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5 Things to Ask During Your Home Inspection: An Interview with Kyle Nunnallee of Nunnalee Inspections

By Kyle Nunnalee

Tell us a litle bit about your company and the services you offer.

Nunnallee Inspections has been in operation for 13 years and has grown to five full-time inspectors with plans to add a couple more over the next year. Starting to do inspections felt like a normal progression from the construction industry, which I had been involved in since 1988.

Along with residential and commercial inspections we offer termite inspections, septic inspections, pool and hot tub inspections, sprinkler system inspections, pre-listing inspections, Energy Saving Consultations and Inspections, one year warranty inspections and Austin Energy Audit inspections.

Is it important for a home inspector to be licensed? Can you briefly explain why or why not?

Yes, by all means. Texas home inspectors are regulated and licensed through the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). The rules Texas inspectors are required to follow are defined in the: TREC "Standards of Practice" and the "Texas Occupational Code". The "Standards of Practice" establishes a threshold and defines what "is and "is not" required during a home inspection. The "Texas Occupational Code" defines the laws and ethical standards we are required to uphold as working professionals. These laws and ethical standards define not only how we engage the consumer but also how we engage other professionals.

These rules protect both the consumer and the service provider. It doesn't happen often but there have been times I was unable to resolve a disagreement or misunderstanding to the satisfaction of the client. It is in these situations specifically, we rely on the "SOP" to help determine outcome. If you are using a non-licensed inspector, there is no guarantee that the inspection will cover the multitude of items on the checklist, and there is no guarantee to the experience and integrity of the inspector. TREC licensing ensures your inspector works to the high standard of TREC and that al licensed inspectors are using the same parameters and guidelines for inspections ? even playing field, if you will.

Is there anything that homeowners don't ask you about that you wish they would?

The questions a homeowner or buyer should be asking their inspector will vary greatly and will typically be contingent on an individual's level of understanding or experience with maintaining a home. It has been my experience; one of the most important factors in a home inspection is "Expectation". What is your expectation of this home, what is your expectation of the home inspection service?

The truth is, many home buyers are not well versed in caring for a home. This may be their first home and are not really sure what questions to ask. It is under these circumstances; I will answer questions they need to know but don't know to ask, if that makes sense. Our inspectors will help the client to understand what to expect with respect to maintenance, mechanical failure, who to call, etc.

What are the types of questions that a potential home buyer should ask to follow-up on any defects you find?

This too, will depend of the level of experience an individual has. As stated in every report and the "Standards of Practice" it is the buyer's responsibility to consult a professional for further evaluation on the component or area in question. The client will typically go over their report with their agent. Every transaction is its own entity and based on price or numerous other reasons, a client and their agent will ask for al, some or just a few items to be repaired.

If it is necessary, the question to ask is for a reputable source; Plumber, carpenter, engineer, painter, roofing, foundation, etc. There are hundreds to choose from and as in any profession, not all are equal. The professional relationships I have developed over many years in construction, three decades to be exact, is a great asset to our clients. It gives me the ability to refer our clients to a professional whom I know will provide the experience, knowledge and professionalism I to attempt to uphold. A referral from a trusted resource can be invaluable.

Do you have a few tips for anything that people should not ask their home inspector?

No. The more you ask the better. If you ask me a question I cannot answer, I will tell you so and why. I guess the biggest question asked of the inspectors that we can't honestly answer is "How long will my a/c (or roof or water heater, etc.) last? We do not have a crystal ball and we can't realistically guess. When I am asked this question, I will sometimes say: "I'll answer that question IF, you can tell me the next time I can expect to have a flat tire". Kind of silly isn't it? I know it's ridiculous and is typically followed with a laugh but the analogy is accurate. ASK, ASK, ASK.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The majority of our inspection bookings come via the phone, 512-415-5474. We also have a feature on our website, www.nunnalleeinspections.net, which allows a client or realtor to request an inspection. This doesn't officially put it on a calendar but sends us a notice that an inspection is needed and we call directly when we receive it. We have several inspectors for both residential and commercial inspections. We schedule at 9:0am and 1:30pm and up to two inspections per inspector per day. We strive to accommodate the inspection requests and provide professional and quality inspections to all our customers.

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About The Author

Kyle Nunnalee is the founder, owner and lead inspector of Nunnallee Inspections. He...

Phone: 512-415-5474

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