in foundation. Anyways, here in Tennessee that’s what it is, because for some reason they just flow straight down to the floor of the foundation, and it’s like you can go buy a $10 pipe and just flow it away three feet and you’re good to go. So with that, I want to ask you, what are some easy, cheap fixes that people can do the moment they buy a property to ensure that they’re getting the best ROI on their investment.

Rose:
I think definitely with the gutters, as you said. It’s really important to flash the water away from the house. Making sure that electrical outlets are properly wired, and that you have the proper GFCI protection. For those who may not be familiar, GFCI is ground fault circuit interrupter, and it’s required when you have a wet area. So, kitchens, bathrooms, when you have outside, sometimes in garages and things like that, you have to have protection. The receptacles often people see them that have the buttons on them, and they trip and they turn the power off. Yeah. Exactly. I’ve seen a lot of people push the buttons, and they trip or they shut the power off if there’s any loss of energy, if you’re getting shocked, so that you don’t get electrocuted.

Ashley:
And how much does that usually cost? If someone had to have those changed?

Rose:
Usually per the general, overall price, it depends on where you are and things like that, but generally it’s about $15 per receptacle to fix that, and…

Ashley:
Well worth it.

Rose:
Well worth it. Yeah.

Felipe:
Easy. All day.

Rose:
Yeah so if you want to have your return on investment, that's one thing that home inspectors… I've heard home inspectors when I was doing ride alongs say things like, "Oh there's not even GFCIs in this kitchen. These flippers don't know what they're talking about." And it can be something that, it ruins your reputation and it's so simple and easy. Just know the things that you need to do and make sure that those little thin… And often it's very cheap, just making sure that you keep everybody safe. That's pretty much the biggest thing.

Ashley:
That's a great point for anyone who's looking to buy turnkey properties.

Felipe:
Oh yeah.

Ashley:
If something like that is flagged, you might not want to work with this turnkey company if they can’t even get the outlets correct in the kitchen and bathroom.

Felipe:
Ashley you can say that again. I’ve literally, same thing, I’ve gone to buy properties that are turnkey, and they don’t have GFCI in the kitchen or the bathroom and I’m like, “Dude you can stop the home inspection. I’m not going to buy this property knowing that they didn’t even do that correctly. They have regular outlets in the kitchen and the bathroom that’s a foot away from wet.” I can’t imagine what other shortcuts they took, because a regular outlet’s going to cost you $7 and a GFCI’s going to cost you maybe 10. If they’re trying to skimp on $3, I can’t imagine what rest is hiding from that house.

Ashley:
Or that they just don’t know.

Felipe:
Or if they just don't know. Regardless, I don't want to buy it. I'll never forget, I was flipping a house in Murfreesboro here in Tennessee, and my home inspector, when he came out prior to us purchasing the property, spent 17 minutes in the house and left. He said, "This house is absolutely terrible. There's no way that I can inspect this house. There's rats. There's trash." It was so, so bad. And that was probably one of my best and only flips because it was a super scary. But my partner that was helping me in it was very adamant about little things like that, the GFCIs, making sure that there's plenty of… Drywall. Everything. He was super annoying about it and it was my first flip and I was like, "Yo is it that serious?"

Felipe:
And he’s like, “The buyer is important. But as a flipper, the most important thing, Felipe, is going to be the inspector because he is going to decide whether we sell this property.” And I didn’t realize that, how important a home inspection is when someone is buying a turnkey or a flip, because they’re going to tell you, “Hey that’s not right. This isn’t right.” A home inspector can be your best friend, or it can totally destroy your business if you’re not doing things right. Rose, would you agree?

Rose:
I completely agree. I’ve had a couple really good experiences with flips, and I’ve had some really bad experiences with flips. And there was one that I went into and they didn’t do something as simple as, when they put in the dishwasher, the brand new dishwasher, gorgeous kitchen, they did not connect the drain hose to the plumbing under the sink, and I turned dishwasher on, and it had looked like it was connected but they didn’t actually make the physical connection. So I did look and see and, “Oh I see it’s connected,” and I turned it on and when I turned it on and it started to drain, water poured out all over the floor because the pressure of the water pushed it out of place.

