Featuring America's Home Inspector: Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Barry Stone

The House Detective by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector

Dear Barry: I am 68 years old, with relatively good health, and I am looking for another career. What about home inspection? I’ve just signed up for a 7-week course, beginning soon. Am I at that age where home inspection work is too demanding, or do you think I’ll be ok? Tom

Dear Tom: It depends on what shape you are in. How do you feel about crawling under houses, with barely enough room to move, or through an attic, snaking your way through trusses, ankle deep in fiberglass insulation, while brushing dusty webs from your face? If those working conditions are acceptable, you’ve overcome the second worst aspect of home inspecting.

The real deterrent is the legal liability. Homebuyers will base major purchase decisions on your findings. If you miss any defects in the course of your inspections (and all home inspectors do miss things; especially when they are new to the profession), you could be held liable. Aside from that, home inspection is a challenging and interesting way to make a living, even in the active years of early seniority.