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Good article from the Consumerist blog

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[#1] Posted: 11/19/2013 - 09:57:15 AM
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Good information, for the most part, about choosing a home inspector.

http://consumerist.com/2013/11...ections/


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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#2] Posted: 11/19/2013 - 3:54:13 PM
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It's another in a long line of honest but failed attempts to tell a consumer how to find a good HI, though I'll admit this is one of the best ones I've seen. I've no gripes about the first paragraph...actually I love it. Everything past that is recycled crap.

When are they going to get it? You can't protect home buyers from HI's with just an SOP, an industry association membership/cert or any kind of way if there's no school for home inspectors in the first place. By school, I don't mean those 90 or 120 hr courses. Those are crafted after a state requirement, not after what it really takes to prep an individual to assess all the systems and components of a house.

What we need doesn't yet exist. What we need is a school like the one in Canada, with that 355 hr course they have, but on steroids, bumping it to at least 6 months or likely even more.

It can be done. I'm so sure of it I keep looking for it to show up and revolutionize our industry.

If I wasn't so vested in earning a living, I'd do it myself. I'd love it.

Marc

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#3] Posted: 11/19/2013 - 4:07:31 PM
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When I see the writer start mentioning mold I toss the whole thing. No article about home inspections should even discuss that topic. She's got zero credibility once she mentions it as far as I'm concerned.

Being a member of one of the home inspection clubs doesn't always mean you know what you're doing either. When we passed the licensing laws here and forced every practicing inspector to take the NHIE or get out of the business there were a bunch of them, some of them in business for well over a decade, who'd been members of one or another of the clubs like ASHI or NAHI or NACHI for years, who were unable to pass that very basic test on their first try. That certainly wasn't much of a testimonial to the ability of any of the clubs to ensure competency.

Marc,

I've been pushing the idea of a real school for 18 years and, frankly, nobody already in the business, except you maybe, seems interested. Everyone thinks it will never make money and if it can't make money it can't keep the doors open. My latest vision is 480 hours - a super course that would create inspectors with the ;,knowledge equivalent to what they'd learn in about 2 to 3 years of working at the profession before turning them loose to intern with an established company for a year before they can formally "graduate." Nobody is interested in getting involved.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#4] Posted: 11/19/2013 - 5:01:22 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by hausdok

...Marc,

I've been pushing the idea of a real school for 18 years and, frankly, nobody already in the business, except you maybe, seems interested. Everyone thinks it will never make money and if it can't make money it can't keep the doors open. My latest vision is 480 hours - a super course that would create inspectors with the ;,knowledge equivalent to what they'd learn in about 2 to 3 years of working at the profession before turning them loose to intern with an established company for a year before they can formally "graduate." Nobody is interested in getting involved.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Try selling it to a state congressman or senator and be sure to tell him that when he tries to pitch it to the legislature, to tell them a home inspector regulatory body staffed by home inspectors cannot be left to it's own devices. They need oversight...by the legislature.

Consider collusion. Agents and participating home inspectors gain. Buyers lose. An HI-staffed regulatory body will work to sabotage any anti-collusion legislation and render it ineffective. Same with school, they don't wanna go back to school (they're too old ). Legislator has to make them go. Only a legislature will take the bait and adopt this new 480 hr school as a requirement.

When someone eventually succeeds at it and it starts spreading like wildfire across the country, I'm gonna kick myself in the keister for not having tried harder to develop the initial courses myself. Anyone who can read and write can do it, it's just a tremendous amount of work and that takes a lot of motivation.

Lots of good writers right here at TIJ. Any could do it. Someone will. Mark my words.

Marc

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#5] Posted: 11/19/2013 - 5:41:29 PM
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Originally posted by Marc
Quote: Try selling it to a state congressman or senator and be sure to tell him that when he tries to pitch it to the legislature, to tell them a home inspector regulatory body staffed by home inspectors cannot be left to it's own devices. They need oversight...by the legislature.
Yeah, well, ours is under the oversight of the Director of the Department of Licensing who is under the oversight of the legislature.
Quote: Consider collusion. Agents and participating home inspectors gain. Buyers lose.
Don't disagree with that.
Quote: An HI-staffed regulatory body will work to sabotage any anti-collusion legislation and render it ineffective.
Now you're trying to piss me off. By insulting me and my colleagues. Our board never attempted to sabotage any anti-collusion legislation. Hell, we wrote it and put it in our code of conduct and made violating it punishable by law. We worked our asses off to create the best program in the country. One that works - and it does. The level of wink-and-nod type stuff has dropped dramatically and most agents no longer openly try to manipulate inspectors anymore. We've come a long way, Baby.
Quote: Same with school, they don't wanna go back to school (they're too old ). Legislator has to make them go.
You are right. They didn't; that's why our coalition lobby forced the legislator who was sponsoring the legislation to require every single inspector in the state take the NHIE or they had to get out of the business. Some did have to go back to school and then had to suffer the indignity of riding around with other inspectors less experienced than they were to do their 40 hours.
Quote: Only a legislature will take the bait and adopt this new 480 hr school as a requirement.
Unless it's the legislature's take that forcing regulation on a profession should not cripple that profession or exert undue financial hardship on the state's citizens, which is the written policy in Olympia. That's why the requirement here is for 120 hours.

