Home inspectors are critical players in the real estate business.
Your job as a home inspector is to evaluate the physical condition of a home to determine if it’s a safe living environment.
Your home evaluation will help sellers see the areas that need repairing before putting a home on the market.
It will also help buyers decide if a home is worth buying.
The job requires knowledge of home construction, home systems, and how they operate.
You also need to be able to work well with others.
Knowing the pros and cons of becoming a home inspector will help you decide if it’s a good career path for you.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Home Inspector
- 2 Cons of Being a Home Inspector
- 3 Pros and Cons of Being a Home Inspector – Summary Table
- 4 Should You Become a Home Inspector?
Pros of Being a Home Inspector
There are numerous advantages to establishing a career as a home inspector.
Here are just a few:
1. You’re the Boss!
If you establish your own home inspection business, you’re the boss!
You can choose the assignments you want and establish your own work schedule.
You decide what direction you want to take your business and how to manage its growth and expansion.
As you’re in charge, you can manage your own workload to ensure you have a good work-life balance.
You also control all the financial aspects of your enterprise to help it make a profit.
2. Good Earning Potential
Home inspectors have the potential to make good money.
Entry-level salaries start at around $45,000 annually.
Experienced home inspectors can command $70,000 or more annually, depending on your location.
The more jobs you accept, the more money you can earn.
You can also work part-time as a home inspector and augment the income you’re receiving from another job.
Clearly, it’s a career path that offers various options for financial success.
3. Job Security
Professional home inspectors are in great demand today due to the boom in the housing market.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, over 75% of homes on the market are inspected before being sold.
Hence, job security is something you can count on.
The need for home inspectors is only expected to grow in the years to come.
As you become proficient in your field, your services will be in even greater demand.
4. College Not Necessary
A college degree isn’t necessary to establish a career as a home inspector.
You do, however, need formal training to learn the technical skills required for the job.
Most states offer home inspection training programs where you can learn the ropes of this profession and receive certification for the job.
Afterward, you can take a home inspector exam to receive your license.
As experience increases your earning potential, it’s to your advantage to seek employment at a local home inspection company to practice your trade.
This will make it easier to start your own company in the future.
5. Low Startup Costs
Another advantage of becoming a home inspector is low startup costs.
An investment of $3,000 to $4,000 can provide you with essential training, licensing, and the tools you need to establish your profession.
These tools may include a laptop or tablet for recording information about the homes you inspect, reporting software, marketing tools, and other office equipment.
Once you’re established, you can start meeting with clients and earning income right away.
Working for an established company will enable you to learn from the experience of others and grow in your field.
6. Flexible Work Schedule
When you work for yourself, you have greater flexibility in establishing your work schedule.
You can work as little or as much as you want, depending on other responsibilities you have and the income you want to earn.
If you’re a single parent, you can work during school hours and be free to care for your kids after school.
Being a home inspector gives you greater independence than traditional 9 to 5 office jobs.
It also enables you to balance work with your social, family, and personal life.
Home inspectors can look forward to variety in their work.
You’ll have the chance to meet new people daily and work in different environments.
Home inspectors examine all kinds of residential properties ranging from colonial mansions to modern condos.
Each of these environments presents its share of challenges.
No two days are ever the same due to the nature and responsibilities of your job.
Variety can make your profession that much more interesting and exciting.
Cons of Being a Home Inspector
Along with the positive aspects of being a home inspector, there are also a few cons to this job, such as:
1. Fierce Competition
Depending on where you live, you could face a lot of competition for home inspection jobs.
This can make it difficult for entry-level home inspectors to find work.
Setting up a home inspection business in a saturated area can be difficult, but not impossible.
You may need to market your business differently in order to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Or spend more time networking with real estate professionals to receive referrals.
By using every opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field, over time, your business will grow.
2. Need for Ongoing Training
As a home inspector, you’re expected to abide by industry policies, regulations, and standards.
These standards, however, may change periodically or vary from city to city or state to state.
To stay on top of your profession, you’ll need ongoing training to update your knowledge and skills.
This includes taking classes to learn new aspects of your job, so you can continue providing quality services to your clients.
This training will require time and money.
If you work alone, this can cut into your work schedule and reduce your profits.
3. Physical Demands
The work of a home inspector can be physically demanding as you’ll be on-site inspecting all kinds of properties.
You may be climbing into hot attics, crawling under bug-infested houses, or navigating cramped spaces to check for insulation or plumbing problems.
You may be exposed to mold, asbestos, or other harmful substances.
For large homes, inspections may be time-consuming, requiring a lot of walking, standing, bending, kneeling, stair climbing, etc.
Depending on the season, you may work in extremely hot or cold weather.
If you have health problems or physical limitations, this may not be the best career path for you.
Home inspectors bear the responsibility of ensuring a home is safe and structurally sound to live in.
This responsibility can put you under undue stress and pressure.
If you’re new to the home inspection field, you may worry about making mistakes in your home assessment that can be costly to your client.
By missing critical defects in a home or making errors in judgment, you could even put a client’s safety at risk later down the line.
Many home inspectors feel the stress of having to get everything right for their clients.
5. Difficulties of Running a Business
Even if you love the idea of being your own boss, running your own business can be challenging.
If you lack business skills like marketing, budgeting, or financial planning, you’ll have to learn them from scratch.
Running a business also requires that you purchase business insurance, monitor your cash flow, and manage your taxes.
As your business grows, you may need to hire a business manager to handle these essential aspects of your company.
This will free you to do the main job of inspecting homes and increasing your net profit.
6. Difficult Clients
As a home inspector, you’ll work with all types of clients.
Some may be more difficult to work with than others, due to having unrealistic expectations of the job.
You may be asked to perform tasks that don’t correspond to your home inspection portfolio or compromise your standards for a particular job.
Maintaining your professionalism and objectivity is vital to your profession as it sets the standard for growing your business.
Learning to manage difficult clients without compromising your standards is part of the home inspector’s job.
7. Liability Risks
The job of a home inspector comes with liability risks.
You could be held liable financially for damage caused by errors in your home inspection report.
If, for example, you miss a plumbing problem that later causes a flood in the home, you could be sued for damages.
In like manner, you could be held liable for failing to report safety issues that later cause a buyer harm.
Although you carry liability insurance for this purpose, your carelessness could result in your losing credibility and clients.
Pros and Cons of Being a Home Inspector – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Home Inspector||Cons of Being a Home Inspector|
|You’re the Boss!||Fierce Competition|
|Good Earning Potential||Need for Ongoing Training|
|Job Security||Physical Demands|
|College Not Necessary||Stress|
|Low Startup Costs||Difficulties of Running a Business|
|Flexible Work Schedule||Difficult Clients|
Should You Become a Home Inspector?
Home inspection is a promising career that offers a good outlook for the future.
Yes, there are some aspects of the job that are challenging, but no more so than any other career.
As an independent home inspector, you have greater control over your profession and can make it conform to your lifestyle.
You can earn a good salary and help others in the process.
In short, being a home inspector is a career you can be proud of.