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By: Ronda PaynePublished On: September 4, 2019
Not many individuals have the knowledge, skills and expertise to inspect their own home before buying it. With house prices in many urban and suburban communities in BC touching the skies, it’s easy to understand why a potential home buyer would want to have someone with home inspection training on their side.
While the residential real estate market has experienced a “correction” or a decline in prices recently (in several major cities and suburbs where prices previously had multiplied), buying a house is still a massive investment and requires a great deal of thought and help from experts to bring it all together. It’s only natural that a home inspector – someone who has completed a home inspection course and the steps to become certified home inspector– will be an important part of that group of experts. The market for home inspectors has grown in recent years with no signs of a slow down.
At a time when there was a home-buying frenzy, many home buyers were so anxious to sign the contract, make the purchase, that they were willing to forego a home inspection. Those who have taken home inspection training and are certified will see the volume of their work rise as this frenzy cools down slightly. Now, with the pressure off, home inspectors can expect buyers to return to being more diligent with home buying. Buyers will take time to contact and arrange a home inspection before going through with their purchase.
Younger generations may not be able to afford to buy fully detached homes in urban and suburban areas but will be able to do so in rural towns and regions. They may also be buying condos and townhomes in the urban and suburban areas.
This shift is a benefit to home inspectors who have home inspector training that allows them to inspect both kinds of properties expertly.
Both Generation Z and Millennials are less likely to blindly trust advertising or the word of someone they barely know. These are the type of people who do a lot of research to find out what they need, why and whom to trust. Home inspectors will do well to establish personal, trust-based relationships with a wide range of age groups to become an ally in the home-buying process for individuals looking at various types of properties at differing price points.
There is a growth in the use of technology in almost every field, and home inspection is no different. There’s a wide range of tools that make the job easier and more efficient. There are several advanced software tools available today that allow home inspectors to present detailed, visually–pleasing reports to their clients. Things like CO detectors can read the concentrations of CO in the air and determine the most likely source of a leak if there is an issue.
Relative humidity sensors check the level of humidity in a building to see if mold or excess moisture issues are likely. While there are pin-point gauges, deep wall probes and surface contact devices to measure moisture in buildings, the use of infrared technology has eliminated much of the need. Through laser technology, temperature variations are easily identified and can be measured with an infrared thermometer while an infrared camera can create an image of a larger area to show the fluctuations that may include a leak, draft or insulation issue.
With the image, home inspectors can then use other tools (like a moisture meter) to identify the source. Even drones play a part in that they can capture roof issues if climbing on a steep slope is too dangerous, or the stability of the structure is in question. Drones can create images in various formats to point out issues that may not be detected by the naked eye. Radio-controlled vehicles will also contribute to inspections by exploring and recording images in areas too small or dangerous for the inspector to access.
However, despite all this technology, there will always be a need for the human touch and scrutiny learned through a home inspection course.
As long as people continue to buy homes, there will be a need for home inspectors, making the profession stable with strong growth ahead. However, home inspectors need to stay ahead of the curve and provide a level of service that meets the demands of customers.
Additionally, as real estate prices continue to climb (despite the occasional correction), home inspectors will be required to provide more certainty for home buyers. Thus the essential need for insurance will also increase. It can also be expected that there will be increasing expectations of education and home inspection training in the future and a rise in insurance companies contacting home inspectors to look at homes before issuing insurance.
Home inspectors will also be expected to diversify. Not only should they have expertise in inspecting fully-detached homes, townhouses and condos, but they should consider looking at new construction to ensure it is being done correctly and checking damage (fire, flood, storm) that existing homeowners need to inspect and repair.
Plus, when talking about future trends, expect to see the use of augmented reality headsets that will allow home inspectors to record the entire inspection. This will lead to a video report complete with links within the video to warranties and information about the home’s systems and equipment.
Finally, home inspectors can anticipate more competition. Larger firms could create cookie-cutter approaches to the process, pay inspectors less and rely on guarantees rather than quality work. Those who have experience in the field and can promise a more personalized approach will make the difference for their clients in the future.
Enroll to become a home inspector today.