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Questions from a Programmer...


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Hello All,

I've been lurking on this site for a while, but I finally signed up to speak with everyone. I have been programming for a decade or so, and making inspections software for the past several years. I used to write HUD inspection software and it was relatively easy because HUD says this is what needs to be checked, this is the statuses, etc, etc.

I'm working for myself now and I'm thinking of taking when I know about HUD inspections and moving into Home Inspections.

I wonder if someone could help me understand what I would need to break into the market. I've been downloading and evaluating software from tons of sites, but they are all so different. Some are truly terrible. I don't mind having so many competitors when I am sure I can create a better product, but I don't know the market.

What makes good inspections software? What kind of reports need to be produced? How many people out there use handhelds?

I'm looking for some feedback from users like Kurt, Scottpat, or Admin who seem to have hundreds of really informed posts. Of course I would love to hear what everyone else thinks too.

Thanks everyone!

- Russ

russryba@gmail.com

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Originally posted by RussRyba

Hello All,

I've been lurking on this site for a while, but I finally signed up to speak with everyone. I have been programming for a decade or so, and making inspections software for the past several years. I used to write HUD inspection software and it was relatively easy because HUD says this is what needs to be checked, this is the statuses, etc, etc.

I'm working for myself now and I'm thinking of taking when I know about HUD inspections and moving into Home Inspections.

Did you work on the PASS system for REAC?

If so, we can talk about what *not* to do.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by RussRyba

Hello All,

I've been lurking on this site for a while, but I finally signed up to speak with everyone. I have been programming for a decade or so, and making inspections software for the past several years. I used to write HUD inspection software and it was relatively easy because HUD says this is what needs to be checked, this is the statuses, etc, etc.

I'm working for myself now and I'm thinking of taking when I know about HUD inspections and moving into Home Inspections.

Did you work on the PASS system for REAC?

If so, we can talk about what *not* to do.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

OMG no don't blame that on me. I wrote software for housing authorities to use to comply with government regulations like PASS and UPCS that REAC produced. So I had to deal with and submit data to their silly system, but had no part in how it was created.

I mostly worked on Section 8 HUD-52580 report builders. There were two major schools of thought on how to do the inspections. Exception based or "complete" inspections.

Section 8 our first product did an exception based inspection. Everything is assumed working unless you create an issue. Issues could be tracked to a work order system, tenant charges, landlord charges, etc. I'm assuming this is way more then Home inspectors would need.

The next product we had was for UPCS so HA's could check if they complied with UPCS regs since it's sort of a meta-inspection with outside inspectors rating the Housing Authority and reporting them to HUD.

That one was decided to use a checklist and force inspectors to say Pass/Fail/NA for every possible thing that could be inspected.

The first thing we had to do was add a "autopass all" feature. :o)

To sum it up I am familiar with the regulations, but only from trying to understand and help others comply with them.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by RussRyba

Hello All,

I've been lurking on this site for a while, but I finally signed up to speak with everyone. I have been programming for a decade or so, and making inspections software for the past several years. I used to write HUD inspection software and it was relatively easy because HUD says this is what needs to be checked, this is the statuses, etc, etc.

I'm working for myself now and I'm thinking of taking when I know about HUD inspections and moving into Home Inspections.

Did you work on the PASS system for REAC?

If so, we can talk about what *not* to do.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Sorry for that last reply. I forgot my objective. Lets hear about the PASS system. What did you hate about it?

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Originally posted by RussRyba

Sorry for that last reply. I forgot my objective. Lets hear about the PASS system. What did you hate about it?

I didn't say I hated it. It's just that, if that was the sort of thing you'd been working on, I was going to warn you that a system like that isn't well suited to what we do.

The PASS system's biggest failing was that it was very, very slow. With several inspections in the database, the thing would get so slow that it took 5-10 seconds for a check mark to appear after you'd entered it. Perhaps they've improved that aspect of it in recent years.

Also, the software was designed to collect information in such a way that thousands of different properties could be compared with each other in a rational way. That kind of generality isn't neccessary or desirable in a home inspection.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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