Compiled by Michael Flagg, Times staff writer

Here's yet another real estate franchise, this one for house inspections. Roy Cox, a former senior vice president of ERA, a nationwide broker, started AmeriSpec Inc. in Orange recently. He says he hopes to sell 65 franchises by the end of the year.

Only about a fifth of the people who buy houses each year get them inspected first, Cox says, so there's a large, untapped market out there--if you can convince people that they need an inspection.

Cox, naturally, says they do. An inspection, costing up to $300, could save thousands of dollars, he says, by spotting hidden problems.

But with all the other incidental costs of buying a house, Cox realizes it may take some heavy-duty persuasion to convince home buyers that they should write yet another check: The company, he says, is looking for franchisees who already have some marketing skills.

Franchises cost $17,500, and AmeriSpec takes 7% of gross sales as a royalty and 3% of revenue for a national advertising fund.

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