What I'm Seeing Now

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"Money In The Bank"

I received a nice compliment the other day.

The couple with the house where I had diagnosed some leaking with my thermal infrared camera asked me back to take a few more images.  They wanted some "after" shots to show the insurance company.  Smart.

While there the wife said, "You provide a fabulous service.  The pictures you took for us are money in the bank.  The roofer had never seen such a thing.  He could make an exact estimate.  The insurance company said the pictures were indisputable and could see exactly what needed to be fixed.  They agreed to everything.  The roofer said we got more money than we would have without the photos because the problems are more extensive than can be seen with the naked eye."

Well, I agree!

The camera has certainly been money in the bank for me.

I use the RAZ-IR Pro and bought it 6 years ago.  Twern't cheap!  It is about half the price now than it was when I bought it, selling now for around $8K.  It paid for itself inside of the first year.  Now that wasn't easy.  Such technology required a lot of instruction, training, playing with it, training, learning the computer program (not easy for me), and more training.  Not to mention marketing!

It is some parts science and some parts art.  It requires careful interpretation.  My camera, seen here, is about the size of a hamster.  And powerful technology.  That is my famous dog, Bitsy - warm eyes, cold nose.  She can also be seen on my website.

I consider it to be the best arrow in my home inspection quiver.

For a couple of years now I have been saying that in a couple of years all home inspections will come with IR as a part of the service.  I have been wrong about the timing.  New technology requires a mental paradigm shift, for both the consumer and home inspector.  But it is coming.  I remember when moisture meters first came out and nobody trusted them at first.  Few used them.  Now every home inspector necessarily has one.

My recommendation:  take advantage of good technology.  You will probably find it to be money in the bank too.

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 24 commentsJay Markanich • February 22 2010 05:46AM

Comments

Obviously a great investment in your line of work.  Pictures can make all the difference in the world in nearly every aspect of real estate.

Posted by Sara Homan, Realtor, Homes, Farms & 55+ (Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty 352-209-4044) over 9 years ago

Thanks Sara, and that's true.  Look at my two previous posts on ice damming.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing. When home buyers interview home inspectors, they should ask if an infrared camera will be used in the inspection.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 9 years ago

Jay, it will be interesting to see if they actually do become just another tool in all inspector's tool bags.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Jay,

I suspect that you are right and that at some point it will be as common to have one of those as it is to have a certifried assistant today.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Why not Roy?

Charlie - again, why not!?  That camera is my best arrow!

Steve - some might disagree, but I would not.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

No one here does that we do not believe...we think you should start a franchise....Jay Marks the Hot Spots or Cold Spots  Home Inspections...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

S&D - thanks, but there are some really great home inspectors out there who do IR.  I am always learning.  At age 89 (he died at 93) Michelangelo said, "I am still learning."  Seen his resume?!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay - What a great feature to be able to offer your buyers.  I'm not aware of any inspectors who offer that service in our area, but now I know about the potential. 

Posted by Lynn Johnson, Owatonna, MN Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Home Connection) over 9 years ago

I've thought about getting one of those.  Just starting out it hard to have money to even buy a ladder right now.

Posted by doug diller (Goal Line Inspections) over 9 years ago

Lynn - to see what it can do, look at my two previous posts on ice damming.

Doug - when you are starting out you must have the most important basics.  I would think a ladder would be real important.  A good electric tester and moisture meter are too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I have the Flir B-cam and have been very happy with it. I am going to write a blog about IR soon. Not only do they require some science but also a good understanding of the building envelope and construction in general. It certainly is not point and shoot technology. The moisture meter is a great second witness for perceived anomolies.

Posted by Mike Gillingham (Eastern Iowa Inspection Services LLC) about 9 years ago

Fer sher Mike!  If it was as easy as point and shoot everyone could have one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, so that image IS the actual IR camera? It look more like a flip-top-phone. I pictured it much larger and bulkier. Cool!

Posted by Kate Kate about 9 years ago

In the flesh Kate, um, plastic.  Some are bigger, but they are getting smaller and smaller.  The key is the operator and the software!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay ~ Professional for sure. Wish you were in my area.

Posted by Monique Hailer, South West Florida & Southern Maryland Homes (Schooner Bay Realty., Inc. & CENTURY 21 New Millenniun) about 9 years ago

Jay- I have to agree with you, my IR has worked wonders for my inspections. When my clients see what it does they love what it brings to the table.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Monique - if on a day I have nothing scheduled I would come as far as your area.  That would almost never be true on a weekend though.  Do you know of any inspectors your way with IR capability?  By the way, I used to get to your neighborhood all the time:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/860611/what-a-difference-50-years-makes-

Eric - with it you can even check out what is hot or cold on the table!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Hello Jay - Congratulations on your success with your camera.

Posted by Andy Chaudoir, Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas (Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas) about 9 years ago

Thanks Andy.  I have had it about 6 years and it paid for itself in just a few months (they were much more expensive then too...)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Hey Jay,

I am hoping to get one of those things this year.  Sure would help clear up some questions that I have at some inspections.  Especially where roofs come down into the stucco wall cladding with no kick outs.

Posted by Ron Chorey, Ron (Remax Classic Realty) about 9 years ago

That little technique is a huge problem that IR reveals completely Ron.  My IR camera is the sharpest and truest arrow in my quiver.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Great blog, Jay and certainly one of the best investments an inspector can make.  Have a great week.

Eldon

Posted by Eldon Hendrix (Hendrix and sons Home Inspections) about 9 years ago

Thanks Eldon!  I agree and thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

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