Onsite Inspections on the Rise for State-Certified Installers

Do you run when you hear "certification"? Learn how being state-certified pays off big for this North Carolina installer.
Onsite Inspections on the Rise for State-Certified Installers
Nick (left) and Nathan Ward operate the family company started 40 years ago by their father and uncle, Jimmie and Ray Ward. The Wards have expanded their menu of services over the years to satisfy the needs of their customers around Greensboro, N.C. Vacuum service is one area of expansion, as they run two pumping trucks to empty tanks before repairing or replacing septic systems, as well as provide periodic maintenance for their customers. (Photo by Al Drago)

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Look at the website for Ward Brothers LLC, in Greensboro, N.C., and you will see a label touting the company as state-certified for real estate inspections. This was not a decision made quickly or lightly by the Ward brothers. 

“For a long time I ran away from that certification,” says co-owner Nick Ward. There was a low demand for the service and he feared complications should an unhappy homebuyer decide to sue. “It’s hard to inspect a system and tell somebody they’re not going to have any trouble with it because one person may use 300 gallons a day and another 900 gallons.” 

Ward has seen foreclosed homes with systems that were dry for six months to two years. Sign off on one of those as an inspector and buyers may assume they will have no problems for the next 15 or 20 years, and then come after you if something does go wrong, he says. 

A spate of foreclosures during the down economy drove increased inspection business and the state’s requirement for certified inspectors. Mostly it was the banks, Ward says. They were unwilling to create a mortgage for a home where the septic system had an uncertain status, and they demanded inspections during the foreclosure process. From one or two inquiries a year, Ward Brothers has gone to one or two inspections per week. 

One area investment company specializing in flipping properties calls Ward with three or four a month. Nathan’s wife, Morgan, works part time as a real estate agent, and her knowledge of that industry has helped the company a great deal, Ward says. 

Watch the Ward Brothers crew in action:


Want to learn more? Check out a full profile on Ward Brothers.


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