Author Topic: MBA or Home Inspection Business?  (Read 2584 times)

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:51:31 AM »
At 150K a year in the PNW as an IT professional, with half a mil in the bank, and income more than twice what my retirement living expenses would be (not counting everything just cash flow) I am going back to school to get an MBA (I plan on working for another 7 years, possibly more just to pool as much cash as I can while I can). The plan was for my company to pay most of it but after a recent buyout, that might change. It's about 10K out of pocket for the accelerated MBA at a state school with AACSB accredidation, about 13K if I go with the concentration in CIS (I get a waiver for half the program due to my previous degree, so if it wasn't for that, you could double these figures). The above numbers are with no tuition help. If my company so much as pays half of it and it comes down to 5-7k out of pocket I think it's worth it, just in case, no?

But wait...Just recently, I handed over another $400 check to a home inspector for yet another home purchase. It was for about 2 hours work...I was reminded again about how when I was 19 (33 now) I had wanted to go become a Home Inspector. At the time, I couldn't pay for the 2K training just to learn what I was doing, even though there was no licensure required, etc. so I did the safe thing and went to a university for a four year degree. That worked out quite well but...I alwasy wondered if the HI thing is a good gig. Now that licensure is required, and specific companies in my area are approved for training, it's about 4K to get the training. Not bad really. But should I get the MBA AND do the HI training after the fact and try to get into that as a "retirement job"? Every home inspector I used did 3 inspections a day, and was booked through the weekends. When asked, they admitted to clearing six figures after expenses. Most were low wage factory workers before. Man, is it just me or is the Home Inspection thing a potential gold mine for me?

Should I do the MBA now, and the HI later? Both at the same time? Skip the MBA and try the HI now? What makes the most sense. Personally the opportunity to get an MBA from an AACSB accredited state uni at that price seems hard to pass up, especially since by this time next year, I'd be done...I can always drop another 4K on the HI training, but the MBA and IT experience is always something for fall back on.

waffle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 10:23:50 AM »
Because there is almost no barriers to entry for becoming a home inspector the market for that position can become easily saturated. If you are well connected in local real estate market and know several realtors willing to refer you to their clients it could be very lucrative, but if everyone jumps on that opportunity then instead of 3 inspections a day you could end up with 3 a week or less.

I'd do a SWAT analysis for each and then compare. With either option you have your IT profession to fall back on, but the MBA would complement your current degree and experience while home inspection would become either a career change or a side gig.

thd7t

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1308
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 10:36:40 AM »
I suspect that you're underestimating the time it takes for each inspection.  There is paperwork and other aspects to each 2 hour inspection that you don't see the inspector do.  While I think it sounds pretty good, I expect it's not as good as it looks on the surface.

jwright

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 11:00:08 AM »
You are already clearing six figures and you don't have the self employment taxes, malpractice insurance, or other burdens of owning a business.  Plus, you would have to work on business development/marketing. 

Do you think you will enjoy working as a home inspector more than what you are currently doing?  It doesn't seem like it will put you in a better position financially compared to your current employment.

Are you thinking of doing this as a part time/side hustle after you have left your current position?

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 11:24:47 AM »
I'll conduct a SWOTT analysis, thanks. Haven't done one of those in a while. This would be either an eventual career change (this or HR/recruiting) or a retirement gig. I could do it as a side gig part time now until I build up my business. Realtor referrals are apparently what you live and die by in HI.

I wasn't saying every inspection takes 2 hours. I just noted that THIS inspection took 2 hours including his report, it's a newer house. The other 4-5 inspections I've had done lasted up to 3 hours.

I like the idea of busting butt on site to get it done but yet being thorough, then taking a break while driving to the next appointment. Sure, it takes a few years to get consistent appointments, but that's not unreasonable.

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1825
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 11:29:39 AM »
You are already safe enough that you will get only small increases in security from either option.

If security is what's important, keep your costs low and you will be about as secure as you can be in life.

Pick the one that sounds the most fun.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2015, 12:55:41 PM »
If you're for sure going to keep working for 7 years, and can get an MBA for 5-13k, and you would enjoy the experience of getting the degree, and you think that it would open up more of the kind of work you want to do during those 5 years after graduating, then I think it's worth it. I know people who got an MBA and it didn't really change things for them or the kind of work they ended up doing wasn't what they thought it would be (or wanted). So YMMV. But it's a pretty low opportunity cost (other than the time involved).

If you want to do HI as your retirement gig, and that's fun for you, I think that sounds like a good idea. But keep in mind that it's not all roses, and there's really a ton to learn about homes in order to really be good at it. I know I'd feel terrible if I missed something that caused some poor family to buy a house without realizing there was a $20k headache waiting for them that I missed.

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2015, 01:35:00 PM »
If you're for sure going to keep working for 7 years, and can get an MBA for 5-13k, and you would enjoy the experience of getting the degree, and you think that it would open up more of the kind of work you want to do during those 5 years after graduating, then I think it's worth it. I know people who got an MBA and it didn't really change things for them or the kind of work they ended up doing wasn't what they thought it would be (or wanted). So YMMV. But it's a pretty low opportunity cost (other than the time involved).

If you want to do HI as your retirement gig, and that's fun for you, I think that sounds like a good idea. But keep in mind that it's not all roses, and there's really a ton to learn about homes in order to really be good at it. I know I'd feel terrible if I missed something that caused some poor family to buy a house without realizing there was a $20k headache waiting for them that I missed.

I am on an IT management track. Either that or HR. I don't enjoy doing technical work (hands on) anymore. I know two things I would not like on HI, crawl space and attic. On a newer house, sure. On an older house, ugh...

But I'd get used to it.

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
Re: MBA or Home Inspection Business?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2015, 04:03:24 PM »
Getting an MBA takes a tremendous amount of work--it literally is equivalent to having another part-time job.  I could have never done it without the support of my husband, because it just ate up soooo much time.  With 7 years of work life remaining, I just don't see the point, unless your salary is going to increase substantially during those last 5 years of working.