UP Radon Home Inspector

Veteran Home Inspector


Marquette is one of the largest communities in upper Michigan. It’s economy continues to grow due to a variety of anchor businesses and the presence of Northern Michigan University. I have found the residential areas to be diverse with high end subdivisions and dilapidated student rentals, and everything in between.

Marquette Michigan Homes

Homes in Marquette

I have a pretty good feel for the home market in Marquette as I’ve been inspecting homes here for many years. In short, I believe it does have  solid rental market demand, a vibrant business district and is, in some ways, a hub between the east and west ends of upper Michigan. Home prices are quite a bit higher than other parts of the UP, but prices seem to have head their value well against a struggling economy.

I don’t have specific statistics, but my general observation is that Marquette is a young demographic particularly in the downtown areas. There are some nice subdivisions with retirees, but it’s not high on my list as a place to retire.

Shopping though, is a different story. Marquette has a variety of stores not found elsewhere in the northern parts of the UP such as Menards, Lowe’s, Kohls, Yonkers, Gander Mountain and many others. It also boasts some great restaurant franchises such as Red Lobster, and Culvers. I enjoy stopping at the Great Harvest Bread Company, and make a point to pick up fresh bagels at the Third Street Bagel (Astiago and the works are my favorites) at least once a month.

If you’re looking to buy in Marquette and don’t know any Realtors, give me a call, I’ll be happy to help steer you in the right direction. I have worked with most of them and know which ones are the best. I also know who specializes in particular types of properties.

With regard to getting a home inspection, a couple suggestions: First, yes it’s a good idea. But, Michigan has no standards for home inspectors other than if they say they are certified, it must be through a legitimate association.

So, many home inspectors who are technically certified, have almost no field experience, and any tests they take to pass certification are on-line and open book…not very encouraging. Ideally, state licensed inspectors (if you can find one) should be hired because they have passed the National Exam, which is not open book and has a pretty low pass rate, even among licensed contractors.

I am one of those (state Licensed) inspectors as I passed the National Exam for state licensing in Wisconsin back in 1999 and have kept the license current ever since (i.e. 40 hours of continuing ed. every 2 years). I was one of the first inspectors from a pool of over 1500 in Wisconsin to have passed that exam (number 107), which had a pass rate at that time of 16%.

Wisconsin Licensed Home Inspector

I am also certified through several trade associations including InterNACHI and AHIT. Again, getting certified with one of these associations doesn’t by itself, mean too much. What is relevant is how much ongoing training the inspector has completed with them. In the case of InterNACHI, I was the first, of almost 15,000 home inspector members nationwide, to receive the Gerry Beaumont Excellence in Education award in 2014 for completing over 50 hours of training that year.

UP Home Inspector achieves education excellence AwardEd-Achievement-Award-2014-Fish

In the UP, most of the current Home inspectors are out of work contractors with minimal training and experience. I, on the other hand, have been inspecting homes full-time now for over 18 years. A couple of my competitors in Marquette have limited experience and training. One just bought out another guy and another was hired by a franchise downstate that is blanketing the UP and using guys with limited experience.  None of my competitors in Marquette are Licensed and some are not even certified. A good looking website backed by an office down state does not tell you the full story.

Do I have the best website? Probably not. But I was the first inspector in the entire UP to create reports on my computer with embedded digital pictures. We’ve come a long way since then.

It’s true that my brochures are in every real estate office. Generally, Realtors control who you choose by offering you a short list of several names. They may even go further by saying I’ve had good experience with this one, or, these two wouldn’t be my first choice. Don’t be manipulated. Some Realtors give my name out, many do not. Those who don’t, generally see me as too kit picky…or even worse, a deal killer. of course, when their son or daughter is buying a home, I am always the first one they call.


My videos are worth watching!

InterNACHI Certified Marquette Home InspectorIn case you missed it, I also offer Radon testing at a reduced rate as part of a home inspection. Marquette county does have higher average levels than any other county in upper Michigan. Specifically, Radon is a gas that enters homes from the ground below and is a by product of Uranium decay.

It has been linked to about 20,00 lung cancer deaths in the US each year. If the home you’re looking at has the lower level finished, I’d consider having it tested. If the levels come back high, you then have the opportunity (unless otherwise stated in the purchase agreement) to negotiate with the seller to have a mitigation system installed to lower the Radon levels (usually below 2 pico curries). A system generally runs under 2k, but can be an expensive unexpected expense. I have lots of information on my Radon page.

Radon in Marquette County Michigan Radon books Picts for FB 004 MarquettecountyRadon Levels

Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC
110 South Hecla Street
Laurium, MI 49913
Telephone: 906-231-0773