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Drive by inspections

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I have been asked to do drive by inspections of properties for a bank in another state. The drive by only requires a couple of pictures of the property, and not an actual inspection. They need to know what I would charge for this.

My question is, do any of you do this type of inspection? What do you charge? Do I need to be aware of any pitfalls? Anything you can offer would be appreciated.

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It's not what you will charge for a "Drive-by" it is what they will pay!

I think most will pay around $10 to $15 per drive-by. They just want to make sure the house is really a house and not a Port-a-Potty. I do a few for the folks that I do draw inspections for. As long as I can catch them while on my way to another job I will do them. they only take a couple of minutes to take the pictures and then I upload the photos to a website. So I might have 10 minutes invested in one. I don't count the travel time as I only do them if I can catch it on the way to or from another inspection. I look at them as gas money.

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The last drive buy picture job I did for a mortgage broker was $75 per trip. Notice I did not call it an inspection because it is not. All they wanted to know was what was done at different phases of construction for draw releases to builder. I am not money hungry but I would not drive to any job for $15. Mortgage brokers make billions and I would rather collect aluminum cans for pocket change than work for them for free. Your gas, auto, insurance, tires, not to speak of your time. Just does not add up.

Paul Burrell

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I have performed thousands of 'inspections' for several insurance companies. I did these years ago and it was a good way to transition from contractor to inspector. We usually took a picture of the front of the home and any obvious big ticket defects. Then measured and rough-diagrammed the home to arrive at the square footage.

Only homes that were over sixty years old or in excess of 3,000 sq. ft. required interior inspections. These were performed only for insurability and risk determination purposes. We were paid around 12 to 15 dollars each on the 'drive-bys'. On a day with good routing I could do twenty or more with no problem. My personal best was 45 inspections.

The money wasn't great but it helped me see a lot of homes, get paid for it, and start thinking like an inspector. The main problems were poor routing, long distances, outdated rural addresses, dogs, etc. I'm still in contact with my old bosses and colleagues there. They are great people and have a large, multi-state territory.

Email me directly if you want any more info. Good Luck!!

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Edited for relevancy and non-relevant portions moved here on 12/10/2005. Ed.

Another fireman and I do those every Thursday for a Texas Bank (a local bank). We charge 20 dollars each for residential and 30 dollars for commercial.

We do 45 to 55 every week and sometimes I drive 350 miles across the metroplex. But the money is not bad especially in the winter when the Inspection industry slows. It is a long day, sometimes two days.

We call them Interim Inspections and we just document that the builder has completed what he is drawing for that week. Most are complete but every now and then a builder tries to scam a little.


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Hi Folks,

This is good stuff. I've always been interested about this appraiser gig. Hell, 2/3 of the college class I just taught were appraisers. None of 'em seemed to be too evil, so I'd like to continue this discussion. However, I'd like to do it elsewhere, so we don't totally lose this thread originator's question, which was about Drive-By Inspections for banks and such.

So, just to be able to do that, I've created a new forum called, what else, Miscellaneous Topics, and have started a thread about appraisers over there. Folks, I apologize, but I'm unable, technically to simply redirect your threads to that forum, so I've edited what's here for relevancy, leaving the stuff about drive-by inspections here and have cut and pasted the appraiser stuff, in the same, order, into that other thread.

Mike Brown and I have talked about making it technically possible for me to be able to redirect posts into relevant threads, but we never went beyond just saying it was kind of a good thing. Maybe it's time to do it, so that when folks click on a thread they're able to read about the subject they were interested in, instead of us old coots going off on our tangents. God knows, I'm certainly the most guilty of that, so it definitely would be a good thing. So guys, pick up over there when you see I've got that thread caught up?

In the meantime. Continue on with the Drive-By Inspection topic here.

Thanks a bunch.

OT - OF!!!


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I've done a "bunch" of drive bys. until they found someone cheaper.

$30.00 apiece, usually about 15 on 1 day round trip of about 200 miles. Plenty of time to drop my marketing stuff in small towns around and somehow the route always seemed to end at a good fishing lake by about 4:00 PM. Then they found someone cheaper.

Still do them directly in Georgetown for about $7.00 apiece, purely occupancy verification. Pull up, does it look like someone's living there? (yes/no) snap a picture and move on. Takes about 30 seconds on the website to input each one.

As I hate shopping (grocery shopping worst), I drop my wife at the grocery store and go do about 15 or 20 of these while she's shopping on Saturday morning.

Make a $100.00 or so AND get out of shopping.

Outside of Georgetown get's negotiated. Don't do to many of those unless they just can't find anyone cheaper.

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