Home Inspector / Rehabber combo role?

11 Replies

I am toying with the idea of becoming a licensed home inspector at some point as a way to supplement/enhance my primary interest in fix and flipping. Is anyone doing this, and if so, has it been worth it? Any potential conflict of interest pitfalls? At the very least I may take a few hours of home inspector courses just to educate myself to get better at rehab cost estimates without having to call in an expert. My wife and investment partner is planning to get her real estate license, maybe if I get the inspector license, it could be a powerful combo - any insights are appreciated.

On the downside, it appears Texas requires a pretty rigid apprenticeship program, need to be sponsored by a professional inspector and perform a lot of inspections under direct supervision. Sounds like a lot of time invested, and I'm not sure how these sponsorships actually work -

Thanks all!

I am also kicking around becoming an inspector. I believe the rule is that you can not accept work as a contractor on any home you inspect for at least 6 months

A friend of mine is a (now retired) master home inspector, and he was instrumental in helping me make good decisions about acquiring distressed properties when I started out.

Pros: The structural/mechanical knowledge a home inspector has is very valuable, and could translate well in a GC role when doing rehabs. And of course you can hire out your services for properties that you're not interested in.

Cons: the licensing and insurance costs are not cheap. That's what ultimately brought my friend to retire early.

I considered it at one time. The E&O insurance is very expensive. If I remember correctly, it was over $3000 per year for E&O in TN.

When I was much younger, I did a lot of hard work, some of it dirty, some of it dangerous. But now, I really have no desire to get on my fat belly and crawl under a house or to walk on a roof where I might slip and fall and hurt myself. I generally pay home inspectors to do that for me.

Thank you @brianna schmidt I am a licensed managing broker, general contractor and home inspector in Illinois. Yes the insurance is not cheap but the education that I have acquired is invaluable in this business.

@Bryan L. , thanks for the reality check! I was envisioning a casual stroll around the premises with a glass of iced tea, a high-powered flashlight, and a good pair of binoculars, and scribbling a few notes in a nice leather portfolio in between taking calls on the smart phone. Suddenly I have a mental picture of being chased around a roof by angry mud daubers, screaming like a little girl and falling 20 ft onto a piece of jutting-out rebar on the slab below (similar experience happened to by brother awhile back - he survived somehow). With all the block-and-beam foundations around here, I have no desire to crawl under the foundation and spar with black widows, scorpions, and hormonal gophers. Hmmmm - maybe time to reconsider...

@Michael O'Byrne The mud daubers don't sting. It's the wasps and hornets that you have to worry about. When I was a young man, I used to hire myself out to do farm labor. Mostly working tobacco and hay. There was one time that I was in the top of a tobacco barn, standing on poles no more than 4-inches in diameter which were about 4 feet apart - and probably 30 feet off the ground. And I got into a wasp nest. Got stung 3 times if I remember, but I didn't fall.

@Chris Adams , thanks, that is an excellent forum site to get inside info on the inspection picture.

@George Foster , I'd like to get your insights, will send you a PM. Thanks much!

@Michael O'Byrne

I am a RE Agent and got my Home Inspector License in FL. It is a good way to learn a lot of things to look for in a property, but that's it.

In very low income properties I do my own inspections, this gives me the idea on how much I may expect to pay in repairs and rehab. In more expensive houses I hire someone that is going to be thorough. I like to be there and follow him everywhere to get the filling on the amount of money is going to need.

Great topic @Michael O'Byrne .

I had the same internal dialogue two years ago. I was contemplating the home inspector vs REALTOR license. I went with REALTOR because it would make MLS searches easier and save me thousands on each fix/flip. Fast forward to today and I feel good about my decision. I like the idea of your wife being the REALTOR and you being the inspector. Sounds like a powerful team!