Photo of AHIT Graduate and Home Inspector Phil Stokke

AHIT Alumni Stories: Home Inspector Phil Stokke

By Published On: April 8th, 2024Categories: Home Inspection Career Guide0 Comments

Meet Phil Stokke, a Washington-based Certified Master Inspector and AHIT graduate. When life (and COVID) found him considering a new career four years ago, he chose home inspection and hasn’t looked back. Here’s how he got there.

From Home Inspected to Home Inspector

Phil’s passion for home inspection began in 2020 during an inspection of his own home.

Phil and his wife, Kate, had recently moved to Nine Mile Falls, Washington, and Phil was thinking about his next career move in a post-COVID world. When the couple purchased their home, they hired Dan Brower, the owner of Castle Home Inspection (where Phil is now a team member) to inspect it.

“I followed Dan around the entire time he was doing the inspection,” Phil laughed. “I thought it was the coolest thing ever to be able to inspect homes and to have the knowledge to point out what was wrong with them…and not have to fix it.”

The experience changed Phil’s career trajectory and his professional goals.

An Apprenticeship Leads to AHIT Training

Phil was so intrigued by the possibility of home inspection as a career that he decided to hit the ground running. Dan hired him as an apprentice, and Phil spent his days shadowing home inspections and learning every aspect of the business.

“It was a great way to get a taste of what working as a home inspector would ultimately look like,” Phil said. “I think it gave me an edge.”

About a month later, Phil was hooked, and he started working toward his Washington Home Inspector license. Dan, also an AHIT graduate, recommended AHIT home inspection training.

Phil’s AHIT Training Experience

Phil enrolled in a 14-day live classroom course with AHIT instructor Chris Kjeldsen.

“Chris taught us how to approach home inspections step by step,” Phil said. “Once you learn the process, you can strategically plan out every inspection. And if you follow the process with every home, you can’t fail.”

Another key part of the live course for Phil involved learning how to write home inspection reports.

“We didn’t just practice how to write them, we learned how to communicate findings to clients,” Phil said. “That’s really important in this field.”

“Working with Chris was great,” Phil added. “We learned so much. I think taking the live classroom course with an instructor was really the best option for me.”

Thriving as a Home Inspector

After passing the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE), Phil earned his Washington Home Inspector license and formally joined the Castle Home Inspection team.

These days, Phil – who is also an InterNACHI™ Certified Master Inspector (CMI) – easily does two inspections per day, and he rarely works weekends. He’s handled roughly 2,500 home inspections on properties ranging from starter homes to million-dollar ranches.

Phil’s favorite part of the job?

“I love helping buyers during the homebuying process,” he said. “It’s always rewarding, and even if you give them bad news, you’re still informing them of good things they need to know about so they can make better decisions.”

He also loves having the opportunity to visit different homes every day and getting a new challenge every day.

Photo of home inspector Phil Stokke inspection an electrical outlet

Among Phil’s future goals, he plans to become a Certified Building Code Specialist. He also wants to give back to his community.

Last August, about 240 homes were destroyed by wildfires in nearby town Medical Lake. Phil had inspected about 40 of them.

“It was heartbreaking,” he said.

He has since been in touch with many of the owners – his previous clients – and he’s planning to offer them free home inspections for their future homes.

A Fun Job Full of Work-Life Balance

“Home inspection is a fun job and it’s really perfect for me,” Phil adds. “It requires you to hone your craft and keep learning, and it’s very rewarding going from an AHIT-Certified Home Inspector to Certified Master Inspector, with more certifications to earn in the future.”

As for life outside of home inspection, Phil and Kate are growing homesteaders. They have six chickens, three dogs, a cat, and a plan to get Nigerian dwarf goats soon.

They’re also amateur storm chasers and enjoy taking road trips where they can watch the weather come alive. Phil dabbles in nature and wildfire photography, too. Some of his photos are displayed inside his local fire station.

This work-life balance is made possible by that spark he felt during a home inspection.

Find Passion & Purpose as an AHIT-Trained Home Inspector

A career in home inspection has it all – from developing your unique skillset to having the opportunity to help others, desk-free days, work-life balance, and more. AHIT home inspector training helps you get there. Learn your state license requirements and start your training today.

About the Author: Ashley Roe

Ashley Roe is a Content Specialist with AHIT and The CE Shop. She writes regularly about home inspection and appraisal. With a reporter's eye and a passion for learning, Ashley stays current on what's happening within each industry. Her goal is to create engaging, relevant, and useful content that both informs and inspires readers.

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