Like starting any business, to make money you’ll have to spend some first.
However, doing some planning & research before you spend anything will help you make smart investments.
Feeling overwhelmed? That’s where I come in, because I’ve already done all the research for you! So, just sit back, relax, and keep reading.
This might sound obvious, but the first expense that you’ll need to take care of is getting licensed and becoming a professional home inspector.
That means finding an inspection school that’s right for you & taking the necessary classes. Inspection school costs vary, depending on which school you choose, the certifications you want or need, etc.
The cost of attending a home inspection school ranges from around $400 to $1,000 or more, depending on the school you choose. National schools like ICA are generally considered the most trustworthy.
The plus of joining a school is that the licensing exams are often included in tuition. This means that joining an inspection school can save you money by bundling the training & classes with the cost of taking the licensing exam.
Note that every state has their own license requirements. Some are extensive while others are basically non-existent. Check out our license requirements map to see what your state requires.
You can’t perform home inspections without software, as least not very well. Which means that the next step towards starting a business is purchasing inspection software.
There are many different software companies out there, so price will vary quite a bit.
I’ll let you in on a little tip. You get what you pay for. Which means that software isn’t any area where you should be frugal with your money. A good, working software is the key to a successful business.
The cost of inspection software ranges anywhere from free to thousands of dollars a year. However, most of the top home inspection softwares will cost you a minimum of $800 a year, or have monthly plans starting at $50-$100 per month.
At the bare minimum, the last thing you’ll need to invest in is home inspection equipment.
The most basic equipment includes:
These tools will get you by and allow you to do your job. With quality yet affordable versions of each, you’ll pay around $300 for basic equipment.
However, you’ll likely want to invest in some more specialized tools down the road, so expect to spend $300 to $1,000+ on equipment. If you aren’t sure what you need, get the basic essentials to start out, and then buy more equipment as you need it.
Marketing is the most underrated expense for home inspectors. You need to build a pipeline of referrals to keep you working. A lot of new home inspectors start their business with an "in" like a realtor, but you want three or four solid referral partners as soon as you can.
If you have a little extra money to spend, marketing is the next best thing to invest in. This includes getting a company website, which is the most important part of running a modern day business.
Some software companies (like Spectora!) offer website building services, which will save you time and effort. Having a website is a great way to get in front of more clients and agents, plus will make your life easier if you have a software that offers online schedulers.
Marketing has many different avenues you could take, so the cost depends on what type of marketing you choose.
The cost of marketing your business ranges from free (face-to-face marketing) to $1,000+ (getting a custom website & using marketing tactics like SEO).
I know, insurance is a hassle, but many states require it. If yours doesn't, staying up at night thinking about all the ways you can get sued or injured on the job might be worth $600-$1200 a year so you can rest a little easier.
Here’s the breakdown.
If you choose to go with the cheapest options for everything (probably not a good idea) then you could end up paying around $1,200-$1800 to start your business.
If you splurge on software and licensing school but spend minimally on equipment and marketing, you could pay around $1,700-$2,300.
If you pick quality products in every area & attend a school, then you’re looking at around $3,000 to $5,000+ to start your business.
Hey, no one ever said starting a business was cheap! Whatever you choose to spend more or less on, do your research & remember that a successful business requires making an investment!