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  1. #1
    Ben Lindsay's Avatar
    Ben Lindsay Guest

    Default New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Hi all!

    I am a Construction Management graduate and have been in construction for over 15 years, and have been a Project Manager for a commercial construction company for the last 9 years running over $150 Million Dollars of New Construction and Renovations. While this currently provides for my young family very well...I need to work for myself. I have been researching HI for the last 6 months and would like to line up everything perfectly prior to making my move to a full time inspector in 2010 (I have to wait on my 2009 bonus). I would appreciate any insight (GOOD, BAD, & UGLY)...I look forward to talking with all of you.

    Respectfully,

    J. Benjamin Lindsay

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Mesa AZ
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    The good. In a good market you can do 8-10 inspection a week

    The bad. It will cost you $10-20,000 plus for start up, and it will take anywhere from 2 to 4 plus years to see a return on your investment.

    The ugly.. If the market tanks you may never get an inspection.

    The real ugly.. If you miss something you may be expected to pay for it.

    The real real ugly.. You can be sued for anything even if you did your job right.

    OBTW.. Beware of con artists that try to tell you can be an instantly certified inspector.
    The one that comes to mind will sell you an on-line instant certificiation for less than $300. with the hope of getting you for another
    $2-3000 before you fail.

    Last edited by Dan Harris; 09-13-2009 at 08:51 PM.
    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Ben,

    Right now, the market is down and many inspectors are dropping out of the business. I have seen a number from this board leave for other professions. My feeling is that this is a good time to move into inspection, or at least begin to set-up to move in. Right now, there is an excess of inspectors, but when the market recovers, inspectors will be needed.

    Since you are familiar with commercial construction, you might want to focus on commercial inspections. One positive thing would be that you could enjoy being one of a very few specialist inspectors. One negative might be that you would probably have to travel well out of your area to keep busy.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
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    Rockwall Texas
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    4,519

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Gunnar,

    My son the Realtor says not to look for a real turnaround for awhile. He thinks its going to be really slow next year all due to the way appraisals are coming in.

    He says many sellers are losing 30% or more on the value of their homes right now and those that are selling for one reason or the other is more than likely taking money to the title company to dump the house. Many sellers aren't going to take that kind of loss and just sit where they are for the time being.

    Property values are going to be rising significantly for awhile.

    Your absolutely right about someone going into the HI biz at the moment. The market is overflooded and many are bailing out. Those of us that have been in the business for awhile hopefully have some type of nest egg stored up or the better half has a job or means to support us.

    Rick


  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    BL: Unless the Ohio market is somehow, miraculously superior to mine - and it is not - you should rethink this move.

    Your construction "experience" notwithstanding, the HI business is completely different from the construction business. That is especially true if you were only involved in the management end of commercial construction. You will be starting from below zero because you will mistake your construction "experience" with the type of hands-on experience that can indeed be helpful. Helpful, but only marginally so.

    DH's estimate of $10k - $20k for start-up expenses may be on the low side, as may be his idea that you can actually see a real return on your investment within 2-4 years.

    As RH intimated, many of us who are seasoned professionals are having a hard go of it. One more newbie body taking up space and business will not be appreciated.

    And, that was the good news.


  6. #6
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    If you have a Job stay put. go to your boss and thank him first thing today.

    Thats (GOOD, BAD, & UGLY)...

    Deal with it... All the guys that have replied to your port have been around for some time. Not one of us would think of starting up a new HI. Service in this market...

    Best

    Ron


  7. #7
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Geeeeez, what happen to all those inspectors that use to brag they were doing 300 plus inspections per year?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lindsay View Post
    I would appreciate any insight (GOOD, BAD, & UGLY)...I look forward to talking with all of you.
    The UGLY ...

    You will need more than just your 2009 bonus ... you will want to have (need to have?), preferably in cash or other liquid assets, at least 3 years savings of what you are making now.

