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Old 01-21-2020, 08:57 PM   #1
BobbyOrtiz
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Alright so Iíve been a firefighter for 18 years, just completed my BAAS degree and am now embarking on another venture. I am starting school to become a property inspector. Any of yíall do this for a living? Primary employment or as a side gig? Let me know what yíall think about it as a means of income. Iíd like to have this established so I can continue this when I retire in about 10-15 years.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:03 PM   #2
kingranch
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I cant tell you how ****** I am at my recent home inspection
The guy came in and dinged me for several things that he did not know how to operate... for instance rain sensor was tripped bc it had just rained so he put the irrigation system was in need of repair by tech..also he broke one of my tub handles from over tightening it..it busted the valve so deep the entire fixture had to be replaced. If it stops going you stop tightening you would think..but not this tool.
Good luck and make sure you tread lightly when in other people's homes.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:13 PM   #3
DFWPI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOrtiz View Post
Alright so Iíve been a firefighter for 18 years, just completed my BAAS degree and am now embarking on another venture. I am starting school to become a property inspector. Any of yíall do this for a living? Primary employment or as a side gig? Let me know what yíall think about it as a means of income. Iíd like to have this established so I can continue this when I retire in about 10-15 years.
My wife and I, both Realtors, use one particular guy when our clients go under contract and during the option period. He did about 20 just for us last year, sure he has a lot more than just us, and he charges about $400+ for each property.

Probably a good gig for a FF because of shift work. As the other poster stated, there are some "tools" out there, I've ran into one or two, and will never use them again.

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Old 01-21-2020, 09:41 PM   #4
BobbyOrtiz
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Great input so far. My wife too is in real estate and we have purchased about 8 homes since we’ve been married... Having access to MLS is not always a good thing. I too have had some bad experiences with inspectors and that is one of the main reasons I wanted to embark on this journey. I look forward to hearing more from y’all on this.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:57 PM   #5
flywise
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You should contact Brad Lane in the Cedar Park fire marshal's office. I work with him and he was doing inspections before he got stuck in the FM office. I dont have his personal number but they should give it to you if you call up there
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:50 PM   #6
BobbyOrtiz
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Ok cool thanks.. I’ve spoken to Matt Shapiro with Leander FD, he too is an inspector. I knew him when he was an ATCEMS medic. He’s been doing it a while and said he enjoyed it. I promoted to Captain in 2012 and haven’t done any projecting since. I’m excited about this and look forward to turning it into something I can retire with someday.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:51 PM   #7
jrfan
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I’ve been inspecting homes for 15 years now. It can be a very good source of income if you put a little work into advertising. Sellers hate us and buyers usually love us. Just remember you don’t work for the seller, you don’t work for the realtor, you work for your client. Most people I see complain about us inspectors have no ideal that inspectors have a standard of practice they have to follow that is enforced by the state. Take AFCI breakers for example it doesn’t matter how old the home is, It is required by the state that the absence of AFCI be marked as deficient. My report typically says deficient but common for a home of this age. PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:55 PM   #8
BobbyOrtiz
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@JRFAN, thanks for the contact, I’m sure I will have some questions. I’m going through AHIT, it was recommended to me by a couple fellas. It’s both on-line and 8 days in person. What schooling did you use?
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:57 PM   #9
topduarte
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I did it for a few years on the side . Not bad money
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:23 PM   #10
jrfan
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I went through Kaplan in Plano but did the correspondence course. Take the exam
Prep course and you will be fine.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:36 PM   #11
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Isnít there a permit or some kind of expensive insurance you need to carry? I talked to a guy a few years back that did it on the side. Said he quit because something was high but I canít remember what