Rose:
And so when I looked at that I was like… And then I opened up the cabinets above the built-in microwave and the vent hood was disconnected. And I said… It’s just that little piece of metal that goes from the cabinet, from here to here. And I just looked at them and was like, “These are little things. They’re so simple and so easy. What else did they forget to do?” These are little things.

Ashley:
Right. Oversee. Yeah.

Rose:
Exactly. So they’re big red flags, for sure.

Ashley:
Well let’s talk about some of the big things, like what comes to mind, asbestos, lead, mold, termites. All of these things. So do you have any experience with finding these things? What do you recommend to investment properties. If you’re looking to buy a rental and you’re going to rent this place out, do you think that’s something someone should buy when it has these issues? Or even if you’re going to house hack and live there, and do you have resources that you can recommend to anyone? Do you have contractors that you refer people to, to say, “Hey call this guy. Look at this specialist.”

Rose:
Absolutely. I see this almost every day, hazardous materials, because most of the houses that I work on, a lot of them are becoming to be brand new builds. The area’s growing. But, a lot of the houses are… As I said, yesterday I did a house from 1872. So yes, we do see a lot of very old things, and especially in the Washington DC area there’s a lot of asbestos insulation around pipes, there’s vermiculate insulation in the attics, there’s a lot of health hazards within these homes, and it really depends on the buyer, truly. So, often times I’ll say, “I see some termite damage over here.” Depending on the extent of it, I can say, “Have a termite company come out and evaluate it. Make sure that it’s structurally evaluated. And then treat it if it’s not too bad.”

Rose:
But I did see a house recently out in Frederick, Maryland, and the entire flowing system was completely ravaged. Like just touching it would crumble into my hands. And at that point, oddly enough they continued on with the purchase and ended up buying the house, but they knew that issue. So, I do see these issues every day, and if you’re investing in a property, you have to know, “Okay the entire structure of the first floor has to be redone.” That’s a decision that you’re going to have to make at that point. But oftentimes when I’m on site with a client, in DC another big issue that we see is lead pipes for the water service. If I see lead pipes coming into the house, that’s obviously lead can leech into the water coming into your home, and for children lead can lead to development delays and things like that. So you definitely don’t want lead in your water. DC knows about this problem and you can go to dcwater.com and they actually have grants and things like that that can help alleviate the cost of having that replaced.

Rose:
So there are different resources that I give my clients in certain situations, and again I use education as a huge tool. I talk to them and I say, “This is the situation. This is what can happen if it stays this way. And this is how I would recommend to fix it.” But it’s also all about the individual. So, if there’s lead paint on the exterior trim, and I look at a family and they have young kids, that’s going to be a little bit more of a pressing issue for them. Whereas a single couple that doesn’t have children and doesn’t have children on the property often may not care so much. So as long as they’re educated and they have the power of that knowledge to know what the risks are, they can either change their lifestyle to accommodate that temporarily, or they can just have it fixed. But, it’s definitely something… You can invest in a property and have those things on there like asbestos on the pipe and things like that.

Rose:
As long as you explain those things to the client, and some buyers aren’t going to like it and some buyers are going to be okay with it. So it really depends on the buyer.

Felipe:
Rose, I can tell education and that you care is really important to your job. I mean, you just portray that. I think that’s really amazing and really important. I can see why you’re so successful and why you’ve done over 1000 home inspections. I mean it’s clear as day now. We’ve been talking for 30 minutes and I’m like, “Wow I would hire this home inspector 100 times for every single one of my properties.” I bet Ashley’s even thinking about, “Hey maybe I should be having her come look at my properties.”

Ashley:
Well even your negotiating tip too, Felipe, when we were talking about that earlier today.

Felipe:
Yeah 100%. I definitely use my home inspector. Exactly. So, Rose, what is the most difficult problem to uncover when inspecting a home? What would you say is the hardest thing to look at but probably one of the most cost-effective, worth it for an individual who is going to buy their first rental or first whatever the case may be.

