Home inspectors' consistency keeps business sound
Jim Fahs purchased the business in 1999. “This company has had only two owners since 1989,” he says. “Consistency in leadership plays an important role in maintaining a consistent level of service.” Young Home Inspections has received the Super Service Award every year since 2003.
by Paul F.P. Pogue
Owner Jim Fahs, a former contractor, says he learned from the best - former owner Ken Young, who founded Young Home Inspections in 1989. "I met him on an inspection site and learned on the job starting that first day," says Fahs, who purchased the business in 1999 and currently employs four certified inspectors.
Although the business has changed and grown in two decades, Fahs says the basics remain the same.
"We do a check on the major systems and components of the house," he explains. "We crawl in the attic, look for physical problems, inspect the structure, exterior, roof and plumbing, and report on any deficiencies we find or systems nearing the end of their service life."
Starting next year, home inspectors will be required to be licensed by the state. In the meantime, Fahs recommends selecting an inspector certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors. "They have the highest bar for entry, and they're the oldest and most serious professional home inspection association," he says.
Experience is also key. "Being a contractor is excellent training for a home inspector," he says. "Someone who knows all about how houses are put together will know how to look for problems."
Beyond experience, the key to being a professional inspector is organization. "Home inspectors do one thing over and over and over again, and we build systems so we don't miss things," he says.
Angie's List member Bill Swisher of Clearwater [Fla.] appreciated this attention to detail when one of Fahs' inspectors, Dan Tesmer, evaluated his home.
"He listened to all my concerns and jotted down areas I had specific questions about," Swisher says. "After spending nearly three hours checking out the place in great detail, he sat down with me again, discussed his findings, answered all my questions and made sure I understood the results."
Although Ken Young passed away in 2001, Fahs says the founder's influence is still strongly felt in the company. "He did the heavy lifting, and I've continued it," he says.