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I think it all depends on the person. Myself, I spent the last 10 years writing performance evaluations for my sailors. To date, I still never write something correct the first time, but I do know enough to go back and proof read before I let anyone see it. But you are right, if the Declaration of Independence started "we the peoples, to for a more better union", well I doubt it would have lasted.

On the other hand, a lot of people don't check themselves so much here as they would in a formal report. Some of us just write something real fast here because we don't want to spend 20 minutes ensuring spelling and grammar.

Anyways, Eric, just curious, how long have you been inspecting and what kind of training/experience have you had? I'm not degrading you, just asking as I'm new to the game myself and I'm looking to compare.

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Originally posted by sepefrio

On the other hand, a lot of people don't check themselves so much here as they would in a formal report. Some of us just write something real fast here because we don't want to spend 20 minutes ensuring spelling and grammar.

John

I think you just hit the nail on the head! In today's world with instant and text messaging, most individuals take short cuts while they are typing. This has tended to overlap into forums and into other areas. I do not have a problem with it on a forum as long as I can read or make out the intent of the message. However, I would not expect to find it on any type of formal report.

Jeff Euriech

Peoria Arizona

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Eric,

Just wait for the holiday to be over and Bonnie T, Kurt M, Walter J and others will really make you feel good! Ya know what? They are right!

TIJ is a good place to make mistakes and we all do make mistakes.

I notice you are a Fire Marshall, so you will have a few things to say to us about that.

Keep asking, that is how we learn from you and you learn from us.

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All right, damn it so I messed up. Yes I know now. I didn’t proof it, I was in such a hurry to get some feed back I did not go back, sue me..... In reference to my experience I got my certification thru PHII, Professional Home Inspectors Institute. I took the basic and the advanced course. Aprox 120 hours. I started Family 1st Home Inspections about 5 months ago so please cut me a little slack. I can write gOOd. ( lil joke ) I am a State Fire Marshal in Florida ( 10yrs) so I have had a bit of experience writing reports

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Originally posted by Bryant16e

All right, damn it so I messed up. Yes I know now. I didn’t proof it, I was in such a hurry to get some feed back I did not go back, sue me..... In reference to my experience I got my certification thru PHII, Professional Home Inspectors Institute. I took the basic and the advanced course. Aprox 120 hours. I started Family 1st Home Inspections about 5 months ago so please cut me a little slack. I can write gOOd. ( lil joke ) I am a State Fire Marshal in Florida ( 10yrs) so I have had a bit of experience writing reports

To be a successful HI you need to have a thick skin. Sellers, real estate agents, builders, tradesmen and others will all be seeking to tear you down. Consider any jabs in your direction on the forum as training for what lies ahead in the real world.

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But I'm curious: Do any of the brethren think any home inspector has actually improved his writing skills after, say, about age 18?

Was I aware that my writing sucked before I came to TIJ? No.

After joining TIJ it was only then that I realized that my writing skills sucked and that they were a source of problems that I was suffering in my business.

Thanks to the TIJ crew, Katenization of my writing has cleared those problems up.

In my opinion besides having good general writing skills there are some unique skills to writing good HI narrative that can't be found in any book out there at this point except by mining TIJ or re-asking the questions yourself here.

And while I'm on the subject: Who are the customers of HIs who can't write even one correct sentence? Who are the homebuyers who think to themselves, "I want that guy who can't match up nouns and verbs, and doesn't punctuate?"

Except for well educated clients I don't think that most clients have a clue that their inspector doesn't know how to write. With the clients who are savy, like you have said before, it destroys our credibility.

Here's a question. Do you think an inspector can improve his writing without changing his inspection paradigm?

Chris, Oregon

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But you are right, if the Declaration of Independence started "we the peoples, to for a more better union", well I doubt it would have lasted.

Me too. The Declaration begins with "When in the course of human events...."

But I got your point. [;)]

Brandon

... wishing everyone at TIJ a very healthy and prosperous New Year! [:-party]

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Here's a question. Do you think an inspector can improve his writing without changing his inspection paradigm?

No. At least not for me.

The way I see it in my "paradigm" at this stage of my career, I have two choices:

1) Look at the item, understand what's wrong with it and why and write, "It's wrong, fix it". Its simple and there's less chance for writing errors or:

2) Look at the item, understand what's wrong with it and why and then write a pretty descriptive comment. This takes a lot more time and much more mental effort to get correct phrasing, description, and don't forget grammar, spelling etc.

Right now, I'm stuck between the two. My reports (I think) are getting better but my hourly payback is significantly decreasing. It's taking longer and longer, not more efficient and faster.

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Beware: Topic drift below.

And while I'm on the subject: Who are the customers of HIs who can't write even one correct sentence? Who are the homebuyers who think to themselves, "I want that guy who can't match up nouns and verbs, and doesn't punctuate?"

Just askin'

WJ

I think the answer to this is abundantly clear. The home buyers who don't find spelling/punctuation/syntax errors offensive (and a reason to question the professionalism of the writer, no matter what his profession) fail to do so because they commit the same offenses themselves. They don't recognize substandard writing when they see it.

Further thread drift:

Interestingly, I don't always find a direct correlation between overall educational level or career achievements and the ability to write well. I've met more than a few highly compensated execs who can't string together a literate, cogent paragraph. Seems as though our schools are too often in the business of training people, not truly educating them.

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Originally posted by randynavarro ... Right now, I'm stuck between the two. My reports (I think) are getting better but my hourly payback is significantly decreasing. It's taking longer and longer, not more efficient and faster. ...

Agreed ... many of y'all (Yes, I had to throw in "Texan") are much further along than me and I'm doing all I can to learn more and make adjustments.

As Randy has noted it seems it is taking me longer and longer for my inspections and associated reports. Don't know if it is just the age factor or that I keep learning more and am observing more each and every inspection.

Bottom line ... if I can provide my client the information that will help them ... then I'm doing the right thing.

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Right now, I'm stuck between the two. My reports (I think) are getting better but my hourly payback is significantly decreasing. It's taking longer and longer, not more efficient and faster.

This whole last year as I was relearning how to write an inspection report I found it was taking me longer and longer as I had to reconsider stuff based on all the advice I had received. In the last few months I have sped back up as I have gotten a handle on the myriad of rules that I had accumulated and it has become 2nd nature again.

Rewriting my report writer has also helped substantially but I still can't imagine getting it all down to a Jim Morrison time frame of 30 minutes except for the simplest inspection. A 40 item report is taking about 2 hours compared to the previous 4 hours. A typical report is about 20 - 25 items which takes me about 1.5 hours offsite.

My eventual goal is to be able to get the 40 item POS house reports done in an hour - hour and half time frame. Of course there is always rasing my rates so I don't have to do them anymore.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by randynavarro

I've read this, and I believe it: Education is not a strong indicator of success in business.

As's been said before: Its the A students who end up working for the B students; the C students are the bosses and the D students own the company.

That has a good deal of truth in it. My grandfather built one of the largest lumber mills in the South and ran it from the 1930's until his death in 1971 at the ripe old age of 87. He learned to read and write in the lumber camps in the late 1800's.

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