Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1
    MaMa Mount's Avatar
    MaMa Mount Guest

    Default Can you support your family

    Survey question:

    Can you support your family on your income from doing inspections only or does your other significant other have to work to help out?
    What does your "other" do?

    Similar Threads:
    Member Benefits1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    1. Not always, depends on time of year, market conditions, etc. but I have other irons in the fire.
    2. Lawyer

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    1. Not always, depends on time of year, market conditions, etc. but I have other irons in the fire.
    2. Lawyer
    1. See above.
    2. Urban planner. Center for Applied Transect Studies

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Yes, 15 years and still alive


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    My wife is a school teacher and carries our benefits. If it was all on me, I'd never sleep at night.


  6. #6
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Live off my income, yes. Do all the things we want to do plus save for our retirement, no way. It's surprising how much needs to be saved so we have a good retirement. The great thing about it is that we don't have to pay taxes on that money so it looks like we make less to the IRS.


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    The great thing about it is that we don't have to pay taxes on that money so it looks like we make less to the IRS.

    Not for long...

    Best

    Ron


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Can you support your family??

    2000-2003: Pretty much yes. It's a job like every other I've ever had.
    2004-2006: Absolutely... steak and lobster dinner every night... life is good
    2007: Things are slowing down but there's still food in the fridge. I keep hearing of this 'housing crisis' thing but I'm still pretty busy.
    2008: Wow! There might be a problem in the works. Maybe the battery in my phone is just broken or worn out from all the use it had over the last few years.
    2009: Wow! Wow! Wow! - We're talking about a problem here!! Hopefully, 2008 is the worst of it. Some of 2009 is better, some is worse. What is an average month anyway? What can I count on longterm? 10 inspections in a month or 40? Is my competition still around? Do I spend money on marketing or food for my family? Is there such a thing as a normal market?

    Scary as it all sounds I actually feel lucky to be in a somewhat stable position during this period. My company's been around a long time and we generally work everyday but it's been as bad as I could have ever imagined during times throughout the last year. I just hope we've seen the bottom. Of course, we'll never know what the bottom is until we're well past it.


  9. #9
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    The news was that home bank repose are up 25% over last year. if thats the case then ^%(% is going to hit the fan next year...

    I my area north of San Francisco we see homes are selling but only cheap homes under 300K or less. anything over that and it is sitting on the market unless it real nice.

    If they pass this cap and trade bill thats will put gas back up like last years price per gal. along with other taxes. they say something like $ 3,000 per home per year. Ouch that will put a big stopper in the game.

    Im trying to expand my company in my area to get a better foot hold on the market in my area.

    Best

    Ron


  10. #10
    K Robertson's Avatar
    K Robertson Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    I my area north of San Francisco we see homes are selling but only cheap homes under 300K or less. anything over that and it is sitting on the market unless it real nice.
    Darn good thing I live in Texas! Otherwise I guess I'd be considered living in a shack!

    My wife works for a good company with good benefits which takes care of medical. I did a smart thing and paid off all the bills when business was good. Now we just have home loan and utilities. Her income pays that and I take 50% of my income and put it away for retirement and the rest is our play money. Last few months not much playing going on, but I can't complain. It could be worst. I could live in a $300K house and it be considered a "cheap house".


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    1) This is only my fourth year the business (though I've "inspected" properties for myself and other investors for 35 years), and as of this spring I'm finally, for the first time, making reasonable money.

    2008 had me a pretty discouraged though, I have to admit, now the phone is ringing regularly, I'm up late nights writing reports, and life is good.

    On the other hand I expected it would take to two to three years to really get the business going, so the way I see it the real estate crash put me about a year behind.

    In the meantime there are other productive things I can do, primarily working on our rental properties, when inspections are slow, though that's money we ae not paying somebody else which is not quite the same thing is money in your bank account, and I've other sources of income (rental income), so we are not totally dependent on earned income.

    2) My wife is a CPA and a mid-level manager at a major software company, she's well-paid, her job is as secure as such jobs can be in this economy, and her employment provides us with excellent (though expensive) health care coverage.

