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NJ Home Inspector describes the Positives & Negatives of the Career

By
Home Inspector with lookSmart Home Inspections, LLC 24GI00058700

As a mentor home inspector, I often get asked what I enjoy most about being a New Jersey home inspector and what I enjoy least about the home inspection profession.  Home inspection can be both a challenging and rewarding career. Potential new NJ home inspectors should interview veteran home inspectors to learn about the positive and negative aspects of the career before they embark on their licensing journey.

What do I really enjoy about being a home inspector in NJ?

I really enjoy making a difference in the purchase decisions of new buyers. Sometimes a home inspector is the only thing stopping a buyer from making a poor purchase decision. It is our job as home inspectors to find the problems in the home that our clients are purchasing.  If we do not tell our clients about the problems, they will never know that problems in the home exist. I enjoy the education aspect as well as the protective aspect of the career. As a NJ home inspector, I get to be an educator and provide information that is important to the client. As an advocate I get to protect the client by proving this important information. I enjoy working hard to be the person in the corner of the home buying client. Sometimes clients feel that no one is on their side in the transaction. As an independent home inspector, I have one objective and that is to protect my client by telling them what is wrong with the home they are buying. With this information the client can make the best purchase decisions for their families.

As a New Jersey home inspector, I am my own boss. I enjoy the autonomy of working with my clients alone.  I was never one to be confined to an office. Home inspection as a career gets you out in the field working with clients on site at the home they are buying. There is also a lot of behind-the-scenes office and administrative work and report writing that goes along with the job. I also enjoy this, but my love is doing the home inspection in the field.

As a home inspector I love to keep learning. There is so much to see and to learn in the career. Homes and systems are always evolving, and it is the job of the home inspector to keep learning and keep up to date so they can pass that information to their clients and inspect the home completely and thoroughly. I learn something new almost every day.  It’s just not taking the required continuing education credits to be a successful home inspector you must have the desire to keep growing and learning all you can about a multitude of house systems and structure.

I love being my own boss. As a home inspector you will work many long hours and have many challenges, but the rewards can be substantial. I work as hard and as long now as I ever did its rewarding work because I feel that I am making a difference. I enjoy working hard and juggling a lot of tasks.  I love building my own small business, it gives me great pride knowing that I created my success myself with my own hard work and dedication. I don’t think this level of job satisfaction can be found in a lot of corporate type jobs.

I love the challenge of building a business. Building a successful small business takes time and a great deal of effort.  I love the competition in trying to get clients to call to book the inspection and selling my services. Every day I am trying to improve on some aspects of doing the inspection or selling my services. It’s the constant effort to improve and learn that makes this a very rewarding and fulfilling career. At the end of the day, I know that I put forth my best efforts to satisfy my clients and keep my schedule full. It is very rewarding to know that I was able to create this myself through my hard work and client focused dedication.

I love the fact that as a home inspector you can add other ancillary inspection services to your offering and set yourself apart from your competition. There are many other services that you can offer. You can learn and add radon testing, wood destroying insect inspections, sewer line inspections, oil tank location services, mold testing, asbestos testing, and chimney inspections. As a home inspector you can add the inspection services that you would deem the most beneficial to your clients.

I love the actual process of doing the home inspection. I love going through the process of the inspection. It’s like building a puzzle once step and one piece at a time. This is a methodical process that one step builds on the other. I find it very satisfying to start on the exterior then work toward completion at the attic inspection. There is something very satisfying about starting an inspection process and working toward completion of the project.

I love the challenge. Doing home inspections is very challenging both physically and mentally. As a home inspector you need to have the ability to focus and shut out the noise. I enjoy pushing myself every day. This career is not for everyone, and it will challenge you to your max at times but it’s very rewarding for me to know that I can push through those very stressful times. I also love that you are always on the move. Doing home inspections is not a desk job. I really like the fact that I get to stay in great shape and helps me to keep my mind sharp and focused.

These are some of the very positive things I love about being a home inspector but what about the negative things what don’t I like about the career?