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Old 01-21-2020, 11:40 PM   #12
jrfan
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My insurance is around 1500.00 a year and metrotex membership is 500.00 a year. Metrotex will get you your Supra key so you can access the properties.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:16 AM   #13
BobbyOrtiz
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Ya, there are costs associated with any business. If your not doing enough volume to justify paying less then 5k annually in any business, you probably should rethink your model and make adjustments.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:35 AM   #14
twobittxn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dushon View Post
Isnít there a permit or some kind of expensive insurance you need to carry? I talked to a guy a few years back that did it on the side. Said he quit because something was high but I canít remember what


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My best guess would be Errors and Omissions insurance.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:46 AM   #15
RattlesnakeDan
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I was going to do it in Colorado about 15 years ago and they had a 2000 hour apprenticeship attached to it to be licensed but nobody wanted to take me on because they didn't want the competition. They pay an apprentice as little as possible and drag out the 2000 hours for as long as possible to get cheap labor for as long as they can. Not sure what Texas has as far as requirements. Worth checking in to.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:48 AM   #16
DoubleB20
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I had the same idea, find a job I could do when I wanted after I retired. Like mentioned above most realtors have "their" inspector and it's tough to break into the market. My goal was one inspection a week. The E&O insurance, website fees, advertising, Continuing Education, Association fees, etc. were more than I could afford. To TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) inspectors are problem children and their policies reflect it. My license is now expired. I actually made/make more money doing new building inspections and home warranty inspections (no license required). I have a couple of textbooks I'd sell cheap if you're interested. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:08 AM   #17
hound dog
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Been thinking of this as a side business as well. Down here in Harlingen, TX. we see some hurricane action and home inspections are needed.
Is this an all on line course? Does the TSTC or Corpus Community college offer any courses?
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:44 AM   #18
jrfan
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Really not that hard to get into the realtors offices. I started out making visits in the real estate offices in the mornings. I would take a box of donuts with my card taped to it and put a card in each realtors mailbox. I would go in and introduce myself to the person sitting at the counter and ask for permission to pass the cards out. Most times I didn’t even talk about inspections. We would talk golf, hunting, sports. Before long they would ask me about my inspection services. That’s when I would go in depth about my business. I would get an inspection or two from that office and then it picked up from there just from the realtors talking to one another. In February I would buy a couple dozen chocolate cover strawberries and wrap them individually and set them on the desk of the female realtors that used me. My business grew from there. You just have to keep up the routine for a few months and the work will come. As I stated above you do not work for the realtor you work for your client. A good realtor wants a good honest inspector because if you miss something they are the first person called. They don’t want to be drug into court because the inspector sugar coated his funding because he didn’t want to lose realtor referrals. Just follow your standards of practice and you will be ok.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:55 AM   #19
Codie
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Check the Texas licensing requirements and make sure you do not need a TON of apprentice hours before being able to do home inspections on your own, which can be tough to work out. Most existing inspection business owners don't want to apprentice someone who is going to turn around and take potential business from them.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:18 AM   #20
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Just posted on a deficient property I purchased. Remember one important thing. You will affect the lives of the I individuals purchasing the home. Whatever you do, do it well and know that what you are doing will affect those people for many years. Good luck! We have several guys in the department that do it and make a good side income from it. Plus, if you hold a good rep at work, you don’t have to convince those guys. They will usuallly use and refer a trusted brother.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:20 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyOrtiz View Post
Ya, there are costs associated with any business. If your not doing enough volume to justify paying less then 5k annually in any business, you probably should rethink your model and make adjustments.
So I've thought about this too. I'm a onsite Superintendent for a GC, and would be doing this as a side gig. Not sure I would be able to do enough to make that justification.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:32 AM   #22
BobbyOrtiz
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Really good feedback from all of you and I appreciate it. The reason I am using AHIT, is because it is mostly on-line and 8 days in person covers all of the hours needed in the state of Texas for work experience/apprenticeship. I am not worried about making contacts and getting the business, I’ve been in the area a long time and have made a habit of not burning bridges.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:44 AM   #23
Dakota7493
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In.