Rose:
That’s a really good question. I think that the hardest thing to uncover is sometimes with the foundation, because often people finish their basements, and I’m not able to see the foundation at all. So it’s really difficult to… I use my floor camera to see if there’s any water leeching through the walls, but if it hasn’t rained in a couple of days, I’m going to see water leeching through the walls. So that’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Rose:
Finished basements are pretty difficult to evaluate. I would also say that certain areas in attics are inaccessible, so that’s very difficult to get into. And often, I’m pretty small I try to get into small spaces as much as I can, and I will go into crawlspaces very often, but if I open a crawlspace hatch and I look and there’s water in the crawlspace, or I see dead animals or live animals occasionally, it’s unsafe for me to go in there. So as far as that goes, it’s very difficult in those situations to be able to give the client that information. But I think the big dollar issues would be structural issues. If I go into an attic and I see that it’s been completely painted, I know that… Why would you paint an attic? No one ever goes in there. It’s not a finished space. So if I go into an attic and I see everything around me has been completely painted, which has happened once or twice, I know that either there’s water issues or there’s fire damage that they’re covering up.

Rose:
So, those are also very difficult and I’m just… I try and scratch the paint off in certain areas to see what I can see, and I use my tools to see if there’s any water, but sometimes that can be very difficult and could be very costly for investors.

Ashley:
I think it’s very obvious that you add a lot of value for your position, and for anyone that hired you, but how much does a home inspection typically cost? And does it vary as to if it’s single family, duplex, triplex. You probably can’t do commercial properties, or can you? What is your scope and what kind of properties do you do?

Rose:
I generally like to do residential properties. Whenever I get a commercial property, I’m not as comfortable with that yet. It’s something that I’m going to be working on in the near future, do ride alongs and things like that. So I usually recommend someone else on my team for that who has more experience with that. I’m very honest about my abilities. So that’s not something that I’m very strong in, so I will recommend someone else. So residential. As far as the cost of the home inspection, there’s a couple different things that we can do. My company in particular has a policy, our algorithm to figure out the price has to do with the age of the home, the location, and the size, square footage of the home. So those three things are taken into account and they punch all those numbers into a computer and it spits it out. Generally, for a three bedroom house, three or four bedroom house, it runs between about 425 and 550. And that’s for the full inspection.

Rose:
A walk and talk, like we talked about earlier where I walk around, I do the inspection, I just don’t provide a written report, that is about half the price. That’s usually around 335. Condos, especially in DC, start around 385. But the most expensive inspection that I did was $1200, and that was a mini mansion with literal wings to the property. It was like Beauty and the Beast. They had a giant staircase in the center that had wings. So that was about $1200 and I was there for about eight hours.

Felipe:
That’s a long time to be at a house. Eight hours. I would’ve stopped and got lunch. “I’m coming back to finish this.”

Rose:
Yeah I took a nap afterwards.

Felipe:
That’s funny. Yeah I bet. I bet. So I asked you a question earlier about what are some red flags for a bad inspection or a bad inspector or whatever the case may be, but let’s that I want to hire an inspector for a new property. I’m in a new city. I don’t know anybody. I have tons of recommendations from the realtor and all that, but what are some good questions that I would ask a home inspector that would help me identify whether I’m going to hire them or not. What would you say are some really good questions that some of our rookies should ask?

Rose:
That’s a great question. So when you get your recommendations, usually you’re asking real estate agents or other people who have used home inspectors. And when they give you that recommendation, I would ask them, why do you recommend this person? Because I have real estate agents who work with me specifically because I take a little bit longer with my clients, I’m on site a little bit longer with them, and I explain everything to them. I have agents who specifically don’t work with me because I take that extra time and they don’t want to spend the time on site. I have people who say I’m too thorough.

Rose:
There’s an inspector out there for everything, and when you get a recommendation on an inspector, you have to find out why they’re recommending that person. I’ve had people who say, “Oh hire this guy he’s not going to be as picky.” But that’s not what you want when you’re buying the property. So ask why the person is recommending that inspector, and then when you’re talking to the inspector, let’s just say that you get a couple of recommendations and you say “I’m going to call these two or three guys.” Ask them a couple of questions about their experience. Some of their best home inspections and some of their worst home inspections, and how would you handle a situation when a client is very distressed at the home inspection?

