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House Calls

Build a profitable home-inspection service from the ground up.

This story appears in the February 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

If you have experience in home construction or remodeling, or even if you're just handy around your own house, a home-inspection service could be the perfect new business for you. Lawsuits over undisclosed home defects have prompted home buyers, real estate agents and even home sellers to prefer that homes are inspected before the sales are finalized. In some states, it's even required by law.

Home inspectors review homes and provide written reports to the buyers and the buyers' and sellers' real estate agents. Rather than trying to discover every tiny defect, inspectors look for larger problems--such as improperly installed heating systems or damaged foundations--and educate buyers about the condition of the home. The cost of an inspection is usually $200 to $400, depending on the size and age of the home and what part of the country you live in.

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