ST. ALBANS CITY –– Roger Rixon describes home inspectors as “the CSI of the buying and selling industry.” They “look for the clues,” he says.
However, Roger’s style as a certified home inspector is to educate his clients about the property they’re buying or selling – not to just find fault in the home. And how does he do that?
With the word in blue that tops the Rixon Home Inspection Facebook page: “trust.”
“You don’t want to scare the clients,” Roger said on a hot July day, while at his Bank Street home in St. Albans, with his wife and business partner, Susan.
A St. Albans native, Roger launched Rixon Home Inspection LLC in 1997; it has always been a home-based business. The work he performs requires him to be on the road a lot, mostly within an hour radius of his home, and doesn’t necessitate an office.
Susan and Roger have great chemistry as business associates. She manages scheduling, bidding and phone calls. Roger handles inspections and his always-thorough reports. They work well together.
Susan has worked in office management since she graduated from college. She and Roger have been married for 23 years.
“She’s a little bit savvier at business than I,” Roger joked.
Prior to opening his business, Roger worked in a wide range of fields in the construction industry, from building homes to remodeling them. He admits that he was “a good carpenter, but not as good on the business side.”
Roger earned a degree from St. Michael’s College and continued his formal training for home inspections at a school in Wisconsin, where the climate and style of homes are similar to Vermont’s. Vermont has no state licensing for home inspectors, so Roger is affiliated with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which requires its members to perform continuing education and take a national exam.
Roger also belongs to the Vermont Association of Professional Home Inspectors, which has organized to “set the standards for home inspections in Vermont,” Roger said. Members of the organization testified on a bill introduced during the last legislation session that would create a state-licensing system.
Potential homebuyers make up 95 percent of Roger’s business, so his business is stronger in a buyer’s market. Winter is slower than warm-weather months, when more people tend to relocate.
He can also perform radon and water testing, but not offer remediation.
Roger is 56 and has no employees that could take over his business someday, so he simply plans to scale it back, as time passes. He and Susan like owning a business that gives them flexibility for their family.
“It’s been nice to see Roger enjoy that,” Susan said.