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I became very interested in becoming a home inspector about a year and a half ago. So I did a little research called some schools to get some home certification stuff going. I started reading these books in July and I think I've come a long way but I can't help but feel overwhelmed with all the knowledge neccessary to be a good thorough home inspector. Anyway I'm hoping to take my test this summer probably June or July. My question I guess is do ya'll have any tips on what it takes to be a good home inspector? how to pass the test? and how to kick off the business for it be a successfull career? I know its kind of a broad question but any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

(oh yeah and how the hell do you inspect EIFS)

David H.

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Hi David,

The best tip I can give you is to sit down with a pot of coffee or a cup of tea, go back into the past threads in the forums here, and read, and read, and read. The questions you ask have been asked and answered here literally hundreds of times. There's nothing you can't learn about this business by going into the archives here and reading.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Call Scott Patterson to inspect EIFS. Pay his airfare and extra luggage charges and find a good hotel for him that has a good restaurant nearby.

Follow Mike's advice and you will come up with some unique questions that you can come back here and post. Then you must develope a thick skin and listen!

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Realtors love donuts, pizza and trinkets. The more realtors you make happy, the more successful you will be in the beginning.

However, if you expect this to be long term and stay out of lawsuits, you will learn that experience and INTEGRITY is the key. Realtors will like the experience, but have problems with the integrity thing. They will want you to sweep things under the rug and not "kill their deals". The more you truly work for the client only, the less you will please the realtor and that will result in fewer (or no) referrals from that realtor in the future. The key to real sucess is to be able to work solely off of referrals from past clients. Few are at that stage in their career, but that is where I am striving to be.

You will learn new things every day in the beginning and it will still be a learning and educational experience as long as you are in this field. Boards such as this are a great place to learn from others' experiences.

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This is a true confession: I had three inspections this week and gave all the other appts to other inspectors. Did two for free;

Past client's son who called me Mr Van Alstine, his sister came during inspection to show me her new husband and baby. I did their inspection couple of years ago.

Did a repo 4 unit apartment building for a past alternative lifestyle client recovering from breast cancer. After the hugging and story telling stopped, the agent left in disgust. Building has a boiler and it was not winterized so lots of broken pipes and warped floors - but the price was right $24,800 with new appliances, roof, water heaters and carpets. (the repo company is out of Hattiesburg, MS and did not realize it gets real cold here and they are holding $115,000 worth of paper on the place)

I did a paid one for my sister's friend that just got divorced. BTW, she is good lookin' and has a good job!

My point is that business is the worst it has ever been for me and my company but we will not change the way we do things. "You gotta dance with who brung you" and what brung us is we have never cared if they buy or not and always doing the best you can. Marketing is very elusive, but referrals are rock solid.

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I'm new also and have been reading the posts for the past week. I don't know if there is enough coffee to get through it all. It's a pleasure to be able to learn from so many. I've done a lot things in my life, but have found there's so much more to learn.

I have passed my schooling and the Illinois State test. I've incorporated (not my first), and started shopping my E&O insurance. Wow thats fun! I have been searching for the gadgets and software and all. I do have a few local HIs and have asked to shadow but no takers so far. The book 21 Things Every Home Inspector Should Know has been great also.

I thank all of you for sharing freely and some day hope to personally say hi. I've enjoyed the discussions on associations and all but, for now I think I'll keep my association limited to TIJ and try to give my clients the best inspection to my ability (soon I hope).

I've learned one thing for sure here. Everybody does it different. I've been worried about the wrong stuff. Do I get a touch-screen, what software, which ladder, etc?

I think I'll start with some paper forms, my digital camera and a few essentials an build from there. I'm not a fast typer or a great speller but I am diligent, hard headed and believe we offer an important service that can have significant safety implications. In one forum I read how one inspector didn't bother to go in the attic or crawl space and missed the vermiculite. I hope never to be so nonchalant about an inspection.

Rick Sabatino

Sabatino Consulting

Oak Park, IL

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The best way to get a ride I have found is not to call and ask for one. Instead call and ask to have lunch (on you of course) just to talk about things. Then once you have met them and they you, the chance for a ride along is a lot better. Better still, find your local ASHI/NAHI/NACHI or whatever chapter, contact the president and say you are considering joining and ask if you can attend one meeting to see what it's like. Again after you meet other HI's face to face, the odds of a ride along are a whole bunch better.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Originally posted by RickSab

I do have a few local HIs and have asked to shadow but no takers so far.

Call up Kurt everyday at 0530 hrs and invite him to lunch and keep it up till he relents and agrees to let you ride around with him.

OT - OF!!!

M.

In addition, offer him free whey protein smoothies. He won't turn you down.

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vermiculute- any of a group of platy minerals, hydrous silicates of aluminum, magnesium, and iron, that expand markedly on being heated: used in the expanded state for heat insulation and as a plant growth medium. ....uh moisture ? still learning all this frigging terminology (drinking coffee havent slept in three days) .... apprecciate the feed back. The books I've been reading, say that standards of practice don't require me to inspect EIFS and I don't think that's what a realtor or customer want to hear. The book mentions the recalls back in the mid 90's. It' verywhere here in south Texas. I'm gonna learn this stuff on my own, how much do I say I know about EIFS (not,being a certified EIFS inspector) and how much of the recall do I mention without killing the deal for the realtor?

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Originally posted by dhazle_leisure

vermiculute- any of a group of platy minerals, hydrous silicates of aluminum, magnesium, and iron, that expand markedly on being heated: used in the expanded state for heat insulation and as a plant growth medium. ....uh moisture ?

He's talking about vermiculite insulation, also known by the brand name Zonolite. It was a loose-fill product that often contained asbestos.

still learning all this frigging terminology (drinking coffee havent slept in three days) .... apprecciate the feed back. The books I've been reading, say that standards of practice don't require me to inspect EIFS and I don't think that's what a realtor or customer want to hear. The book mentions the recalls back in the mid 90's. It' verywhere here in south Texas. I'm gonna learn this stuff on my own,

The problem with EIFS is that it leaks in places that you can't see and it causes damage in places that you can't see. A purely visual inspection on EIFS is nearly useless. Anything you say will be pure speculation. If you want to include EIFS in your inspections, call the Exterior Design Institute and get yourself some real training.

how much do I say I know about EIFS (not,being a certified EIFS inspector)

You say, "I don't know squat about EIFS, hire someone who knows about this stuff to inspect it for you and tell you all about it."

and how much of the recall do I mention without killing the deal for the realtor?

Don't spend even one nanosecond thinking about the realtor. The realtor is not your customer. Think about what information your customers need to know about the house. Then give them that information. Don't give them hearsay, don't give them guesses, don't give them stuff that you think you taught yourself about EIFS.

Give them facts.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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