Rose:
Because I've had clients cry because the whole home buying process is very overwhelming. It's very overwhelming and they're dealing with the lender. I literally had a client yesterday, poor woman she was on the phone with her lender, and they lost her taxes from last year and she didn't have another copy and she can't get the loan without that. And then I found a few things in the 1870s house, and there was a tear or two. Home buying is a very emotional process for many people, and asking the home inspector, "How do you deal with that?" Because we really are in charge of the entire, I guess show while we're there because we're managing not only the inspection itself, but we're managing the real estate agent and the client and everything like that. "How do you handle those kinds of situations?" That's what I would definitely ask them.

Ashley:
Great. Great. That’s awesome. And I’m sure that a lot of people listening are going to be using that advice when they go look for a home inspector. Usually right now we would move on to our MVP segment, but today Rose you are our MVP.

Rose:
Thank you.

Felipe:
Yeah you are.

Ashley:
Everyone that comes and hires you now will definitely say that you are the MVP. But we will move on to the rookie request line. So this is where we have our audience call in and leave a voicemail and ask a question. And if anyone else would ever like to call in, you can call 1-888-5ROOKIE and leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show.

Joshua Camp:
Hey, my name is Joshua Camp, and I was calling to ask if there’s a house that’s older than 1978, is there any records or ways to find out if there’s lead-based paint in the house? Thanks. Appreciate it.

Rose:
That’s a very common question that I get, and you don’t really know unless you actually do a test, because there’s no records or anything like that with the county or anything. But definitely before, I would say the ’80s really. I’ve seen lead paint in houses around ’81, ’82. They stopped using it, they outlawed using it, but obviously older houses will still have the paint on the walls. But once they outlawed it, people still had paint in their houses so they continued to use it until the early ’80s. The only way to really know is to have it tested, and you can definitely have… A lot of home inspectors, we have one person on my team who is a lead inspector and he will come out and do the lead test. And that’s a little bit expensive to do the actual… Because there’s a lot of heavy machinery and tools and things like that to use, but I’m hoping that I will be lead certified.

Rose:
That’s a goal of mine within the next two years or so. But they also have a little bit, a quick test, they have swaps that you can swap it and it’ll change colors and it’ll tell you if that’s the case. So there’s a couple different ways to test it, but if you suspect anything like that, definitely have it tested. Visually, you can see, if you look at an old house, many people probably have seen this, old house that has, often it’s white paint. Paint will crack over time, and lead paint, the cracking pattern of it kind of looks like squares almost. We call it alligatoring because it looks like alligator scales. So if I ever see that type of pattern, of cracking on paint, that tells me that’s a big red flag that says, “That’s most likely lead paint.” So I’ll put in my report that it’s suspected lead paint on the property. I cannot say for sure that it is lead paint until I get it tested.

Ashley:
How much does a test usually cost?

Rose:
It depends on the size of the home and things like that, but I don’t believe it’s any more than $300 to $500, depending. And the swap’s usually about $20 or so.

Felipe:
Well worth it, too, to know what kind of paint is there and so forth and so on. Earlier, you were asked how much a home inspection costs, and I was wondering if I wanted to butt in or not, but for me personally it’s almost irrelevant the price of the inspection because of how much valuable information you’re giving. I feel like sometimes inspectors are undervalued and don’t charge enough for the knowledge that you’re getting. You’re getting a full home inspection of the item that you are about to purchase, and it is probably one of your largest purchases that you’ll ever make. Why wouldn’t you hire the best home inspector, regardless of price, so that you know a full picture, an in-depth picture, of the item that you’re buying at such a costly price. The home inspector’s price is almost irrelevant, right? It’s like, “No you want to.”

Ashley:
Felipe, you had said before how you even get the list of things to do now, things in six months, and things later on. That right there is huge value if you already know of upcoming repairs that will need to be done and you can include that in your cost of the property. “Okay I’m going to spend this much on this property over the next year, and then you can add that right into your numbers.

Felipe:
That’s exactly right. Because I don’t have the time for a water heater to bust. I just don’t have… Who has the time for that? But, if a home inspector’s like, “Hey, you got maybe two more years on this thing.” It’s probably something that I’m going to get to sooner than later. So, yeah I really appreciate home inspectors and what they do for me, for sure.

Ashley:
Let’s start to wrap this up, but we’re going to put you in the hot seat first. We have a few fun questions before we say goodbye. Are you ready Rose?

Rose:
I think so. Yeah.

Ashley:
Okay. What’s been the best or most satisfying day on the job?

