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What to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector: An Interview with Greg House of House Inspection Services

By Greg House

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

I am the owner of House Inspection Services, and have been a licensed Professional Home Inspector since 2008. In addition, my Structural Pest Control Certified Applicator license was completed in 2009. House Inspection Services offers property inspection reports for residential properties in Texas. Inspection services include the State of Texas general home inspection, WDI (termite) reports, sprinkler inspections, pool inspections, and pier & beam foundation inspections. I also offer condition inspection reports for commercial properties.

What are the qualifications that home inspectors in Texas are required to have?

Texas inspectors are licensed under the Texas Real Estate Commission, and have set education requirements in place. A Professional Inspector must complete over 440 hours of education before being qualified to take the State Exam. Then they must pass the exam to even begin working as an Inspector. In addition, Inspectors are required to take a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education every year.

Are there any additional qualifications that home buyers/sellers should look for in a potential home inspector?

Additional qualifications may include the Structural Pest Control licensing to perform the WDI (termite) report, or perhaps certifications for specific equipment like septic systems. Also, a potential home owner will benefit from Inspectors who are actively involved in respected trade associations. House Inspection Services is affiliated with both ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and TAREI (Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors).

Do all home inspections come with thermal imaging? Can you briefly explain why that's important?

Most Inspectors don't offer thermal imaging. However, more and more inspectors are beginning to add this service. Thermal imaging can be useful for potential home buyers because it can show some conditions of the home that are not visible. For example, and electrical panel may be overheating, or air conditioning duct work in the attic may have a small separation and be leaking cold air. Understand, thermal imaging is an added service that calls for specific training and certification, as well as the proper equipment. This service will add to the cost of the inspection.

What should be included in a high-quality, thorough home inspection report?

A high quality, thorough inspection should include several different factors that go beyond the basic State of Texas inspection requirements. Digital pictures in the report are a huge help in showing and explaining concerns regarding the property. An inspection report should not be all "bad news", and should identify what is working properly. An inspection report should be written in straight forward and easy to understand language for the client. Information is critically important, and Inspectors are attempting to capture a snapshot of the condition of the home at the time of the inspection. Also, a high quality inspection should have the proper amount of time allocated to do the job right.

What would you tell people who are looking for an experienced home inspector?

Referrals, referrals, referrals. Ask your friends, and neighbors if they have used someone that did a good job for them. Ask your Realtor for a list of trusted inspectors that they have used in the past. Once you have a few names, call them and ask some questions to get a comfort level. Ask questions about their experience, when will you get the report, etc. Remember, this is a service that should not be purely based on pricing.

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

The best way to contact me is to either call me directly on my cell phone at 214-243-5676, or to email me at greg@houseinspects.com. Feel free to visit my website at www.houseinspects.com to get more helpful information on the Inspection 101 page.

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