    Because you might not make any money for 3 years, especially in this market, and if you do not make it in 3 years, you will want to be able to cross back over the bridge into what you are doing now - so maintain that bridge.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Geeeeez, what happen to all those inspectors that use to brag they were doing 300 plus inspections per year?
    Thanks to old guys retiring, new guys bailing out, the state nailing unlicensed inspectors for $2,000 per inspection, repeat customers, and referrals from previous customers I'm still seeing 300 plus.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lindsay View Post
    Hi all!

    I am a Construction Management graduate and have been in construction for over 15 years, and have been a Project Manager for a commercial construction company for the last 9 years running over $150 Million Dollars of New Construction and Renovations. While this currently provides for my young family very well...I need to work for myself. I have been researching HI for the last 6 months and would like to line up everything perfectly prior to making my move to a full time inspector in 2010 (I have to wait on my 2009 bonus). I would appreciate any insight (GOOD, BAD, & UGLY)...I look forward to talking with all of you.

    Respectfully,

    J. Benjamin Lindsay
    Seriously

    Stay where you are for now.

    Will the business pick up again...sure. But the reality is that there are a lot of inspectors out there that are hanging in there waiting for the inspection business to pick back up again. The only way you being new to the business to pick up work will to hjold a grand opening sale for your services for months on end until you become known. That my friend is the good, the bad and the ugly.

    There are so many inspectors out there that are not only doing 200 dollar inspections in my area but are then ghiving 2, 3, 4 other services away with it.

    Giving your services away is not the way to make a living. These particular guys have other halves in life (wife etc) that do work and make a decent living. Instead of using this to keep business going and charge reasonable rates they want to maintain market share and low ball every other inspector out there by a hundred or so. It is a shameful practice. I know of 4 of those married folks that do not need to be in the low ball market where their wives work and can foot most if not all the bills. Why they are doing it????????????????????? Beats the hell out of me. Those are the folks that could hold their pricing and do a little less work and maintain dignity.

    There are two many folks wishing to get into another line of business such as home inspection. Don't.............You will be throwing money out the window in the hopes of chasing a dream of independents and financial prosperity................. It aint going to happen.

    While you are still doing what you are doing think about further education in a very well paying job wish vacation pay, sick days, medical coverage, retirement. You cannot make that kind of money right now or in the near future in home inspection that will give you all those goodies. In case you are not really thinking about what this paragraph started out with....think again....that bunch of goodies adds up to a serious amount of money. On top of that you want to have financial gain and live well .......................NOT. It is not going to happen for a long time to come. Think of another line of work or stay where you are.

    WATING FOR YOUR 2009 BONUS..............YOU WILL NEVER SEE A BONUS AGAIN FOR A VERY, VERY,LONG TIME TO COME....YEARS. IN THE MEAN TIME YOU WILL JUST BE TAKING AWAY FROM THOSE THAT ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW AND ARE HOLDING ON FOR THE MARKET TO PIC UP.


  11. #11
    Ben Lindsay's Avatar
    Ben Lindsay Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Thanks to all for the comments and the NO BS truth...I appreciate everything.

    Any thoughts on Part-Time - Weekend only types of inspections to slowly grow the business while keeping my Full Time job...I would have a tough time with this (b/c I am an all or nothing personality) but it sounds like it may be the recommended route...Thanks!


  12. #12
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Lindsay View Post
    Any thoughts on Part-Time - Weekend only types of inspections to slowly grow the business while keeping my Full Time job.
    That is how many start.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Ed Snedaker's Avatar
    Ed Snedaker Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Ben,

    You have found the right place to get straight information. Take the comments from the previous posters seriously. Most people with a good full-time position with benefits and bonuses are much better off in this market than almost any home inspector.

    This is my sure-fire way to success in the HI business in Columbus, OH:

    1. Get your wife a real estate license.
    2. Drive her hard to become one of the top sales people in central Ohio.
    3. Once that's done, assuming you are not divorced, then go into the HI business. She will have enough biz for you and have enough people who owe her to help keep you busy.
    4. Now you have all he easy money, lots of time off, vacations, expensive cars, and all that goes with the great fortune you will have found in business. Of course, if your wife is that successful, you'll forget about HI altogether.

    Seriously, you will find, in time, that I have described your competition. Most of the very successful HIs around here are connected. If you are not, then it will take you years to get established.


