Nicole Comer loves performing home inspections. She sees everyday as an adventure in a jungle of homes. Her job is to explore each house and discover what each and every buyer wants to know about the condition of a house before purchasing it.
Left and Right: Nicole is one of those rare individuals with talent coming from both the right and left side of her brain. She is good in art and good at math, winning art scholarships but also excelling in calculations. That probably explains why she started her professional life as an architect.
By Design: Nicole was a professional architect for more than 13 years, designing new residential homes and home remodels. During a remodel, she kept her designs in tune with the original style and era of the home. In fact, Nicole loves working with older homes and working with all the character they have.
Seeking Adventure: But, Nicole discovered she wasn’t well suited for a desk job. She desired more activity and was insatiably curious. She does enjoy designing, but also loves being out on the job site, getting her hands dirty, watching the home come to life. Then one day she was at happy hour with a friend, whose husband did home inspections on he side. “A light bulb went on,” she says,”and I knew what I wanted to do.”
Inspecting is Fun: I think she got it right! Not only does Nicole enjoy the flexibility and not needing to sit a desk the entire day, she also loves the variety of her work and meeting new people. No two houses are the same, and no two inspections are the same. She’s also great with people. I think she’s got the perfect warm and calm demeanor for working with buyers in what can be a stressful experience.
Out In The Jungle: Almost with a sense of excitement, Nicole retells the descent into a very tight crawl space under one house. She recalls wondering what she would encounter down there – critters, insects, toxins – and being slightly concerned she might not get out. She says there’s a creepiness to being in such a compact space. However, I sense she also partially thrives on the adventure.
The Inspection: By law, Nicole must inspect certain systems in every home, such as plumbing, electrical, roof, and building envelope, etc. Her clients get a thorough report back the same day as the inspection. She advises, “Don’t freak out. There will be things wrong with every house! I’ve never done a perfect inspection and I probably never will. Things that I find that need repair can (hopefully/potentially) be used to the buyer’s advantage in negotiations.”
Women Adventurers: I also asked Nicole what it’s like being a woman home inspector. She smiled, and said she’s made an effort to get to know the other women inspectors in town. Though small in number, Nicole believes women make great home inspectors because they are more detail oriented and can relate well with the buyers. Nicole also believes in supporting other women who own their own businesses. She says, “women are good at supporting each other.”
Just Right: Nicole grew up in South Dakota and Montana. She visited Eugene and shopped in Portland when in junior and senior high school, and loved it out here. She thinks Portland is just the right size – not too big and not too small. Plus, she loves the culture here. She believes Portlanders are active, social and just more aware. In her free time, she enjoys what Portland has to offer. She’s an avid Timbers fan. She loves trail running in Forest Park, Mt. Tabor and in The Gorge.
You can learn more a about Nicole and Home Gnome Inspections at the links below:
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/
You can also contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 503-913-1281.
Feature image source: Home Gnome Inspections