I've thought about doing the same when I retire. I'm 8 years away still but need to supplement some of my loss due to retirement. I'd only need 1-2 jobs a week and I'd be happy.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:03 PM   #24
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I'm full-time in DFW. I stay busy and have to turn down work most weeks. I would guess the market near RR awould be the same way once you get going. I used AHIT when I did the training over 10 yrs ago.

It takes 2 yrs+ to really get rolling especially if you are part time. The insurance and fees are really nothing compared to most businesses since there is very little overhead, but if you don't pay attention to what you are doing and write bad reports you can be in a world of financial hurt. There are a lot of clowns out there doing home inspections. I've seen their reports.

Feel free to pm me if you have any questions about getting started. Also join TPREIA and go to a monthly meeting in your area.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:46 PM   #25
BobbyOrtiz
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For those of you who do this for a living, thank you so much for the input thus far. Do you/did you write a business plan before you got started and continue to keep it up? My father has started several very successful construction companies and he has given me some ideas for one but the difference is that he has been doing the same thing for 50 years so he an idea of what the expected income, expenses look like. At this point, to me itís purely speculative and really depends on how much I am able to market.

Would you be willing to share what youíve created if you have one. Obviously specifics can be omitted.

Thank you

Bobby
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:12 PM   #26
JANKEII
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I've had my license for a little over 2 years. It's been tough for me.
I started my company went to real estate offices. Donuts,tacos, and etc. I have taught classes for realtors. Paid to be a connection partner. Sponsored events... You name it I have probably done it. Did this for the first year, and decided to go work for another inspection co.
Had to go work for a big company that was an hour away. All the local ones wanted me to go hustle other towns for them. Plus the locals wanted more of a cut then the farther company.
Farther company keep me kinda busy. When I started to market around my town I realized they would not help me market since I was to far away for other inspectors in the company to benefit. I understand and left them. ( I highly recommend starting off working for another company. You will learn so much more working with guys that have been doing this for years. Books can only teach you so much).
I'm back with my company now. It's slow and looking for another job until I can get my traction.
Funny thing is I've done over 300 inspection. Not one time have I had a complaint from clients or realtors. They all said I've done a wonderful job explaining and such.
The best inspection are draw inspection...
I met a guy in my town that went to school with me
We started about the same time. He is rockin and rolling from what he is telling me. Other guys I've keep in touch with from classes of other towns are all doing about what I'm doing.
If you have any questions about the process and what to expect on the test feel free to ask me some questions.
I have my WDI license and septic license also.
Right now I'm getting my OSHA card for construction. I here being a safety guy is a good gig. (Anybody hiring)?
Remember the hardest thing about this job is not becoming an inspector. It's what happens after.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:16 AM   #27
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I went through AHIT 3 years ago. Did 55 inspections my first year, 120 last year and just started year 3. Iím from the area I started my business in which is beneficial to me as I do very little advertising. Iím lucky to have around 30 realtors I know personally through other walks of life and They keep me busy. I work almost strictly on referral. Itís slow growth but Iím good with it as I have some other side gigs and am in for the long haul. Like Jfran said, once you do start advertising just stay consistent. AHIt has pretty good book on advertising and they spend some time on it in the class. I post every inspection to Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories... this is free and some of the best advertising you can do. Once you get established, your work will reflect your growth. Good luck. Iím in the lake Conroe area.


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Old 01-23-2020, 09:06 AM   #28
bollomb
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Guys, is there any way around the 2,000 hrs are whatever the total is required under another licensed inspector? Did everyone that is licensed go this route?
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:12 AM   #29
Tshelly
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Quote:
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Guys, is there any way around the 2,000 hrs are whatever the total is required under another licensed inspector? Did everyone that is licensed go this route?


Yea you just take the class through AHIT or champions. They no longer require the apprentice ship. Itís still an option though.

After the class, pass state and national test.


