Mortgage field inspectors play an essential role in the mortgage services industry. And for people who want to be their own boss and start building a new income stream, it can be a smart career move that doesn’t require a lot of specialized training or equipment.
Interested in becoming a mortgage field inspector? Here’s what you need to know about the responsibilities of inspectors in evaluating and protecting properties, why the role of a field inspector matters and how you can become one.
What does a mortgage field inspector do?
Field inspectors are hired by mortgage lenders, insurance agencies and banks to inspect homes, verify property condition and ensure any damage is properly repaired. While there are several inspection types, there are three basic circumstances when a field inspector is called in to conduct an inspection of a property.
1. If the homeowner has stopped paying their mortgage. In this situation, the mortgage company is required to send an inspector to the property to take photos, determine if the property is vacant or occupied, and evaluate the property’s overall condition. This is typically referred to as an occupancy inspection or verification.
2. If a disaster has occurred. Referred to as a disaster inspection, a mortgage company will want to get eyes on their properties to check for damages if something like a hurricane or fire has occurred.
3. If a property has been damaged. If a tree falls on a house, for example, repairs will obviously be required. But before the insurance company is allowed to release the money for the repairs, the mortgage company will request a field inspection to confirm the damage that has occurred and verify that the collateral is actually being repaired. This is known as an insurance loss draft inspection.
The inspection process involves taking photos of the property, reporting on its occupancy status, noting any issues or damages, and ensuring that all your work is completed on time and as planned.
Why does the work of mortgage field inspectors matter?
The role of a mortgage field inspector is important to both the mortgage lender and to their communities. When mortgage companies take over a property, they want to preserve and maintain it, to protect both the value of their investment and the value of other neighborhood properties. Field inspectors truly make a difference. They play a crucial role in helping preserve and maintain individual properties and protect neighborhoods from blight.
How can you become a mortgage field inspector?
Becoming a mortgage field inspector doesn’t require a college, high school diploma or GED, but you’ll most likely need to complete some education to understand the roles and responsibilities of an inspector. Inspectors work as self-employed independent (1099) contractors, but the companies you work with will typically refer you to resources to get the education you need to complete your inspections as well as provide an orientation to get you up and running on the details and requirements of working with them and their clients.
Most field inspectors work with home inspection or mortgage service companies that are contracted with banks and insurance companies. Some inspectors have enough work to make it their full-time job, but many view their inspection work as a part-time add-on to other contract or part-time work. The ease in finding work as a field inspector will depend on the demand for inspections in your local area as well as the number of other qualified contract inspectors already working in your community.
To become a mortgage field inspector, you’ll also need a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to complete your inspections, as well as a smartphone/camera, computer and printer to be able to document and report on your work. Most companies also require a background check.
Lastly, it helps to be self-driven and entrepreneurial because as a mortgage field inspector, you are responsible for managing your own time and routes.
Start your career as a mortgage field inspector
Mortgage field inspectors are needed in various locations across the U.S. If you’re ready to start a new side business and add to your income, consider becoming an inspector with GIS Field Services. GIS is the fastest-paying inspection company, with a well-staffed and highly trained back office to provide you with the support you need to thrive, including a dedicated inspection manager.