What brought me into this industry?
We are not your standard inspection company
I decided to get into the home inspection industry because I truly love helping people. When my wife and I purchased many investment properties, I found out that many inspectors just do the basic Standards of Practice.
I remember when we purchased our very first home and after we had it inspected and moved in, I found so many foundation, plumbing and electrical issues down the road. The more we renovated our home, and the more I spoke with my friends on their “bad experience” with Inspectors, it made me stop and think on why this is? How come inspectors are being labeled as “terrible, bad or quickly ran through the property?”
This is what motivated me to make a difference in our industry. Instead of me jumping onto the bandwagon of just being your “typical inspector” I became a very unorthodox approach to the industry at hand and here is why, I genuinely employ the Golden Rule in my business. It really never occurred to me that this was rare in the business.
So that is why I decided to launch my business. I did so because I genuinely love helping people! In the business mindset being generous or helpful always seemed to be a detriment to running a profitable business. I know that is sad but it is oh so true! That business mindset is the very reason why I am in this industry. Helping people and being generous is the very best attribute to being successful as a home inspector.
My fundamental desire to help doesn’t stop with my clients. I also wanted to do my part to help change the entire industry–how home inspections are done. I just think the way most home inspectors operate isn’t really in the client’s best interest, and I felt the entire industry needs be improved.
Did you know that most home inspectors ask their clients NOT to attend the inspection?
The typical request is to only arrive at the end of the inspection to get a summary, and many inspectors just send an inspection report with no verbal summary or explanation. To me, this is the best way to unnecessarily scare someone away from their potential dream home because many defects sound catastrophic in a report when in reality they are simply or easily repaired, or may not be an issue at all.
First and foremost, I consider myself a professional consultant, not just an inspector.
This, coupled with the Golden Rule is my core philosophy. I’ve always welcomed and encouraged my clients to attend their inspection. I mean, what good would an inspection be if I couldn’t effectively communicate my findings in a way that helps them make a sound buying decision? I feel that the more involved the client is in the inspection process, the better educated they are on the home, and this can enable them to make the best choices. When I find a defect in the home, I love to explain the severity of it, what the likely consequences can be and what the typical repair or remediation could be. When you understand the defects, you can make the best choice as to whether to buy or not. Everything is fixable, it’s always just a question of how much time and money it will take.
I genuinely seek to establish real relationships.
I have built my entire business on this premise. I have become friends with many of my clients, and I have great relationships with many agents. One barometer for my business performance is how often I get invited over for dinner or housewarming parties.
I think inspections can and should be fun and enjoyable.
I love to narrate what I’m doing, looking for, and finding out loud. I think this can make the inspection engaging for my clients, and I often hear that they learned a lot. It never hurts to add some humor along the way too.
I don’t nickel and dime.
Under most circumstances, I don’t charge for re-inspections. If for some reason we can’t inspect or test something at the inspection, I will return if access is given at a later time. For example, in the winter, many homes have snow covered roofs. If we happen to get a day of melting, I’ll make it a point to return to get the roof inspection done and update the report ASAP.
I love to help people.
It’s just part of who I am, and it makes me feel good to help others. If there is a way to help, I’ve been known to come back after the closing and help my clients repair something together.
I want my limited number of minutes on Earth to matter.
I care about what I do, and I care about the report I deliver. While many inspectors focus on volume–cranking out as many inspections as possible, I limit myself to no more than two per day. My reports are thorough, narrative based, and I try to back up my findings with diagrams, links and information that can help my clients understand the issues. Money is not my motivation, my client’s experience and satisfaction with the inspection report is always #1 to me.
I crave learning.
I’m always working to improve what I do and how I do it, and I’m almost always involved in some new certification course. This is just how I’m wired. My post-inspection email to my clients even asks for raw, unfettered feedback on how I can improve, and I always take any constructive criticism to heart and try to improve any way I can. Comfort zones are not good for business or relationships of any kind.
I believe inspections should be as thorough as possible.
This is the Golden Rule in action. If I hired an inspector, I would want every effort made to evaluate everything possible. This means I never perform a roof inspection with binoculars from the ground like a lot of inspectors do. The roof is too important. I always do a roof-level inspection, which means I will either walk the roof, or I’ll use my high-resolution drone to inspect every inch. In cases where rain or other circumstances may prevent walking the roof or using the drone, I always have a 30-foot Docapole camera system on hand as a backup method.
I also have a crawlbot that I use to inspect places I can’t physically get into. This means the ever-so-common term found in home inspection reports “not readily accessible” is used only when access was impossible, not just difficult.
I guarantee delivery of the report within 24 hours.
Again, the Golden Rule in action. There’s nothing worse than having a limited time to make a decision of whether to buy or not, and having to wait days or weeks for the inspection report. That report can be the most important thing to help you decide, and if I were a client, I’d want it in my hands as soon as humanly possible. This is why I guarantee my reports to be delivered within 24 hours. If not, I’ll refund you $100 from your inspection fee.
James Crowton, Owner of Up Close Home Inspections
Ohio Department of Commerce License Number: OHI.2021008381
Ohio Department of Health Radon license number: RT1800
Ohio Department of Agriculture WDI license number: 111366
Federal Aviation Remote pilot license number #4646006
Certified Commercial Property Inspector #CCPIA-001146
CPI NACHI #21010334
Purchasing a home can be complex and at times very frustrating but also exciting! The inspection period is possibly the most critical step in the entire process. All the house hunting, checking out schools, googling commute times, etc…. You finally have a contract on a house that you think might be perfect. You are excited and a little scared. There is a small window of time to make sure you are not making any mistakes. In this moment, you need someone you can trust. That is the reason Up Close Home Inspections exists and it is the reason I love my job.
We will provide you with all the information you need about the property in question and its overall condition. We welcome our clients to walk through the home with us and to ask any questions they may have throughout the inspection process.
We also exceed the standards of practice that most home inspectors follow. We will go climb your roof our use our drone technology to take state-of-the-art photography and we also will go into your crawlspace or attic no matter what the temperature is or conditions.
I am committed to integrity and professionalism. I am eager to prove that your trust in me was well placed in leading the way into your new home.
We work for you, not the realtor!
You can trust us, Certified Professional Inspectors, to perform your home inspections in accordance with the Standards of Practice & Canons of Ethics of Ohio Licensed Home Inspectors.
James Crowton, Owner of Up Close Home Inspections
Ohio License Number: OHI.2021008381