Seeking honest advise from veterans &/or new guys for a small female considering home inspections as a business

I’m 46, happily married w 2 grown sons. I LOVE home remodeling & have been rather involved w 5 personal remodels in the past 3 yrs. —- & did quiet nicely I think. (I can share pics later if wanted.?)

Anyway - we do a lot of the work ourselves. And what my hubby & I don’t do, I handle all of the sub-contractors & purchases, supervision, etc.

I am VERY interested in a career in home inspections & in getting my certification, but each time I try to do research or talk to people it seems I’m pushed toward home appraisal certification instead- or even a real estate agent. (I do not want to take people around looking at houses. I don’t like trying to SALE ANYTHING TO ANYONE at all?).

However - Appraisals seem like they would be ok… but i THINK that I would like the construction part of the home inspections more.

Summarizing - I struggle with heavy ladders since I’m less than 120lbs & not crazy about walking on roofs. Love animals- but not crazy about coming face to face w a rattler under the crawl space … etc.

So bottom line, I want brutal, honest advice the heavy, scary, dangerous, difficult parts that could be harder for a smaller female in this field - so that I’m not fooling myself about the daily grind.
I’ve followed around a couple of inspectors & enjoy the process. But they were for my homes that I had worked on or was planning on working on, so I was excited about each part. I just want to hear the good/bad - the issues with size/strength—- a
And if anyone has done both inspections vs appraisals - would LOVE to hear your comparisons!!

Thank you for the advice. I’m seriously ready to make this leap into one of these related fields because I LOVE this stuff.
I may be old, but I’m excited to do something I’m passionate about again. I haven’t had that since I taught freshman at a college in the south until we had to move. Then remodeling & redecorating became my new passions. And I’ve been told I’m damn good at it. So it’s time to take a leap of faith into this new field.
All 3 courses are offered this month- inspections, appraisals, &/or real estate.
And I’m going to take one or 2 of them if possible. I’m looking for experiences you guys can share so I can make a better informed decision.

Thank you for any info/advice


Tara; I don’t know that there’s much advice to be had. Transitioning from the military to anything in real estate is a culture shock and it might be best to take on a business course or two before choosing your path. I work as both a GC and home inspector in three states and know/rely on some female associates to get the job done. It hasn’t been easy for them, but then again, most success doesn’t come easy to anyone.The things they seemed to have in common was a supportive, knowledgeable mentor, a positive attitude, and tenacity. Good luck!

Hi Tara:
Just a thought.
You say you hate selling anything to anyone. If you decide to get started with a home inspection career you will undoubtedly need to SELL your services to potential clients and others who may want to recommend you to their friends or clients.
Hope this helps

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I’ve had several appraisers come to homes I’m inspecting. My observations have been that they don’t get dirty, never seen one go in a crawl space or attic or on a roof. They are generally on site for 15 mins or less and charge more money than I can.

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Physical size has little to do with performing a good job as an Inspector. Extending ladders are available to help with ladder issues. You would need to work on your fear of climbing roofs but also use prudence on what roofs are safe to climb in the first place. I do not see any impediments to you attempting to enter this profession.

As for the Appraiser route I was going to do that originally long ago and am glad it did not work out. I would not be an appraiser now what with all the BS they have to deal with.

I agree with Manny. It is also my opinion that depending on the area you serve, your ‘small size’ may actually be a desirable ‘benefit’, ie. accessing Attics and Crawlspaces!

BS? HorseS? :thinking:

Like JJ, I agree with this part of Manny’s post.

You will need to practice your fears beforehand and there used to be E&O and Genera Liability insurance per inspection if you just want to try it out for a while.

Many clients prefer, In realty, a female. Maybe it is the same with home inspections.

The very best to you!

Ooops! :blush:

I’s stoked to hear that there aren’t any specific (recurring) duties which require a lot of strength/size. I’m encouraged that you guys don’t see those as impediments to the job.

I understand selling myself & my services would be imperative. I have a bachelor’s degree in public relations & a master’s degree in administration, so I don’t think those aspects would be difficult. (I just don’t like sells & pitches, so hoping that having a service which people need will help me avoid that part if I get my name/info/services & a good reputation out that I won’t have to convince people to “buy” something. But I understand your point :slight_smile:

I’ve been enjoying this real estate development & the remodel process more than I ever imagined I could. I am very excited about learning more about these areas.

Hoping my enthusiasm will translate into the best service potential clients could want.

It’s daunting to start a new career- no matter one’s age, but this would be my first real change in my adult life.

Thank you guys for the help & info.

I’m taking it all in


Not I’s

Good grief

You can do it…you go girl! :smile:

Tara -

I’m 5’2”. I believe my height is actually beneficial. I don’t hit my head on a lot of things. :).

You got this girl.


Mr. Kage -

Is there a way I may get a hold of you directly for some mentorhsip?

Lani Cale-Jones

Love to hear & see your lovely face :slight_smile:
I’m 4’11, so if don’t hit ur head, I probably won’t hit mine


Thank you for the encouragement :blush:

I have a RE license, and do something similar to the appraisal process CMA, though not as involved.

I do not think your size and strength for inspection is a major concern. There are light ladders, but they are problematic because the wind can blow them over, had that happen twice LOL switched to a heavy ladder.

You will have to get over your fear of heights. You can choose not to inspect crawlspaces, something I have considered many times. Being female would likely be neutral, or a plus, as a lot of Realtors are female. You are not too old, in fact a bit youngish, for inspecting. There are a lot of retired inspectors here, a fair amount due physical ailments / age, so as you get older realize your smaller frame becomes more of a limitation.

Appraisers here require a mentorship, 2 years I believe. They do not want inexperienced persons writing up appraisals for good reasons. The same applies to inspectors, but alas, this is InterNACHI so they promote the idea of instant inspector. A really good inspector has decades of practical, hands on experience or they supplement their knowledge base in an obsessive way. Online courses really don’t do it. Of course, there are always exceptions like if you are doing newish tract homes. Anyone can inspect those.

If you have an in for an apprenticeship, I would go for it, you will have a longer physical career. I have never seen one use a ladder, or go in a crawlspace.

For inspecting, check out different ladder types, like Little Giant - it has wheels to make it easier to carry. I use the Extend N Climb, they have a lighter version that should work well for interior attic access. Drones can make up for crawl and roof areas. See if you can make something work for you.

I prefer onsite inspecting to CMAs, but throw in the report writing and CMAs probably edge out.

Lani Cale-Jones,
I sent you a message. You can find it by clicking on your face in the top right corner of this page and then click on the envelope symbol.

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Do you mean I should find an apprenticeship for appraisals? or for inspections? - or both?
& any suggestions or info on finding apprenticeships?
Is it just calling appraisers or lending companies & asking?

I know this is outside of the inspection wheelhouse… I can google it :slight_smile:

Hi Tara, It might be state specific. In New Mexico you would have to have someone take you on to be an appraiser. A lot of people do not want competition. Calling them might work, the people I have seen get in were filling in for someone as they were nearing retirement. Not sure about elsewhere.

I believe there is home inspector licensing in Tennessee, do not know what is required to attain that.