Home Inspector Training - Is it worth it for a newbie looking to vet deals independently?

11 Replies

Hi all,

I'm somewhat of a newbie in that I haven't been as active in RE as I'd like. This year, I have a pretty aggressive (for me) acquisition goal but have faced a number of obstacles in my pursuit of it; namely, I have trouble finding an agent (w/ rehab experience)  to show me properties of interest. Most have been unreliable, ie canceling, not following up as promised. I have a GC I've worked w/ but he's often too busy on jobs to accompany me.

Getting my real estate license isn't my priority now but I'd like to be able to effectively assess what type of work needs to be done. There are a number of 140 hour courses starting in my area now, and I'm thinking about taking one that starts tomorrow.

Do you think it's worth it to take the course? Can I get the info elsewhere? I have a full-time day job and don't plan to pursue a career in home inspecting (at least not in the near future) so it would be primarily to vet my own deals.

Thanks for your help!


PS The agent's flakiness isn't a reflection of me. I'm finding properties on my own and merely using the agent/broker to view it when I can't reach the seller's agent on my own.

I don't see why it wouldn't help. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.

@Shashy B.  Home inspectors are trained to find code violations and defects. It might be helpful. Certainly the networking couldn't hurt. Home inspectors are often the ones that make retail deals blow up so they might through you a bone or two along the way if you cultivate the relationship.

Personally I think I could find a number of ways to spend 140 hours and the associated $$ that would bring more bang for the buck than doing a class on home inspections. I think if you are just learning an RE agent's class would be more valuable.

Thanks for the info/feedback! I've decided to take just a couple courses now rather than all the modules consecutively. If at some point I decide to take all the courses, I'll be sure to repost whether I found the experience the best use of my time/money. Thanks again!

Thought I'd provide a quick update. Last month, I took one module of the 5 module inspector education requirement. I found the course very informative and worthwhile. It's been a while since I oversaw the rehab of my property so I'd forgotten much of what I knew about plumbing and heating. 

Despite learning quite a bit, I decided to postpone taking additional courses due to time constraints. If I knew there was a chance that I'd work as an inspector within the next year, I would invest the time/money now. Personally, I found value in taking a local in person class as the instructor provided insight on the local market that wasn't available in the book and I was able to network with others who work in the industry.

@Tim Bishop , thanks for the link. Unfortunately, NJ/NY require that one take a classroom course. However, the site is definitely useful for those in my market who aren't seeking a license. 

How was the value of the class? What did it cost? Was it worth both the time and the money? Do they offer some kind of certification? I'd be interested in an extensive course that the GI bill would pay for.

waste if time in my opinion.  so what if u know if there is know and tube or r19 insulation in the attic and not r49.  do u need a class to learn that? 

Originally posted by @John Powell :

How was the value of the class? What did it cost? Was it worth both the time and the money? Do they offer some kind of certification? I'd be interested in an extensive course that the GI bill would pay for.

If I had more time/a less demanding schedule, it would be worth it b/c it would enable me to more accurately estimate my rehab costs and justify my offer price. Right now, my full-time job doesn't leave me much time for classes and viewing properties. Currently, my focus is spending my free to view potential acquisitions. 

Also, I think it comes down to your goal. If you plan to work in RE at some point or you're looking for an additional revenue source, it may be worth it. My class consisted of a construction worker, a couple retired firemen, and a broker. Everyone but the broker planned to be licensed inspectors. The were also considering being mold and asbestos inspectors, which apparently pays well. As an investor who selects contractors and lender who does real estate deals, it gives me a bit of credibility.

Re: costs, I took my class in NYC where everything is overpriced but a handful of inspections (before expenses) would cover the price of the 5 modules. If you're considering it as a career, in addition to inspectors, you may want to speak to a couple agents/brokers or mortgage brokers/bankers in your area to find out about avg fees, who works the most and why, etc.

I looked into home inspector training before. It seemed kind of expensive. If you are not intending to become a home inspector professionally, then I don't think classroom experience is necessary.  

You can learn on your own by looking at fixer houses and understanding what's going on.

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