I really don’t like that some sellers of homes hide problems and make it difficult for the buyers and the home inspector. Homes in New Jersey are very expensive and there is a lot of money on the line in a transaction. There are some unscrupulous sellers that will try to mask and hide problems and well as lie to your face about things. So many times, I have found covered up problems in homes. From painted over termite damage, to improperly splicing of aluminum wire, to storage placed in strategic places, to covering up stains and water issues, to bold face lies about issues.  This is the nature of what we do as home inspectors. We get lied to all the time. If it’s not lies, then it’s half-truths. I don’t like this aspect of the profession. I don’t like being lied to and I don’t enjoy that sellers cover things up.  The coverups make the job of the home inspector very difficult as well as put the clients at risk. It is up to the seasoned home inspector to uncover the covered-up issues and protect our clients. Sometimes there are so many covered up issues in homes that it makes it impossible to find them all. This puts the home inspector and the client in a weak position and can open the potential of lawsuits against the home inspector. Sellers should be forthcoming and be honest about the issues in their home. This is just being a moral and trustworthy human being.  I often find that basic moral principles don’t apply to real estate transactions.

As a New Jersey home inspector, I don’t enjoy doing inspections on flipped homes. Flipped homes are recently renovated homes that have been “fixed” up to turn a profit for the seller. They are bought for one reason only and that is to maximize the profit for the developer. Often these homes are renovated and repaired very poorly. Often issues are covered up and the buyer is unsuspecting. Inspecting these homes is challenging because as a home inspector you know that issues have been covered up. Flip homes increase the liability for the home inspector and the buyer of the property. These homes should be inspected very carefully and all defects big and small should be called out. However, no matter how careful you are as a home inspector there will be problems that are intentionally covered up. This is another moral issue that I struggle with. I believe that if you are flipping a home, you should have the buyers’ best interest in mind and do the work professionally and carefully. Making the home as safe as if you were going to put your own family in it. Unfortunately, this is not the case usually flippers are there to make a fast buck and often it’s the home buyer who is let repairing a multitude of hidden problems.

I don’t like it when buyers hire me to nickel and dime the seller trying to get substantial credit. My job as a home inspector is to educate and find the issues, not to embellish the problems. My job is not to see that you as the buyer get the highest possible credit. As home inspectors, we need to be able to do our job effectively and objectively. If the buyer is asking us to embellish or report on other times that should not be reported on it taints the whole process. Buyers should respect the opinion of the home inspector and not try to use the report to get every cent out of the seller. I think this is disingenuous and morally wrong. However, this happens more than you know. It’s one of the negative aspects that we must work with as home inspectors.

I don’t like that macro real estate market severely affects the business environment for home inspectors. As home inspectors we are greatly affected by the economy and interest rates. You can be the best home inspector in the world. However, if the economic environment is not favorable then business will not be as robust, and it will be a real struggle acquiring business. If there are very limited transactions, there will be limited opportunities for home inspectors. Economic conditions can really affect the housing market and thus a home inspectors’ ability to acquire new business.

I don’t like that a lot of people think they can do my job effectively and successfully. Often people watch me do my job and surmise that they can also do it. I guess that professional and dedicated home inspectors make their jobs look easy, but the job is far from easy. There are so many things that you must know coupled with excellent communication skills, both written and oral, that are needed to be successful at the career. I think that successful agents have the same issue. Good agents make their job look easy and people think that they can easily sell real estate without knowing how difficult and challenging it is. I guess this is why the success rate of new agents and new home inspectors is around 10 percent.

I don’t like it when sellers follow me around their home while I inspect it. This can be very distracting and make the inspection process difficult. Often sellers try to downplay the issues that I find in homes. Often people have side conversations, and it is up to the home inspector to learn to tune out the noise so they can focus properly on the job at hand. It is my opinion that sellers should not be present during the home inspection so the client and the inspector can have their time in the home to learn about the house. Buyers are paying a lot of money for homes, and they deserve a few hours alone to fully inspect the home that they are buying without interference.

Home inspection can be rewarding career however like any job or career there are positive aspects and negative aspects that must be weighed before embarking on the licensing program. If a potential home inspector understands the positives and negatives of the job, they will be better informed and make better career decisions for themselves.

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Mar 03, 2024 03:27 AM