Any school that is going to have a 480 hour curriculum has to be a voluntary course. It would never make money by trying to retro-educate a small number of old farts - it has to have a new student source. The source is out there - it's the US military and the thousands upon thousands of returning veterans that are going to be discharged now that the wars are drawing down. They will have bank accounts flush with GI bill savings and they will be accustomed to sitting through a long training course that's strictly controlled. Still, if nobody is interested in getting behind such an effort - perhaps because they don't want to see dozens and then hundreds and then thousands of young folks entering the profession with knowledge near equal to their own, and with a whole lot more energy - it's a tough row to hoe.
Quote: When someone eventually succeeds at it and it starts spreading like wildfire across the country, I'm gonna kick myself in the keister for not having tried harder to develop the initial courses myself.
You don't have to worry about that. It won't spread like wildfire. I do think it would be possible though to farm the military job fairs and come up with enough separating troops who are interested in bypassing the plethora of 7 to 14 days schools, in order to get a jump on the business aspect of the business, and who'd then be interested in interning in order to garner more knowledge before jumping off on their own, to keep a school open but the fees have to be substantially higher than what folks are charging for their rinky-dink shake-n-bake courses now. I think it would be possible for a good course to turn out about 60 super inspectors a year.
Quote: Anyone who can read and write can do it, it's just a tremendous amount of work and that takes a lot of motivation.

Lots of good writers right here at TIJ. Any could do it.
Don't know that I agree with that. In the four years I served with our state board I personally reviewed, and approved, no less than half a dozen curriculum. Most looked pretty good on paper but in execution they are something else altogether. One course is so bad that I wish there was a legal way I could withdraw my approval of it. Hopefully the current board will figure out how to eventually do that.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#6] Posted: 11/19/2013 - 6:42:19 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Welmoed

Good information, for the most part, about choosing a home inspector.


No. Not really.

It?s more newspaper filler/tripe from an uninformed journalist pretending to know what they are talking about.

Guarantee? Who offers a guarantee? I don't.

Associations? It does not hurt to belong to an association, however, some outstanding home inspectors belong to none.

The exterior? He will examine the joists? Enough said.

Mold; you may need to order extra testing to see how serious a problem may be.
Is any responsible home inspector still recommending mold testing? I hope not.

Printing uninformed crap is not well meaning. It is irresponsible.

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#7] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 04:36:30 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Mike Lamb

Quote: Originally posted by Welmoed

Good information, for the most part, about choosing a home inspector.


Guarantee? Who offers a guarantee? I don't.



My contract specifically states that the inspection and report are not a guarantee, warranty or insurance of any kind.

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#8] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 05:02:01 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Tom Raymond

Quote: Originally posted by Mike Lamb

Quote: Originally posted by Welmoed

Good information, for the most part, about choosing a home inspector.


Guarantee? Who offers a guarantee? I don't.



My contract specifically states that the inspection and report are not a guarantee, warranty or insurance of any kind.

I put a guarantee at the end of every report. "Everything in the house will eventually fail; you should budget for unseen repairs/replacements, especially for older systems or components."

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#9] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 05:39:00 AM
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A highly regarded HI I know guarantees every inspection. It's on the front page of his website. If he misses that $10,000 roof replacement, he'll return your inspection fee...twice over.

That doesn't sound like a definition of 'guarantee' but I'll bet it sells inspections. He's got a custom iron-clad contract like no other in the state should any client try something.

Marc

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#10] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 06:00:35 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Marc

A highly regarded HI I know guarantees every inspection. It's on the front page of his website. If he misses that $10,000 roof replacement, he'll return your inspection fee...twice over.

That doesn't sound like a definition of 'guarantee' but I'll bet it sells inspections. He's got a custom iron-clad contract like no other in the state should any client try something.

Marc


Mark,
I do this for a few years and have never seen an iron-clad contract.

I did not like the article, but it is no different from 99.9% of what is written abt the business.

My personal bias is I do not think the inspector should be regarded as any kind of "hero". He/she is not there to save the world or the potential buyer. I don't like the macro idea of using the inspection for negotiation. I have never guaranteed an inspection, nor will I.

