I don’t want to ruin becoming a home inspector for you if you’re set on this as a career.
However, you still should look into the pros and cons before committing to this path.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Home Inspector
- Cons of Being a Home Inspector
- Pros and Cons of Being a Home Inspector – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Home Inspector?
Pros of Being a Home Inspector
1. Could save lives and money
Working as a home inspector could stop dangerous mold from killing people.
It also may save buyers from paying more than they should for a place.
Buyers will also know how to spend their money better.
That’s because your inspection will help them choose one that is worth what the seller is asking.
2. Help increase home value
Sometimes, you’ll inspect a home before it’s even listed.
This gives a seller time to find out if they missed anything that a buyer should know about before closing the deal with the seller.
Home values increase when the repairs are made before selling.
Of course, that depends on how much it costs for the required fixes.
3. Unlimited income potential
There’s no limit to the amount of income you can earn as a home inspector.
The money you make depends on how many homes you have scheduled.
It’s possible to start while you’re working somewhere else and increase your inspection workload to full-time later if you want.
You might experience some competition when trying to make a living inspecting home.
However, the average inspection rate is about 77 percent of all the houses being sold.
You should have the opportunity to make decent money.
Your salary may reach about $70,000 per year or more as a home inspector if you “stick with it” long enough.
4. Set your own hours
Sometimes, you have to take opportunities when they’re available.
Still, you can set your own hours as to when you will schedule the inspections you do.
For instance, you don’t have to inspect homes on Saturday afternoon if you don’t want to.
5. Low startup costs
You don’t need to spend more than about $3,000-$4,000 for training to become a home inspector.
If you take courses that are financial aid eligible, you might get grants to pay for your schooling.
You also don’t have to buy the homes you inspect either.
In some states, all you need is an experience to branch out on your own after working for someone else for a time.
However, it’s a good idea to get an inspection license even if your state doesn’t require it.
What’s more, you don’t have to fix the homes you inspect.
Therefore, you don’t need to invest in contracting tools or acquire construction skills.
In some locations, you’re not allowed to repair the homes you inspect anyway.
6. No manual labor
If you’re looking for a job that feels less like work, becoming a home inspector may appeal to you.
It would put less strain on your back and legs if maybe all you have to do is some walking and no heavy lifting or construction work.
7. Excellent introduction to real estate
Working as a home inspector would introduce you to the real estate business.
After spending time as a home inspector, you perhaps later may transition into buying and selling property.
By the time you decide to get your real estate license, you’ll know what price tag to put on a home.
8. Opportunity for paid travel
If you run your own home inspection business, you can deduct some of your travel expenses during tax time.
Otherwise, your employer might compensate for some of this loss to you.
Either way, you’ll have a chance to make a weekend getaway out of inspecting a home if you want.
At the very least, you may not have to pay for your own fuel or may get reimbursed for the time you drive.
9. Excellent income for retirees
The home inspection may be an excellent way for you to make extra money when you retire.
You wouldn’t have to work all the time.
It may beat working at a local grocery store if you take on enough inspection assignments.
Cons of Being a Home Inspector
1. Saturated local markets
Entering the home inspection field may be difficult if you have too many people hired for this position in your region already.
If you don’t mind traveling, however, there’s still money to be made.
It may cost you a bit more for fuel than if you work for a big-city inspection company though.
More up-front travel costs also hit you if you work on your own instead of for an employer.
2. High risk of liability
You had better make sure you inspect your homes right.
Otherwise, you could become liable for future repair costs.
If you missed key problems when inspecting a place, it’s possible that you could end up blamed if a buyer later ends up sick because of an unreported safety issue.
For instance, you must know if the water, electrical or fuel lines work right.
Any leakage could contaminate or asphyxiate its occupants, costing them medical expenses or even lives.
3. Potential for lawsuits
If you’re blamed for undocumented items that need repairs, you could end up being sued.
It may take a bit of effort on your part to prove that you did inspect the conditions.
You probably will want to make sure you take pictures and provide written notes for every inch of a place to avoid lawsuits.
4. Legal fees can add up
It’s possible to protect yourself from some liability.
This may call for the presence of a lawyer, who can act as a mediator between you and a buyer before a house is even sold.
Still, some preventative legal fees can be costly.
If someone sues you, your legal costs could shoot through the roof even more.
Some real estate lawyers may charge up to $350 per hour.
If it’s a flat fee that you pay, it might be $500-$1,000 or more, or even as high as $5,000-$15,000.
It depends on the seriousness of the issue and how long it takes to resolve it.
5. Pressure to “rush” inspections
About working when you want to…you usually can.
However, you also may have time crunches.
Some inspections just can’t wait.
You have to do them when they need to be done, or you may forfeit a profit to a competitor that may have the time to finish the inspection.
Don’t push yourself too hard though.
After gaining some experience, regular inspection opportunities will come to you.
You won’t have to work “all day every day” if you don’t want to.
Besides, worrying about how you live is just going to kill you faster.
That’s because working all the time is not going to help you preserve your mental, emotional or physical health.
6. You’re restricted from doing repairs
The laws in each state vary as far as who can recommend you as an inspector.
For instance, some states discourage real estate owners from referring you to someone who needs a home inspection.
You also can’t give contracting estimates or fulfill required repairs.
Taking on both inspection and contract repairs is considered a conflict of interest.
You may have to decide if you want to continue on as a construction worker or be a home inspector.
It’s not generally good ethics to be working in both roles at the same time.
7. Propensity for conflicts of interest
If you live in a small town, it may be tough to find clients who don’t know you.
This could make it tempting for you to inspect a relative or friend’s home.
In these cases, you might not provide biased inspections.
For instance, you might end up deciding to provide an inspection report in favor of a seller you know.
If you do, it can accelerate the close of a home sale.
You might think you’re trying to help out someone you care about.
However, you could end up accused of fraud if you’re not careful about what you do.
This conflict of interest is one situation that could land you in court with either a buyer or a seller.
8. Unpredictable housing market
Current house prices, interest rates, and availability of properties fluctuate all the time.
You’re not always guaranteed you’ll make the same amount of money next week as you did this week.
You can adjust to the income fluctuations, however.
Make sure you keep some money in the bank to live on between market surges, and you should be fine.
Pros and Cons of Being a Home Inspector – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Home Inspector||Cons of Being a Home Inspector|
|1. Could save lives and money||1. Saturated local markets|
|2. Help increase home value||2. High risk of liability|
|3. Unlimited income potential||3. Potential for lawsuits|
|4. Set your own hours||4. Legal fees can add up|
|5. Low startup costs||5. Pressure to “rush” inspections|
|6. No manual labor||6. You’re restricted from doing repairs|
|7. Excellent introduction to real estate||7. Propensity for conflicts of interest|
|8. Opportunity for paid travel||8. Unpredictable housing market|
|9. Excellent income for retirees|
Should You Become a Home Inspector?
You know you will die someday, and you also know that you will certainly have to pay taxes.
However, you don’t really know how your future will pan out as a home inspector unless you try.
Becoming a home inspector is ideal if you plan to maybe pursue a real estate career in the future.
If you’re not sure you’d want to be on the road all the time, however, you might not enjoy this line of work much.
Regarding how much you can earn, it’s an excellent opportunity for you if you’re not worried too much about money.
If stability is more important to you, you may want to keep the primary job you have now and do the inspections on the side.