    However she's almost 63 and would like to cut back from her currently brutal work schedule at 65 - she can likely stay with the same company, but would be making less money, so it would be REALLY nice if I had this business well-established and I was reliably earning the 80K plus that I know some experienced inspectors in my area were pulling down even during the 2008 slowdown by the time she retires.

    HOWEVER, if I'd been attempting to support a family on my earnings as home inspector during my first years in the business... well, I wouldn't have been in the business for long, especially given my timing.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    The past couple of years we have depended on wife's salary. She has a good paying job that is related to the medical profession so it is fairly recession proof. She also provides the health insurance benifits for our family. Now that my business is building back up we are depending less on her income, but it is still important. You just never know when things will get really bad!

    During the good years (1999 -2005) we used her salary as "extra" income. We saved some and played with the rest. We payed off cars, payed for private school for the kids and other debts. This is how we were able to relocate to Tennessee and leave my established business behind in Mississippi.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Gas is at $ 3.29 in the bay area today. The slow down of last year was sent into a tail spin from hi Gas prices.

    Best

    Ron


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    I've no worries, the first time I married it was for money, the second time for love. Most guys get that backwards as do a more than a few women.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  15. #15
    Terry Sandmeier's Avatar
    Terry Sandmeier Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    I have multiple irons in the fire. 1. Home Inspections 2. Property caretaking 3. Big game guide. I started my HI business in Feb. 2008. I think my timing is a little off, in hind sight if one was to start a business in this field, it might not be in the beginning of 2008. Having said that I was forced to diversify my business to keep bills paid. I now pay most of the bills and the heath insurance for my wife and son, and we have another one on the way. My father and I have run an outfitting business for 25 years and if it wasnít for guiding it would have been dark and scary last winter. Now, I hold 25% of the market share in my area for HI and am looking for 50% at the end of this year. The home inspection business has not been easy money and has had a rocky road this last year. I do remain optimistic and I try harder every day to make it a more profitable business.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    My wife married me cause she thought I had money, I married her cause I thought she came from money. We've been fighting ever since.

    32 yrs. married this July.

    Seriously, NO worries here.

    rick

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 06-10-2009 at 03:48 PM.

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Work for myself. Pay for myself. No other income (wish there was)

    Benefits ??????? Whats that ?????? Retirement.....Oh my. Someday it will all be there. Had it "made" twice in life and now trying for the third and final. Things will stabilize over time and I can get back to where I was before the butt fell out of the world last August. Had to rethink where the business was coming from after all that happened.


  18. #18
    MaMa Mount's Avatar
    MaMa Mount Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    180 plus views yet only about 10 honest answers.


  19. #19
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Well you get what you pay for


    As with most parts of the country some are doing OK and others are not doing OK. Over all every one is down... Just look at the numbers for any sector of work...

    It is very funny to see the news on just about any Chanel or in print say things are not as bad as what was expected for this month.

    Is that not painting a Rosy picture or what?

    We have 9% plus unemployment across the country and its not that bad.

    The past 6 years we were at 4% and the country was in the toilet according to the press.

    I say hold on to your cash, plan smart. I don't think things are going to turn for the better for some time we will run OK for a time another 6 - 10 months and then things well hit home. if they pass this cap and trade bill that will put the breaks on things.

    Plan smart

    Best

    Ron




  20. #20
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Gary, I think you need some beers in you. Then your thoughts will start flowing.


  21. #21
    dave koloskee's Avatar
    dave koloskee Guest

    Smile Re: Can you support your family

    Yes, but...

    My wife has a state job with medical benefits and a steady income.

    After less than 5 yrs in this biz, but doing well, I do think that this would be a very difficult biz to be in to solely support a family and save for the future.

    I also work 60 - 70 hrs per week at this so in terms of income vs time I think you better really like this biz and being self-employed.


  22. #22
    chris bollin's Avatar
    chris bollin Guest

    Cool Re: Can you support your family

    I started my Home Inspection Business in 2008. It started out good but the Housing Market took a major nose dive in my area. The Realtor's I deal are downsizing like you would not believe. Some closed up. I do have other things going on that keep me busy. I am also a Class "C" Water Operator this helped me keep thinks going. As for the Home Inspection I may get a radon check now and then or a maintenance inspection but I could not keep food on the table with just doing Home Inspections. I am using this time to Network and expand my knowledge.


