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Hi

I am thinking of getting into the home inspection business. I am presently a Certified Appraiser in Minnesota. I am wondering how much is you average E&O insurance (Ball Park) and what are the list of tools that a inspector would need(including software). Any other advice would be welcome.

Thanks

David Redding

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Originally posted by DavidRMn

I am wondering how much is you average E&O insurance (Ball Park)...

To the best of my knowledge you're looking at $2800 - 4000, depending on the particulars of who you get it from, how much coverage, etc. At least one company offers a first-year HI policy, but it isn't cheap.


...and what are the list of tools that a inspector would need(including software). Any other advice would be welcome.

That's a very open-ended question, and highly subjective. You'd get different answers from different people, but you may not get much response being that broad. There should be some previous threads around covering a lot of this, try that first. Then maybe think about calling a few guys (outside of your market) to ask more specific questions, it's faster than typing.

Brian G.

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Originally posted by DavidRMn

Hi

I am thinking of getting into the home inspection business. I am presently a Certified Appraiser in Minnesota. I am wondering how much is you average E&O insurance (Ball Park) and what are the list of tools that a inspector would need(including software). Any other advice would be welcome.

Thanks

David Redding

You don't need tools. You need training. As much as you can get. Go to a school.

E&O will cost you upwards of $3,000.00/yr.

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Without training, you'll need a body bag; for yourself.

What Cramer said; get training, as much as you can afford in both time & money. That alone will place you in rarified atmosphere compared to most HI's. The ASHI training materials are very good. ITA schools are exceptional; their report system sucks. (Don't ask me why such a good school system has such a goofy report.) If you can take a class from Cramer, you will benefit greately; the guy is (almost) never wrong about anything related to home inspection.

Tools come later, & for the most part, are a distraction in the early stages. Learn to write in active voice. Don't try to sound like other home inspectors; most are absolutely horrible. Try to simply describe what you see & what it means. Then do it a few thousand times. Then do it some more. Writing good reports over & over without effort is the holy grail.

Then take some more classes. Log onto inspectors forums every day. Read everything. Don't form too many hard opinions early on; there's plenty of time for that later. Just get a sense of what everyone is doing, & how they do it.

Download all the software trial programs you can. One of the best is Cramers IR; he's been putting together good inspection report software as long as anyone.

Don't ever stop trying to learn stuff; as soon as you think you know everything, you're screwed.

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Get educated-get around other inspectors-get insured-keep your day job for a while-read everything you can about the business from webzines-get educated-never miss an opportunity to learn about the technical stuff-travel the miles-sit in the seminars-ask the pros-join some trade organizations-do not give up-do not believe Realtors-it will not happen overnight- it is not as easy as it looks- it's lonely out there-lots of sharks. Mass E&O $2000+

Jack Ahern ASHI Member Needham on the Charles

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I've been trying for quite some time just to get my first residential inspection, and I'm a full-time inspector for an A/E firm! [:(!] Not to rain on your parade, but it's very, very difficult to get the first ones.

When I began this endeavor a year ago, I naively thought that they would just start calling me out of the blue. Hah!

[:-banghead]

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Education, education and more education. Starting to work for a larger reputable company is a good way to get started I hear. It's a difficult business to break into but can be very rewarding once you are established. I was a home builder/GC in a former life. I started into home inspection the hard way from scratch. It took a year of dropping flyers in agents mailboxes and introducing myself at open houses in one of the hottest housing markets in the country to get up to speed, just about the time my life savings ran out. After 2 years I took the ITA course and was amazed at how little I knew about the things I thought I knew. Join a good professional organization (at the present time it appears to be a good idea to avoid guys named Nick.) Never confuse your client with your referral source. Never be afraid to fire a referral source. There are a lot more agents out there than home inspectors. Get a good contract and never perform an inspection without getting it signed first. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. Use a reporting form that is well organized, easy to read and understand. Develop your "bedside" manner. Learn to speak calmly with authority in easy to understand terms with the confidence that comes from your education. There I think we went full circle.

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Ditto to all above and in answer to 'what do you need?----a reality check...! I think that a lot of us 'end up here' for some reason or other. The profession is still young and we are just starting to see the original guys/gals retire-out. Wave 2 is in process and changes are all over the map. Main thing is:

-Get educated

-Ask "why?" something 'should be that way'..

-Be a voracious reader

-Be ready for some unique physical challenges

-Be extremely focused on the task at hand despite the sharks biting at your knees while you pick up seashells...

I'd say 'heads up' bud... It is a lot harder than you realize. Not just a guy with a clipboard pontificating about gutters and splashblocks.

Good luck..!

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Caffine and Camel filters. Seriously, I think education, communication skill and stress management are the most important tools for inspectors. I "know for a fact" stress will undo everything you work for and at. Home Inspectors would be very high on the stress tables, if anyone had ever included us in the studies. It is also something most of us just accept and think is normal until it literally changes our personality, get a divorce, have a stroke or reply on inspector forums.

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