  14. #14
    Dan Popoff's Avatar
    Dan Popoff Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Trying to figure out all this new math. I got into this biz this past year. I came from the wdi side of insp so yes i knew several RE's (and several I wanted no part of).

    Bottom Line is if you want it go for it! It is America. I compete in a market full of 25 yr GC's blah blah blah who say the roof is falling blah blah, market tanked blah blah. I'm sick and tierd of all the nay sayers.

    If you want it! work for it! If you don't that's ok too. If you want to get in the bunker with the rest of the dido heads! really don't have a point on that one.

    Anyhow, best of luck! there is many around here who I learn from everyday.

    Dan

    Last edited by Dan Popoff; 09-16-2009 at 06:09 PM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    All the numbers are still not in but in North Carolina inspectors are required to take 12 hours CE a year. Had to have your paperwork in by early this week so can renew license by the last day of Sept.

    Approximately 350 inspectors have not turned in their CE paperwork so will not be renewing their license at the end of the month.

    The state waived the renewal fee this year so the only fee to renew is the cost of training. Commonly about $350. 1/4 to 1/3 of NC inspectors could not or did not perform 1 more inspection and sit through a day and a half of training.

    Attended home inspector assoication meeting this week. Most of the guys who were performing 8-10 inspections a week last year are down to 3-4 a week according to chatter around the table. Thats a loss of 1/2 to 2/3 of gross income.

    Why would you want to start a new career in a marketplace that is in a massive down turn and experienced workers are leaving in droves?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: New to Forum - Research & Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    All the numbers are still not in but in North Carolina inspectors are required to take 12 hours CE a year. Had to have your paperwork in by early this week so can renew license by the last day of Sept.

    Approximately 350 inspectors have not turned in their CE paperwork so will not be renewing their license at the end of the month.

    The state waived the renewal fee this year so the only fee to renew is the cost of training. Commonly about $350. 1/4 to 1/3 of NC inspectors could not or did not perform 1 more inspection and sit through a day and a half of training.

    Attended home inspector assoication meeting this week. Most of the guys who were performing 8-10 inspections a week last year are down to 3-4 a week according to chatter around the table. Thats a loss of 1/2 to 2/3 of gross income.

    Why would you want to start a new career in a marketplace that is in a massive down turn and experienced workers are leaving in droves?
    Some folks think that stating facts is being a nay sayer or the sky is falling kinda guy.

    when one wants an honest opinion about the home inspection field and then one gives it they are suddenly the omy my goodness guy, I should just shoot myself.

    Fact is that this time last year I was finishing my best of the five years I have been in Texas. Fact is most inspectors are down in vilume over the last year. Are there some folks out there still doing damn good? Sure.

    Me personally am down by a third to a half depending on which week you ask me about.

    To want to get into anything related to the real estate market right now or in the near future is just plain thinking in the wrong direction.

    Jus treceived the guys flyer that talks about his own stimulous package of all home inspection up to 3000 sq ft for 199.00. Termite inspection 50.00 plus tax (no tax necessary but some do it) Free crawls, free foundation analysis, free sprinklers etc etc etc maybe even IR. All for 199.00 up to 3000 sq ft. Now why would anyone want to have to deal with that that is not in this business right now.

    Don't you think that this guy that has been around for 6 or 7 years along with a half dozen other inspectors with similar pricing is going to get the work over someone that just started yesterday and has not performed an inspection on his own yet and they have done a couple thousand inspections in the area and know a hell of a lot of people.

    That is not nay saying and doom and gloom talk. That is common sense good advise to someone who wants the honest truth.

    So pointing to Mr Popoff (because he is the closest back up the posts) he must just be popping off and boasting because he has a little better contacts or cheap prices or just in a good market or a little of all three. Who knows it just may be his charming personality.

    To anyone wanting to or thinking about getting into thehome inspection business right now or in the future.....Why....It cost a lot of money to do so. I am sure there are plenty of other careers out there that cost less to get into that has a little better foundation (no pun intended) under it with some good benefits and maybe even retirement.


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