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Passing the National Home Inspector Exam


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    Hello my name is David, I am 21 years of age. I had originally started the pre-licensing requirements to become a home inspector back in 2018. I took the exam late last November and did not pass. I however have gotten around to wanting to study and pass the exam this second time around. I thought about giving up, but I have put too much money into this to not continue on. I have no experience in blue collar work or any type of industrious background. I understand that many people in this profession have had a head-start with some type of involvement in construction and trade.

    I have contacted a few home inspectors to potential 'shadow' but they have not got back to me. It seems as if many folks have a bad mentality of viewing the person who wants to 'shadow' them as some form of competition. Anyways, I have the 'Principles of Home Inspection: Systems & Standards 3rd Edition' book by Carson and Dunlop. I also have 'The Complete Guide to Home Inspection' book and the not as helpful '8th Edition Code Check'. Last but not least, I have the 'NHIE "Study Guide"' from 2015 (I believe there is a more recent and more expensive version out there). I did at one time have a course from CompuCram, I can always purchase an extension again. How can I be sure to pass this exam on the second take? Any bits of advice and tips/tricks are much appreciated.

Thank you,

David.

Edited by homewhisperer
Correction of typo.
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I used to believe that a background in home construction and the trades was not particularly important to a home inspector because most of that stuff can be book-learned. I believed that it was much more important to know how to run a business first and know how a house works, second. 

I now believe that both are absolutely critical. If you're trying to become a home inspector without a background in the trades, you have a huge handicap and it will take diligent study to overcome it. You might be able to pass the exam and work for several years, but eventually, your lack of knowledge will bite you big time. Most of the time, the biggest problem is that you have no idea of what you don't know. For example, the single most useful publication that you mentioned is the Code Check series of books. If you think that they're not helpful, you really don't even know what it is that you should be studying. The only thing better than the Code Check books is the codes themselves. 

By the way, passing the NHIE only means that your knowledge is barely competent. If you can not pass it, you are really and truly not qualified to inspect homes. Conversely, passing it does *not* mean that you are qualified. It just means that you're ready to start learning seriously. 

If you talk to a lot of long-time home inspectors who had a lifetime in the trades before they entered the home inspection profession, they'll tell you that they were woefully unprepared when they started out. Someone who lacks that experience is an order of magnitude below woefully unprepared - and most of them don't even know it. 

My best advice: stop trying to pass the test. Work at least 8 hours every day for several months to study home systems just to learn all about how they work and what rules surround them. Go right to the source - the codes or the Code Check series. Use the other books as filler to help understand the "whys." Start with your weakest area. Make flash cards. Learn the subject matter without thinking about passing a test. When you have a solid grasp of every system and component, just go take the test. 

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Actually, I suspect that none of this is worth your time. 

A 21 year old with no experience in the trades, no experience running a past business, and without a full-time mentor for several years cannot become a successful home inspector. It's just not going to happen. If your lack of technical knowledge doesn't get you sued into oblivion, your lack of business acumen will result in a failed business within a few years. 

My revised best advice: Cut your losses and forget about home inspections. At your age, you should find the thing in life that you enjoy doing more than anything else and figure out how to get paid to do it. 

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50 minutes ago, Jim Katen said:

Actually, I suspect that none of this is worth your time. 

A 21 year old with no experience in the trades, no experience running a past business, and without a full-time mentor for several years cannot become a successful home inspector. It's just not going to happen. If your lack of technical knowledge doesn't get you sued into oblivion, your lack of business acumen will result in a failed business within a few years. 

My revised best advice: Cut your losses and forget about home inspections. At your age, you should find the thing in life that you enjoy doing more than anything else and figure out how to get paid to do it. 

I agree, I am much better with computers. My family has no background in the trades or blue collar work (they are occupational therapists). I intended for home inspection to be more of a side job rather than a main gig. I don't even foresee myself being in the U.S. for long, so I am sure it would make no sense. I already put around $2,000+ into this, so I just wanted to complete the process and get my monies worth. I may someday pursue architecture, so I figured continuing this would also help as a good basis or foundation. Theory is good, but as with academia if you have all theory (book knowledge) and no real application or practical knowledge, you will not succeed.

I will take your advice Mr. Katen, just cut my losses and continue on with computers as that is what I know and have known since age 10-11. I started this back in 2018 and would have finished it by now if I really wanted it or had knowledge in this area.

Thank You,

David

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The body of knowledge needed to perform a decent home inspection is very large. The NHIE is meant to test only for 'entry' requirements and there is study material designed to help you pass it but this study material, if taken alone, may leave you more handicapped as inspector. Anyone can pass the NHIE if you use the NHIE's study materials. Check the NHIE website.  You'll find what I described.

There is yet a school that teaches the NHIE's study materials.  The current flock of HI schools is based on state regulatory requirements and is far inferior to what the NHIE provides.

Once you've passed it, you can begin inspections and continue your education. That education, for progressive folks, does not end.  The best inspectors are the ones who learn on their own. They are few and far between.

I disagree with Jim.  The lack of a background just means a longer road to proficiency as home inspector. The ability, and the drive, to learn something on your own is more important than background.

Edited by Marc
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homewhisperer

here's your challenge

inspect your own home & create a factual report based on your current knowledge & thoroughly covering all of the items in the attached document...any possible clientele will expect this and more from you

post it here for the Gurus of Wisdom to critique

btw your clients will want instant gratification or most licensed states require report delivery within days so either accept 09-30-2020 as your deadline or you have failed the TX requirements

 

Residential Rehabilitation Inspection Guide.pdf

Edited by BADAIR
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19 minutes ago, BADAIR said:

homewhisperer

here's your challenge

inspect your own home & create a factual report based on your current knowledge & thoroughly covering all of the items in the attached document...any possible clientele will expect this and more from you

post it here for the Gurus of Wisdom to critique

btw your clients will want instant gratification or most licensed states require report delivery within days so either accept 09-30-2020 as your deadline or you have failed the TX requirements

 

Residential Rehabilitation Inspection Guide.pdf 5.6 MB · 0 downloads

Geez.  That's a lousy standard.  I don't believe I would stay in this profession if I had to follow that.

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33 minutes ago, Marc said:

Geez.  That's a lousy standard.  I don't believe I would stay in this profession if I had to follow that.

baby steps

i was just trying to exhibit to the young man, as most others had expressed, there's more to it than passing a test

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/28/2020 at 5:30 PM, BADAIR said:

Thread-drift:  This is an inspection guide (which was certainly written and edited by committee) with repair instructions?

Quote

6.5
Tankless Coil
Water Heaters
(Instantaneous
Water Heaters) Tankless coil water heaters consist of small diameter pipes coiled inside of or in a separate casing adjacent to a hot water or steam boiler. They are designed for a specific rate of water flow, usually three to four gallons per minute. Since demand for domes-tic hot water can easily exceed this flow, such heaters often have an associated storage tank to satisfy periods of high demand. Thus the recovery rate of a tank-less coil water heater is instantaneous for low demand and will vary for high demand depending on the size of the storage tank, if any. The life expectancy of a tank-less coil water heater is limited only by the possible long-term deterioration of its coils and by the service life of the boiler to which it is attached. Since the boiler must operate through the summer in order for the water heater to function, such water heaters are usually considered inefficient.
Check tankless coil water heaters as follows:
� Plumbing components. Inspect the plumbing connections and joints around the heater mounting plate for rust, water stains, and mineral deposits. Tighten the mounting plate and repair the connections if required.  (Emphasis mine)

 

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