Rose:
Oh gosh I’ve had so many. My most satisfying day was, actually started out as one of my most difficult. So as I said earlier, the dad comes and he’s got the furrowed brow and he’s all upset and it took me longer than usual to win this particular father over, and he was being kind of a jerk to me to be honest, if we can be really honest here. And he was just second guessing everything that I said, and I would explain to my client, “Oh this is the life expectancy of a water heater.” Literally he would say, over my shoulder he’d be like, “Your water heater’s going to last longer than that.” He would literally contradict me, everything that I said. And because I wasn’t winning him over, I realized he was kind of rough around the edges. We got to a certain section, and the way that I like to do it is, as I said, I do the evaluation and write the report first, and then I grab them and I show them everything. So I kind of go clockwise around the basement so I don’t miss anything.

Rose:
And I was on the water heater speaking with them about that, and he had continued on to where the washing machine was, and there was a big issue there. And anyone with common sense would see, “Oh you can’t plug a dryer and a washing…” It was the washing machine and a humidifier and a couple other things into an extension cord, two extension cords if that. So anyone would have looked at that and been like, “This rats nest of everything, it needs to go. You can’t do that.” So I was still on the one thing, and I always ask them, “Do you have any questions about the water heater?” And the dad said, “This is wrong.” I lost my temper, and it was the one moment I lost my temper. I was like, “Yeah. That’s wrong. Go ahead dad. You tell them.” And I backed up and I walked away and I crossed my hands and I said, “You tell them. What’s wrong with that.” And he kind of looked a little bit shocked, and then he explained, “Well you can’t do this for this reason.”

Rose:
And then I calmed down and I went right back into my old self and was like, “Yeah exactly.” I went right back to my old mood, and ever since that moment he was on my side. And the most satisfying thing was at the very end, because this family was moving out here, it was his children, they were moving out here from I think Maine or something, and he said, “In about two years I plan on moving down here to be close to my grandchildren and I want you to be my home inspector.” That was the most…

Felipe:
Win for Rose. That’s so cool.

Rose:
Yeah. So it started out as the worst but it ended up as the best. So I got a new client out of that.

Felipe:
Sometimes you got to stand your ground, and that’s okay. Do your thing. More power to you. More power to you. So, I want to know, what’s your favorite style of property from a visual design perspective. You say you’ve walked 1000 homes. I’m sure you have a favorite. What’s your favorite?

Rose:
As far as interior, I did a Bethesda condo recently, it was the penthouse, and it was floor to ceiling windows, and I don’t know if I would want to personally live in there and feel so exposed, and obviously energy loss issues with that. But it was stunning. So penthouse apartments with large windows and stunning views, that’s my favorite kind of property. But to live in, I like anything that has a lot of outdoor space, decks and things like that. I like being outside.

Ashley:
Okay. What’s something a lot of people don’t know about you? Do you have a secret talent or hobby?

Rose:
I do. Some people know about it. Some people don’t. But in my free time I like to compete in pageants, and when I turned 30 years old, I started a new phase in my life and I said, “I don’t really do my hair and makeup. I don’t really know anything about that.” I wanted to make new friends because I just went through a divorce and I lost many friends in that divorce. And I just wanted to rebuild my confidence. A friend suggested that I try pageants, and I was like, “I’m 30 years old. There’s no way.” Yeah. So I said, “You know what? At the end of the day, I’m not going to win this pageant. I’m going to enter it just to make friends, to get my mind off the divorce, and to learn how to do my hair and makeup.” That was my goal. And I went into it with that goal, but I do everything full force. And I ended up winning that first pageant and I got the bug.

Ashley:
Wow that’s awesome. Congratulations.

Felipe:
Good for you.

Ashley:
That’s so cool.

Rose:
Thank you. Yeah so for the past five years or so, I'm 35 now, for the past five years I've been competing in pageants and I've held five titles. So I currently hold… Last year I went out to Las Vegas and I competed for Ms. Eco International, which is a pageant that is based on environmental stewardship. So the Ms. Eco International Pageant, and I ended up winning. So very happy to be representing that title.

Ashley:
Congratulations.

Rose:
Thank you.

Felipe:
So Rose, tell us about your home inspector themed Halloween costume.