Careful re-reading of the article could start a very long discussion.

Marc, everyone talks education and few do anything abt it, right down to not allowing a new person to tag along on an inspection.

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#11] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 06:02:49 AM
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Entities other than the HI profession continue to define what we do. There is strong resistance to hearing from us about what it is we do.

Lamb's experience with the Trib is typical. They put out a goofy article disassociated from anything we know to be right, and when confronted with reasonable statistical data contradicting their dipshit article, stick with their idea instead of reality.

I've campaigned a number of high profile publications to publish a frank article, or series of articles, about this gig. No takers. Worse than no takers; dismissal. Almost laughing dismissal. We remain somewhat of a joke to just about everyone other than the people we are serving at any particular moment.

Everyone's got an idea about what it is we do. "We" don't have an idea about what it is that we do.

The "we" in here is pretty consistent in our attitudes, but look out over the rest of the landscape.

I agree with Les' about the hero thing, and definitely about the macro negotiation ploy. The former displays all the stuff that would demolish a career in any other endeavor, and the latter puts us in the position of nit picker assholes instead of educators.

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#12] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 06:07:43 AM
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How many on this site would invest a couple hundred bucks to attend a meeting and talk abt what we do? Some of us have spend thousands and failed while some have made thousands (tens of) to get us into this mess!
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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#13] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 06:11:08 AM
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I'd do a meet.
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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#14] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 07:36:20 AM
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I'd spend a neat bundle on a meet but alas I can't understand anything in groups, only one to one. It's my curse.

Marc

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#15] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 08:11:21 AM
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I'm in.
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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#16] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 09:26:29 AM
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In a heartbeat.
Meetings offer an opportunity of understanding and articulating thoughts that a personality behind a key board, may never be able to fully express.


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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#17] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 11:00:21 AM
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Yeah,

I'd be open to that.

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Mike

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#18] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 12:59:59 PM
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Les, isn't that what the conferences are all about? I've learned as much from sitting talking with other inspectors as I have in the classes.
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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#19] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 1:32:54 PM
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If you want a decent article written about home inspectors for your local paper, you're going to have to do it yourself and almost certainly for free. Very few people get what HI's do, and far fewer care. Timing it for early March or whenever the spring market starts heating up where you live would increase your chance of getting it published.


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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#20] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 1:38:16 PM
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I'd do a meet for sure.
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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#21] Posted: 11/20/2013 - 3:02:48 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Welmoed

I've learned as much from sitting talking with other inspectors as I have in the classes.


Usually more.


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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#22] Posted: 11/21/2013 - 05:09:12 AM
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Sorry for being away for couple days.

I will start another thread abt a possible meeting.

Let it be known that I have been to hundreds of inspector conferences/meetings and can count maybe four or five that are memorable.

One in particular was in Columbia several years ago. The reason for that was it was not a meeting of and for inspectors, rather a meeting to learn about PEX and radiant heat. It was fun, educational and the group formed a bond that goes beyond "inspections". My point is that my proposed meeting is to discuss the business at a level that is not usually found at Inspection World, Inspection Expo, etc. The purpose is education about the profession of inspection.

I am really busy next few days, but will post an individual thread for ideas etc.

PS: Mark, you will have to review Emily Post before allowed to participate. Mike O, you have to get an attitude adjustment and Kurt you can't stop and shop at every store. Garet you can't sit next to me or argue!

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#23] Posted: 11/21/2013 - 07:52:09 AM
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Attitude adjustment?

Moi? Why, whatever for?

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#24] Posted: 11/21/2013 - 09:29:29 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by kurt

Entities other than the HI profession continue to define what we do.


This is why an Uber-HI-School would be doomed to failure. Given market realities, no one attending could ever recoup the expense of the education by charging a reasonable fee for the elevated level of service.

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#25] Posted: 11/21/2013 - 6:44:06 PM
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Thanks, Welly, for starting this thread.

A meet somewhere between Illinois and the Eastern seaboard? Maybe some of us could attend by Skype?

Topic of discussion is let me see if I got it, "What is a home inspector?"
I like the concept.

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Good article from the Consumerist blog
[#26] Posted: 11/21/2013 - 9:30:19 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by John Kogel

Thanks, Welly, for starting this thread.

A meet somewhere between Illinois and the Eastern seaboard? Maybe some of us could attend by Skype?

Topic of discussion is let me see if I got it, "What is a home inspector?"
I like the concept.

Rather 'How many topics can you think of ?'

Use the meet to build a working syllabus of the curriculum then go home and start with a few lessons at a time, sharing them for rev...ok, I'll shut up.

Marc

Remember Les's 'Methods and Materials'.

 
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