How did most of you guys start out?

Long time lurker, First time post.

I was just curious to see how most of you started out in the home inspection business? I know a majority of you had prior construction history. I myself am starting off fresh…with basically no knowledge in the field. I am self driven and have been given an excellent opportunity to join a good friend of mine that’s already a founder and inspector of his personal home inspection business. Give it to me bluntly :wink:

Get out while you can. Find another interest.

With no background in construction at all you are going to have many issues. Not to be mean but you will be lacking the basic background and knowledge that is needed as even the bare minimal to even begin the long journey of continuing knowledge needed to be a good home inspector.
First you will need to get licensed which will take time in some approved training school or program, then the state licensing fees, not to mention the bare minimal start up costs like tools, insurance, marketing material…yada yada yada. If you are in a decent area and are good at marketing yourself then after all the stuff I mentioned first, this can be a good profession, but it is no free ride if thats what you have been told.:cool:

3 Years high expenses Little income … 90% failure rate

A very good read

I started out as a general contractor. The lender who was borrowing me the money on my houses, stop by every house I completed. He asked me to perform some Rural Development inspections. One lender told another. Took a few years until I went full time inspecting.

Sad but true.

I was a real estate broker for Arvida, After pulling my hair out with horrible inspectors, awful reports and general incompetence, I developed a report based on digital photography ( hot stuff back then) and created an inspection company on a whim.

Having a background in real estate and a mortgage license as well as having a remodeling company and being a private real estate investor (purchasing homes, renovating, renting and then selling after the obligatory 2 years) were paramount to my success.

After all was said and done I kept the home inspection company and quit remodeling and repairs as well as real estate.

very slowly :wink:

You don’t need to be an ex-drywall hanger to be a good inspector, but you need to be knowledgeable and have decent people skills to do well. Study the profession of being an inspector and gain practical experience with the most experienced, knowledgeable inspector you can find. No class or course is going to teach what you will learn from an experienced inspector in a real world environment.

Like most people who undertake new business ventures, most new inspection companies will fail.

When I first went into the inspection business, I moved about 300 miles to a town outside of Philadelphia where I had never been. I started my inspection business from one of those self-storage units with only a battery-powered camping lantern and a cell phone. My first inspection call was only about 10 miles away, but having been in town only a week or so, I didn’t where it was and so turned it down thinking it was too far away. I then looked it up on a map and kicked myself. My next investment was a wall map of the surrounding area. Anyway, within 90 days of starting up, I had huge office space, a full-time administrator and 4 inspectors. I took home (for just myself) over $1,000 a day, every day, except for Christmas for 5.5 years. I fed my family of 4 on that income and still managed to save nearly a million dollars in those 5.5 years. I would have made more but I was competing head-to-head with member Joe Hagarty. Looking back on it, he and I should have merged. I then sold the company to my employees and carried the note for them for another 5 years at zero interest. It was a nice run.


I had experience in Electronics. I was a patriot Missile Engineer for the military and then with a company called Raytheon.

I had ZERO construction knowledge. I did a year internship, studied, went to an inspection school, listened to the experienced people and NEVER thought I knew it all. I think if your a business man and good at marketing, you will smoke people who are great inspectors and poor businessmen and poor at marketing.

Me and Nick are very similar…except for the 90 day part, and the big office part, and the 5 employee part and the millions dollar part…but besides those things our stories are almost identical! :slight_smile:

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I an a facade contractor. As so built and repaired all my life.
I got into home inspection after many face to face experiences with deceitful RE agents , insurance agents, and enginrees that thought they ether knew better or tried to pull one over on me.
I have gone behind at least 20 HI’s in the past year and caught many BIG problems that have cost buyers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I am amazed.
RE agents. They would call me to give them a estimate on there homes they were selling, never giving me there names but identifying themselves as agents and would meet me there.
Once there I saw through the scam. They Never did get a free estimate.
Insurance agents would not cover lighting strikes on chimneys or other naturally caused defects for my clients and spend 10 times more effort in trying to prove me wrong.
I caught them all in lies.
They never did pay up, but the client would stop and pay out of there own pocket.
I told them before anything happens to change insurers after contract was up. They did.
Seeing all the deception I had to come in and try to do something to make it better and here I am.
I hope I can help.

In construction for all my life, I had a wife in Real Estate and watched several inspections and thought it looked like something I wanted to get into. There are a couple very good inspectors in my area that are nearing retirement age, a couple franchise inspectors that lack building knowledge and common sense, then several with similar back grounds as myself. I am a part timer and Inspecting may never become full time with me. It really depends on the market and the competition. The construction company I do work for does a fair amount of traveling and if it came down to me taking a lay off or being forced to travel several hours from home then I would most likely take the leap to full time. I managed almost 100 inspections this year (my first full year) with very little time or money spent on marketing. I would guess next year or the following year, I may have the opportunity to make the decision . Time will tell.

I was a freelance gynecologist with no construction experience. :mrgreen:

By the sounds of it you were basically homeless living in a storage unit for cheep rent with no transportation. And three months later you where living high on the hog. Your either BS-ing Or know something the rest of us don’t. I believe you know something. So share with us the secrets to your success. Spell it out for us. There had to be specific things you did and didn’t do.

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I started working general construction, took the HAZWOPER (recommended, great start on safety), and had a baby. After the baby, I was more health conscious, but still rented cheap places. I found lead houses without disclosure forms, mold, asbestos, and clandestine filled properties. I would suggest these courses to everyone that is health conscious; even if you are not comfortable enough to pursue an inspector career.

I took the 40 hr hazwoper and enjoyed the class very much.

Somehow I don’t believe you were a gynecologist. I think you probably were a proctologist because we all know you are still full of it.

is it true that people that are health conscious tend to be sick way more than those that arent? power of suggestion perhaps?

I call them health nuts. They are only healthy from the neck down.