Rose:
Oh gosh. I have so many different ones. The first year… I do my videos. The first video I really produced was, I put on my T-Rex, you know the blow-up T-Rex outfit? And I did a mock home inspection in my T-Rex outfit. So it was…

Ashley:
Are we going to get these pictures for the show notes?

Felipe:
Yeah I got to see that.

Rose:
Absolutely. It was my first time producing a video, because usually I do a video just in the selfie cam on my cell phone and I upload it right then. But this was the first time that I had actually had somebody else help me with footage and adding music to it. So the audio’s a bit loud. I apologize. Turn your audio down when you watch the video. That’s something that I’ve learned, but we’re all rookies. But that was a lot of fun. That was so much fun doing that. And then this past year I was a deal killer. So, I held a piece of paper that said “deal” and I had a butcher’s knife up to it. So I was a deal killer this year. That was fun.

Ashley:
Oh funny. I think you’re giving all of our rookie investors good Halloween costume ideas.

Rose:
Oh absolutely. I just like to have fun.

Ashley:
Yeah. Well I’m glad you like to have fun because next we have some rookie hazing. We want to know what is your guilty pleasure song, and can you sing a little bit for us?

Rose:
In preparation for this podcast, I was like, “Guys, I am tone deaf.” And I truly am, especially with these on I can’t hear.

Ashley:
So that’s not your talent at your competitions?

Rose:
No that’s for sure not my talent. I’m a very talented person, but nothing that I can do on stage. But to answer your question, I thought about it and there are many different genres and different songs that I like, but the one thing that, when I’m out in public at an event and there’s music going, like a wedding or something, the one thing that’ll really get me on the dance floor, I legitimately will stop mid-sentence talking to somebody if this song comes on and I’ll walk out to the dance floor. It’s I Want To Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. I lose my mind. I don’t know. Her spirit enters me, and I just become a different person.

Felipe:
How does it go? How does it go?

Rose:
Oooh, I want to dance with somebody. I want to feel the heat.

Ashley:
I want to feel the heat with somebody.

Rose:
Thank you.

Ashley:
This is the first song I’ve been able to sing along that we’ve done.

Rose:
It’s so catchy. How can you not have fun when you’re singing to that song? Yeah.

Felipe:
I love that. I love that. Rose, I’m going to go a little bit off the script here and ask you one extra question if you don’t mind.

Rose:
Absolutely.

Felipe:
For all the women that are listening that have aspirations to do something like you’re doing as an inspector, because I’m sure there. I’m sure there’s more and I’m sure tons of people are going to ask questions about this. What would you tell them that they haven’t took the plunge yet and they’re like, “Well I want to do it but that’s a male dominated, whatever, profession.” What would you tell them?

Rose:
I would say a couple of things, because I do work with a lot of women. Because I’m so visible on social media, many of women who are entering the field will send me private messages and be like, “Hey I don’t feel confident.” Or something like that. So, my biggest thing that I would say to them is, one, don’t care what other people thing. You’re going to be different. You’re going to be completely different and that’s fine. You’re going to stand out. You’re going to have to work extra hard to win people’s trust, and that’s just how it is. And it sucks, but that’s just how it is. Just be confident. And that leads into my second thing, is just be extra… It sucks that we have to be extra prepared, but because people look at me, like we were talking about earlier with the dad asking, “Oh does she really know what she’s talking about,” unfortunately as women we have to work extra hard to prove to other people that we know what we’re talking about. So be prepared.

Rose:
And the third thing is, even no matter how prepared we are. No matter how much we show off what we know, there’s going to be something in a house that I look at and I’m like, “I have no idea what that is. I don’t know.” Sometimes we can’t know every single situation, every single thing, or what any homeowner who was doing the work was thinking. So it’s okay to say that you don’t know something, but try your best and just go into it knowing that, “I’m going to have to show some people a little bit more than a man would.” And just be prepared for that. But if you’re good at your job and you care about people, you would do that anyway.

Ashley:
I think that’s really great advice, and not only for women but any of our rookie investors who may not feel confident because they haven’t invested before. They haven’t even purchased their own property before. They’ve never done a rehab, they’ve never worked construction. All the advice you just said could work for any of our rookies who would like to get into being a home inspector, whether it’s maybe something they did on the side. You’ll be able to network with other investors who you’re doing their home inspections and meet with them and maybe you’ll catch a deal or two from it. But I really like the advice just for any of our listeners because I am a great advocate of, if you want to get started in something, get paid to have that experience, and it seems like you know a lot about houses and what to look for, and when you go out and buy your investment property you are going to have a great wealth of knowledge with you.

