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Author Topic: How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California  (Read 8430 times)

AL KIM

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How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California
« on: March 12, 2010, 09:11:31 AM »

Hello, I'm currently a real estate certified appraiser in California. I'm planning to expand my services in becoming a Home Inspector and possibly in Energy Auditing. I just browsed the Internet and trying to look somwhere to start. I just learned that California does not require license, then my question would be, why do some inspectors claim to be "licensed"? Also can you suggest any local school near Los Angeles, CA or do most schools are held "online"? Is there any credential or membership worth to be recognized? Would you recommend to work under a seasoned inspector or is it possible to work right off after learning at school? And finally (sorry for asking so many questions), is there any upcoming event or expo for Home Inspectors and/or Green Energy Audit? Your comments would be greatly appreciated!
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CREIA Inspector

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Re: How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 03:40:20 PM »

Al
I must say thatís a very ambitious plan.  Becoming a competent modern day practicing home inspector is no easy task and requires extensive knowledge in the four main construction disciplines; building, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems.  Add to that one must be an excellent communicator, possess far above average awareness, attention to detail, organizational skills, business acumen, a good market plan, and have a large enough bank account to sustain themselves and their family for at least a year without depending on a reliable source of income from inspecting houses. This profession takes an inordinate amount of time to become minimally competent and a really long time to master if ever one truly does.  If youíre prepared for the mission Iíve outlined then you may actually have a chance at being successful otherwise I recommend your looking into something else.

Youíre correct that California does not require state licensing for home inspectors, but anybody contemplating taking up this profession should be aware of California Civil Code 7195Ė7199 which addresses home inspectors.http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=bpc&group=07001-08000&file=7195-7199.Then thereís insurance; general liability and errors and omission policies that most home inspectors carry because the old saying ďItís not if you will ever be sued by a client, but rather when?Ē  If one chooses to run naked without insurance protection and a former client succeeds in our legal system they will clean out your bank account, take your house including your first born, and any pets you may have.  It also should be noted that the cost of insurance has become a serious cost of doing business getting coverage for a beginner can be very costly.

As far as Home Inspector Schools I only know of ITA and Iím not sure if they are still in business?  Check out ITA Inspector Schools on the web. 

I recommend you peruse the California Real Estate Inspection Association web-site, www.creia.org and check their chapter meetings calendar for the where and when; locate and attend as many CREIA chapter meetings as possible, carefully listen to everything being discussed, find an old timer and ask if he/ she would take you on a ride-along.  Note, not just one old timer, but as many who will take you for every inspector has their own routine and the more youíre exposed to professional inspectors the quicker you will learn the ropes.  We are one of the very few trade associations that train their competition and we do this as a collective effort to raise the level of expertise of those in our industry.  Then thereís the paper chase; start a building code book library as any inspector worth his/ her salt is totally familiar with the California building codes.  You may ask why and the simple answer is because the building codes are our road maps and although we canít enforce codes nor quote them to our clients, thatís up to the jurisdictional inspectors, we have got to know them because like a shipís captain, if you donít know where the reefs and rocks are its certain you will run up on them and sink.  Being familiar with both past and current building codes is just another vital piece of equipment in our tool bag.
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AL KIM

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Re: How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 11:59:37 PM »

Thanks for your "not-so-motivating" reply, but I believe you, there's no piece-of-cake business nowadays and what you said is the reality in these hard times to survive in...
However, as I said previously, I've been appraising residential properties for 11 years and used to being with the latest technology available in my industry, which may be very similar to those you use these days.
I know it takes a lot of effort, time and money to start a business, however, depending the experience being developed and the trust with clientele over the next years, I believe I can succeed along with my current profession.
I do meet different agents daily and hold regular real estate school seminars, thus I might have a way to market myself with them.
I noticed the E&O is quite expensive than the appraisal E&O...
Also I noted some home inspectors in my area do have their certifications out-of-state such as CMI, ITA, etc... Does all organizations have similar characteristics and recognition, and in my case by performing work in California, it does not really matter which certification should I get? I thought CREIA would be the best bet to get certification, since I would be working in here...
Again, thank you for your time in replying my question, I will do research more about it thru this site...
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Vadim

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Re: How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 10:22:11 AM »

i am BPI certified Building analyst and Hers rater. Is my edducations could be a credit for become home inspector
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Scott Walker

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Re: How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 12:09:03 PM »

I also have similar questions, and thanks for answering several. Very informative respondent above. Recently transplanted to California I have been looking at job market, housing market and my future. Hoping that some day California bounces back from its drastic economic decline, I was also looking into the job/business of home inspection. I have reviewed the CREIA site and am wondering if any other schools are appropriate for certification. Right now American Home Inspectors Training Institute is offering a very nice discount on online classes. Would anyone from this panel recommend this or any other online program for certification? or: must you be involved in CRIEA only studies? Thanks for the return reply. Scott Walker
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Ramil Mactal

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Re: How to Become a Home Inspector/Energy Auditor in California
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2011, 07:23:59 PM »

I have been doing construction for over twenty years now and am thinking of becoming home inspector. I know CA does not require license to become one but what is the best way to start?

thank you
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