How a family-owned Mundelein home inspection company navigates housing market roller coaster

The housing market is like a never-ending roller coaster, going up and down at various speeds, often with little to no warning of what’s ahead.

But the wild ride doesn’t seem to bother Mundelein resident Sal Catanese, a former high school teacher who took the entrepreneurial leap in 1995 to open a home inspection business — an operation largely dependent on the ebbs and flows of the real estate marketplace.

Catanese embraces the unpredictable nature of the housing sector with a strategy of constant preparedness.

“We have seen a lot over the years,” Catanese said. “The 2008 crash, the pandemic and now the interest rates. When things are slow, we are always asking ourselves where we will be when we come out of this. We invest in new equipment, new training and new marketing because we know it’s always going to turn around and we are going to be ready.”

The strategy is working. By always being prepared for what’s around the corner, Sal and his two sons, Paul and Dave, have grown into one of the largest comprehensive home inspection/consulting companies in Illinois, serving Realtors, attorneys and their clients in the home-buying process.

Today, Mundelein-based Legacy Inspection Group Inc. employs almost 30 inspectors who cover more than 120 miles of territory throughout the Chicago area. The company has conducted more than 31,200 inspections.

Right steps at right time

After an initial growth period in the late 1990s, Catanese realized it was time to bring someone else on board.

In 2001, his eldest son, Paul, jumped at the chance to help build the family business. A year later, Sal’s younger son, Dave, joined to help market and grow Legacy’s new training school, which has graduated more than 1,100 licensed home inspectors. An additional 2,000 inspectors have gone through Legacy’s continuing education programs.

In 2016, the Catanese family looked in the mirror to decide if what they had “was a job or a business.” They hired a branding firm, created marketing strategies and added additional infrastructure to the company.

Company culture and organization are the backbone of Legacy Inspection Group.

“We have always operated the company on three key pillars — thorough, professional and efficient,” Sal Catanese said. “This helps everyone stay centered on what matters most to the Realtors and buyers that we serve.”

While running a family business can be stressful, the Catanese family has found the recipe for success through clear and defined roles.

Dave focuses on overall operations, Paul on growth and Sal on services. Everyone knows their roles and collaborates on a collective objective of growth and success not just for themselves, but the inspectors and home office team members they employ.

As home buyers start to come off the sidelines with lowering interest rates, Catanese and the Legacy Inspection Group team are armed and ready. And they will be ready for what comes after the next inevitable “housing market crisis.”

“We’re Legacy. We will always be here,” Catanese said.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.