  23. #23
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    So far I have 3 home inspections, one radon test and two scheduled closings next week.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    It will be 20 years for me this year. My wife had a great job in CA before we moved to TN in 94. While she has had a couple jobs while in TN, she pretty much, just works for our company.

    Being a big Dave Ramsey fan, I'm all about not having debt. I have to say the last 16 months or so, have been tough, however, that's what savings are all about. We live way below our means, and have little or no debt.


  25. #25
    Bill Emelander's Avatar
    Bill Emelander Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Yes.
    No other income.

    Bill


  26. #26
    Danny Armstrong's Avatar
    Danny Armstrong Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    Yes.

    My wife does work as an instructional assistant at an elementery school and carries bennefits, that helps. She doesn't make much money though.

    My company is only 5 years old and still growing (only through referrals). I worked at inspecting part time for another national franchise for 10 years before starting my company. Even though it's slow, I can still hold on. There are guys here that have been long established that are still making the 6 figure mark for sure. I'm working on it!


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    HI work is a part time gig for me. That's all I ever wanted it to be. Could I survive on it alone? Considering I'm relatively new to this business (coming up on 2 years), it would be tough to make it on HI work alone. Granted, I'm taking an approach that will hopefully keep me in business for a long time. I'm not interested in making fast money in HI work.

    In addition to another full time job myself, my wife also works part time. Of coarse, she works in caring for the family at home too. I recognize that is hard work too. Sometimes we tend to take things for granted.


  28. #28

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    The question was a good one and the answers are very enlightening, if not a bit frightning. It would be a wonderful question to put out to all inspectors everywhere. What may also be interesting to find out is which inspectors "fall out" when things get tough. The one's who can't support a family or the one's that can?

    I am not sure what it all means but if you put 60 plus hours into a business and cannot get it to become a supporting income there may be a message there. It would also be interesting to see if there is a correlation between guys who have been in business for many years, (Jack Feldman - Jerry Peck) and guys who have only come in the last 5 or 6 years as to how well they do in supporting a family.

    I think there is a mind set that has developed. Us oldy timers looked at this as a growing profession. We began a fee structure years ago that provided us with profits commensurate with our risk and our value to the homebuyer. With so many newbies coming in as part timers and cutting fees to get work, our public image has eroded from being professionals to being tradespeople and the ability to earn a proper living has eroded as well. With this erosion we have allowed the realtwhores to take control of our lives and basically create a new "lackey" class of inspectors who kiss butt for crumbs.

    This is a business. If you cannot make the business model work for you in a profitable way then you need another hobby.

    Not only was I able to support my family very well, but all my inspectors and their families, and I am doing very well in retirement.


  29. #29
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Can you support your family

    I think the bib key is longevity. I have been in Texas for 5 years now and I am slowly getting a return from folks moving up or just moving from that starter home to a larger home. If one has been in for 5 years in an area compared to the 10 to 20 year man in that same area I say it is hands down that the longer term in a particular area is golden. Even though I came here as an inspector and had 10s of years in as an inspector it was literally starting over again. It has been a rough road to say the least.

    All those holes that get filled with past clients is priceless. It accounts from my busy, nothing, busy, nothing work load since the butt fell out of the world last August. I have had to completely restructure where my work was coming from and still now since the beginning of the year struggling. In saying that I remained fairly bust until the beginning of the year unlike some that were already getting devistated by the economy. January and February I at least survived and then March came out a little better (half of last year) April picked up a bit then died of then finished well, May was OK, busy nothing busy nothing, this month is not doing so great right now but I am sure it will pick up for the rest of the month.

    I talk to folks and their strategies and what works for some does not work for others. I talked to one man that swears by all the phone books and online phone listings and he says his phone rings off the wall. I tried the online yellow pages and practically never got a call. Who knows. Before the summer is out I am sure I will have it all back together again but what use to work for me stopped and I had to go in other directions.

    Word of advise. Don't put all your eggs in one basket even if that basket is full right now because times change. It happened to me. Going strong for last August back to the August before that and then Wham. Total change in incoming work. What I was doing no longer worked. I had to completely rethink where to go next for that work load.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •