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I live in the center of the General Motors universe, so this is somewhat regional.

The guy across the street from my office brought in a post card he received in the mail a couple of days ago. He works for GM as an electrician and wanted to know my opinion about the free training offered to all UAW members to become a Home Inspector.

It seems a home inspector "school" is offering their five day crash course at the union halls to all UAW members. I believe they get their regular pay for attendance and the class fee is picked up by the local.

This makes a whole lot of sense to me now that the economy is tanked and real estate sales are down - graduate a few hundred more inspectors to work part time and week-ends. That activity will really fill the coffers of the gov't with taxes paid for this part-time work that you know will be reported on Sched C of their 1040's.

Oh ya, they will be certified! But, you have to feed your family regardless. It is the concept I have issues with - Don't have work? Be a home inspector. Get rich, work your own hours, and stay clean.

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That's pathetic. The bar needs to be raised much higher than it is right now in order to prevent this kind of thing. Courses such as this one really hurt the profession. Maybe they need to have 5 day courses in order to become a doctor, or maybe a builder (oh wait-- there's an open book test to become a contractor/builder). In my own experience, many consumers are ignorant, and seem to believe that all home inspectors are created equal; why else would there be price shoppers out there. It's such a great idea to flood the market with poorly qualified inspectors that keep lowering the bar. Average home inspection fees will keep dropping, continuing education courses will become more of a joke, and inspector qualifications will continue to drop.

Maybe in about 20 years, most home buyer's will quit price shopping for inspectors. So many of them will have been screwed by under- qualified inspectors, that they won't let it happen again....... (I can always dream big).

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Naw, I doubt unionization is in the wind. check out www.ahit.com/uaw for a city near you!

I think the electrician friend of mine, should think about electrical repair work. The local IBEW is active and we are a license state that embraces all things "code" so he likely would do well. I find it, he fixes it and everyone is happy.(and safe)

Please understand my concern is with the perception of our chosen work. I have no direct problem with AHIT or the UAW. Both entities have been good to me over the years. How do you distinguish the knowledgeable inspector from the 5 day wonder?

What is a home inspector? Kurt asked me about the inspection philosophy a few days ago and I have labored with how to express such a thing. I ain't Kant, Spinoza or Socrates, yet I know there is such a lofty thing. Is it the life and times of Norm Sage? JD Grewell? Ghent? Rich Matzen? Gromiko? or Pasarro?

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Well, just looking at the AHIT link I discovered that they are offering the home inspection class at the UAW hall down the road from me. Spring Hill is the home of the new Chevy Traverse. They offer two classes a day, it is not even an entire day! A 4 hour class for five days! The comical thing is that TN requires 80 hours pre-licensing education!

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Naw, I doubt unionization is in the wind. check out www.ahit.com/uaw for a city near you!

I think the electrician friend of mine, should think about electrical repair work. The local IBEW is active and we are a license state that embraces all things "code" so he likely would do well. I find it, he fixes it and everyone is happy.(and safe)

Please understand my concern is with the perception of our chosen work. I have no direct problem with AHIT or the UAW. Both entities have been good to me over the years. How do you distinguish the knowledgeable inspector from the 5 day wonder?

What is a home inspector? Kurt asked me about the inspection philosophy a few days ago and I have labored with how to express such a thing. I ain't Kant, Spinoza or Socrates, yet I know there is such a lofty thing. Is it the life and times of Norm Sage? JD Grewell? Ghent? Rich Matzen? Gromiko? or Pasarro?

Jeez Les,

Sage will be turning in his grave and Grewell, Ghent, Matzen and Pasarro will likely find you and stomp on you for putting their names in the same paragraph with a certain cretin's.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Naw, I doubt unionization is in the wind. check out www.ahit.com/uaw for a city near you!

When I signed up for my TN continuing ed, I decided to take the online AHIT exams, so I wouldn't have to sit in a testing room with the usual not-my-kinda guys.

Just my humble opinion, but AHIT is an outfit of very little brain and not qualified to "educate." Everything they write falls under a description often used by my daughter: "Dr. McCoy would've flunked 'em all out of 8th grade."

Dr. McCoy's an 8th-grade teacher, not the physician on the Enterprise. I used her 8th-grade writing guidelines as a handout for the 2003 ASHI conference at which I taught report-writing (to little or no avail).

WJ

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"Jeez Les,

Sage will be turning in his grave and Grewell, Ghent, Matzen and Pasarro will likely find you and stomp on you for putting their names in the same paragraph with a certain cretin's.

OT - OF!!!

M."

Thank you Mike. My point exactly!

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Know what? I wish the general public took our profession as seriously as some of us do, but it has to come from us.

When more of us start thinking, then acting like Les, Kurt, Katen, Fabry, and a few others, then we have a shot at legitimacy. I'm youngish and healthy, but I still don't think I'll live long enough to see it happen.

It's one of life's truisms:

Pioneers (like us) get arrows in their backs. The Settlers get the land.

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See guys, that is the beginning of a philosophy!

I would not put myself in the company with some of the more well know folks, but understand the Kurts, Katens, O'Handleys, and dozens of others have unique and special abilities, skills and life experience that makes them good inspectors. Their credentials are much more than their inspector certificates. Just ask Mike O what it is like to hammer a few nails. Ask Katen how he got here from there. Don't bother asking Jim M how he got here - he does not know where here is! Pioneers with perforated shirts!

Read between the lines of Walter J's postings. Now, I think he is nuts for never going on a roof, but sure can't argue with his methods nor his ability to communicate. Don't we all want to communicate effectively? Politely? We all have different methods and the secret is to understand my way is not for everyone and your way has some merit. It is all about first learning about houses then working on the best way to talk about houses. Reports are secondary. If the client likes you they will never sue you!

maybe more later

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That's mildly depressing. Home inspection as mindless filler until you find a real job.

As if that hasn't been happening for the last 30 years anyhow.

WJ

Now, don't go and make it worse, dern you.........

I like to think that there's been a little movement in the other direction, i.e., professionalism, too.

I try to maintain a little positive outlook, but it's hard.

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