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Old 01-23-2020, 09:58 AM   #30
jrfan
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I didn’t do the 2000 hours-( that was for licensed inspector I believe) I did professional Inspector which didn’t require and apprenticeship. When I took my course 15 years ago I just did the modules at home went In and took an open book exam on each module. You will pass all the module test with a 100 then after all the modules are complete and you pass all your open book exams they send the test results to the state and they qualify you to take the State exam. Go to the exam prep class. As soon as you take the exam prep go take your state exam. The courses are all about repetition. You will feel like your covering the same info over and over but that’s how you retain it. After you pass the star exam sign up for the field experience class-( which may be included now) that’s where you learn how to actually do the inspection once you are at the house. After you take that class you will feel much more confident in actually knowing what you are doing. Best advise I can give you is put the phone up during your inspection. Getting distracted will get you in trouble. Once I start inspecting I don’t like to be taken out of my routine. Sometimes your client will be present and asking questions that’s the only time I get out of my routine.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:41 PM   #31
chancito1
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We need better home inspectors some of these guys are clueless
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:12 PM   #32
EZTEXAG
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Bobby I own a home inspection company in Austin I started about 4 years ago and I'm also currently looking to hire another inspector. If you (or anyone else you know for that matter) are interested in an opportunity, feel free to PM me and we can discuss things further.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:33 PM   #33
DNTRanch
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What are the cost of taking the AHIT classes? It doesn't tell you on their website.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:31 PM   #34
JHT
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A good friend from high school has been one for years after we left the new home construction business.

He has worked for himself and has worked for several different companies. He has seen the pros and cons of both.

When he worked for the companies the usual politics was extreme. The senior guys would snag the easier jobs (newer homes) and the jobs closest to home. He had to take every job assigned to him and most of the time the older houses wouldn't pass and then the headaches would start when buyers/sellers called the head of the company complaining that he didn't know what he was doing/send somebody else mess/were notifying the state/he was unprofessional. He tried working for other companies and it was the same everywhere. Biggest plus was the jobs were consistent so he had a somewhat steady paycheck.

Working for himself he enjoyed getting out of the office politics but now when there are problems its all on him. And when his phone rings he has to answer it. He works weekends now to accommodate realtors who he has to keep happy. A couple of years ago he blew out his knee skiing. With no wife and no kids he was barely able to pull it off financially but admits if he had a family to support doing this he would have been toast not making a dime for a few months. He admitted it was a good lesson to learn at the time because it forced him to prepare for something like this happening again.

Summertime seems to be his busiest time of the year. Enjoy the attics.

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Old 01-23-2020, 07:13 PM   #35
BobbyOrtiz
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Irfan.. to bad your not in the AUSTIN area, you seem squared away and feel I could learn a thing or two. I feel pretty fortunate because I actually already do very well for myself, my home inspection business will be for my future and retirement. I am not looking to make a living off of this right off the bat. My wife is in real estate along with several of her colleagues who are high performing agents. EzTexAg, I appreciate the offer but it’s time I build my own dynasty and this is a great time and opportunity. AHIT with the in person class was like 2900.. way less then my degree.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:28 PM   #36
jrfan
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Thanks, you can contact me anytime with questions 972-897-1405 name
Is Ed.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:47 PM   #37
hound dog
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Great info, I want to get started with AHIT, but don't want to get scammed out of my money. I saw 2 different web platforms on them. Anyone have the correct, non scam route to go. If you wouldn't mind posting the correct link, if this is the best route to go.
Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:21 AM   #38
Matt_g
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I also did the AHIT program. Don’t have anything bad to say about them!
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:34 PM   #39
junior
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I'm looking at doing the same thing. I can retire from the school district in about 4 yrs. I'd like to get certified, and start doing some on the side so by the time retire I can do this full time. I Figure by then I'll be comfortable enough to do a bigger work load. What kinda start up costs are there, the class, the license, the tools, etc?
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:02 PM   #40
Acameron52
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How do y’all charge for these?
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