Rose:
Absolutely. Well that’s the goal.

Ashley:
Well why don’t you tell everyone where they can find more information about you.

Rose:
Well they can find me, as I said a couple of times before, I have a big social media platform on Facebook. You can find me at Rose Buckley-MD Home Inspector. The MD stands for Maryland, and I’m going to be changing that to MD and VA home inspector. But you can still find me, Rose Buckley-MD Home Inspector. And I have a lot of educational videos on there. I’m also on Instagram, and that’s inspectionchick, all one word. That’s more of a personal just so people get to know me as a person. When I go snowboarding I put pictures up just so that people can know me as a person a little bit better. But that’s pretty much my main platform.

Ashley:
Very cool. And we’ll also add all that information into our show notes at biggerpockets.com/rookieeleven, if anyone wants to go back and look at some of the great tips that Rose had given us, and we’ll attach some of the documents and some pictures of her Halloween costumes. But thank you very much for joining us today Rose. We really appreciate it, all the value you added today.

Rose:
Thank you guys so much. It was so much fun and it was a pleasure. Thank you.

Ashley:
I’m Ashley, @wealthfromrentals on Instagram, and he’s Felipe, @felipemejiarei, and we’ll see you guys next Wednesday.

Watch the Podcast Here

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What makes a great home inspector
  • Using an inspection report in price negotiations
  • The most common issues Rose runs into
  • Why water is the real estate investor’s No. 1 enemy
  • The time she spent 8 hours inspecting a single house
  • How to spot sloppy work in a house that’s been flipped
  • Termite and pest infestations
  • GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Rose’s experience as a female in a male-dominated industry
  • How becoming a licensed inspector could make you a savvier investor
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “Water is the number one enemy of the house.” (Tweet This!)
  • “A home inspector can be your best friend, or it can totally destroy your business if you’re not doing it right.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Home buying is a very emotional process for many people.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Rose

Ready to go take action? Every Wednesday, the Real Estate Rookie Podcast will arm you with tips, tools, and inspiration to help you launch your real estate investing career. Hosts Ashley Kehr and F...
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    Joseph M. Rental Property Investor from Sacramento Area, CA
    Replied 4 months ago
    Thanks for providing this. A home inspector is a valued part of any team. As stated in my past posting on BP, my inspector has saved me TONS of money. I stopped the sale the sale in one instance and re-negotiated the accept offer due to his findings (mostly safety issues).
    Reinaldo Lopez Rental Property Investor
    Replied 4 months ago
    A home inspection should always be a must in any real estate transaction, we are the most trusted part of the closing. An inspection should always be done by a well trained or experience inspector by ASHI or InterNASHI association and were require ask for state license. Specially for out of state investors they are the eyes in the transaction.
    Richard Chai
    Replied 4 months ago
    Did you guys get the checklist and the little binder of information Rose gives to her clients after she's done?
    Montgomery Sexton New to Real Estate from Hong Kong
    Replied 4 months ago
    I did not get it. Where, exactly, do I look?
    Richard Chai
    Replied 4 months ago
    Nevermind I got it!
    Christina Kennedy
    Replied 3 months ago
    Where did you find it?
    Heather Witzig from 92104
    Replied 4 months ago
    I don't see the binder either. Where did you find that? Thanks!
    Daniel Dietz Rental Property Investor from Reedsburg, WI
    Replied 4 months ago
    Excellent show! Rose, can you share your thoughts on the pros and cons of a new home inspector doing this as 'their own' business vs being part of a team of existing inspectors? If going the Independent route, what are thought to be the best associations that can help a new inspector as far as systems, software etc....? Also, any thoughts on how to find the best source of getting the education needed, as there seems to be a lot of companies offering it? Thanks, Dan Dietz
    Anthony Therrien-Bernard Rental Property Investor from Calgary, Alberta
    Replied 4 months ago
    I think there is a mistake in one of the link. I think it should be "HGTV" and not "HTTV" ?