It is commonly understood that governmental agencies are
notorious for distributing “information” that is, how shall I say,
specious. In my profession, dealing as I do with home builders, municipal
building inspectors, real estate brokers, agents, et al., I am accustomed to
being inundated by a tsunami of bullshit. That said, occasionally some
outrageous statement appears that astounds even jaded me. Something so
stupefying and outrageous that it defies the wildest imagination. You know, presidential
I came across this wild-eyed quote while keeping up with the
meanderings of the folks who issue one of my licenses – The Texas Real Estate
Commission (TREC). This agency was recently reviewed by the Texas Sunset
Advisory Commission regarding its efficiency and found wanting in many areas.
One that affects home buyers more than the others is the educational
requirements for licensing home inspectors. The Sunset Commission opined that
the requirements were in need of a change in order to produce more informed and
competent inspectors. The TREC perfunctorily agreed. The following statement
reflects just how they plan to go about this.
“The Inspector Committee met on October 7 at the Texas Real Estate Commission. Many of the items before the committee were proposed at the July meeting. The Committee received public comments on the proposed changes. The Committee considered those comments, and the proposals moved forward as written. The most notable changes in the rules are those to the pre-licensure for home inspectors in Texas. The new process cuts the number of hours required approximately in half for the most utilized track to become an inspector while equipping inspectors to more readily be able to perform an inspection upon completion.” (Bold and italics are mine)
If you find nothing askew with the preceding statements
issued forth from the Texas Real Estate
Commission’s Inspector Committee, then read no further, this is not for you.
You’ll find your designated reading corner in the children’s section of the
local library next to the wooden blocks and the Big Bird stuffed toys.
Would you assume that reducing the amount of children’s
education to half of what it is now would somehow miraculously increase their
K-6 ≥ K-12
is math that simply does not compute.
The requirements to become a home inspector in the great
state of Texas
have always been minimal. No real construction experience is required. No
building code knowledge is required. Simply take a course for $3000 (less if
online) that teaches the multiple-choice test one must pass, pass the exam, and
voila! you get your Cracker Jack box license. No sweat.
This has led to some, if not most, folks who hire home inspectors in Texas apparently being led down the garden path by questionably-educated, ill-informed, quasi-competent “inspectors”, who are foisted on us all by the folks who brought you the revelations quoted at the beginning of this vociferation. But, let me not cast aspersions.
The moral of this story is that you must thoroughly vet your
home inspector. Relying on a mere state-issued license to do business and/or a
referral from your avaricious agent will not protect you. Practice the level of
due diligence that accrues with becoming an adult and buying a house.
I’ll end this now before I segue into deviant terminology .
The bedlamites in Austin have been at it again. As of September 1, 2019, in all municipalities in Texas, the minimal building codes will be dealt a severe blow. The morons whom some folks have voted into the legislature, in their infinite ignorance, have deemed that Texas municipal building inspectors can no longer choose to adopt any building codes that are more stringent than the national model codes. As if the current codes are not lenient enough the builders can now skirt the building officials who want to eliminate the use of questionably safe, durable, or outright dangerous building products and procedures.
This is yet another move on the part of the powerful Texas homebuilders lobby
to gut the codes, thumb their noses at regulation, and proceed to make a profit
to the detriment of the home buying public. Previously the same regime that has
been in power in the state for decades negated the code requirements for
fire-suppression sprinkler systems in all houses.
If you voted for these imbeciles, please take a moment prior to the next election to actually think about who you are supporting. Regardless who you voted for please consider contacting your senators and representatives to complain about the passage of House Bill 2439 during the last session of lunacy.
Those of you who know me understand that I rarely have a
good word to say regarding all things governmental. That said, the FHA
surprised me last August by eliminating their in-house approval process for FHA
inspectors and requiring that those doing FHA inspections be certified by the
International Code Council as R-5 Residential Combination Inspectors, as I have
been for over 20 years.
The approval process in the past was minimal. The inspector
had merely to “prove” (read: claim) three whole years construction experience
and be in possession of a feckless license to do business from the Texas Real
Estate Commission. This ensured that whatever was being inspected, it was being
scrutinized by know-nothings. ICC Combination Inspectors look for compliance
with local building codes as well as specific HUD requirements.
When a person applies for an FHA/HUD/VA/USDA loan it is
usually because they cannot qualify for a conventional loan. This person also typically
does not have the means to foot the bill for any major repairs required due to the
typical and widespread lackluster Texas home builder performance. These folks
need protection and the FHA has finally taken a step in the right direction for
providing this to their borrowers.
Kudos to the FHA Commissioner for doing the right thing.
We should all be waiting for June 16th with bated breath when the half-baked 2019 Texas legislative session finally comes to an end. Every two years the drooling idiots we elect gather in Austin to torment us with their seeming lack of understanding of nearly everything.
This session has proven especially egregious in many
respects. To avoid waxing partisan I will spare you my opinions on most of these,
e.g. immigration, abortion, cannabis, taxes, health care, gun control,
education, et al. I want to focus on just one issue: plumbers.
The Texas legislature, hereinafter known as “the Morons” has,
in their infinite stupidity, decided to eliminate the Texas Board of Plumbing
Examiners. That is the group that is (was) responsible for overseeing the
education and licensing of plumbers.
Texas plumbers have been growing in importance in the eyes
of the Morons for decades. A few years back they decided that plumbers could
also legally perform electrical work on any system they were repairing or
installing – without an electrician’s license. Before that, it was decided that
a master plumber could perform whole-house building code inspections – without code
certification. Renaissance men, I assume.
Now, we have the ultimate. Plumbers have busted out of their legendary phone booth and are prepared to fly above the rest of us unencumbered by any of those pesky plumbing regulations and codes.
That leaves the rest of us circling the proverbial bowl.
Those familiar with my reports know that I devote several paragraphs to information on proper lot drainage. The following article penned by Angie Bersin of Redfin focuses on this critical topic. Enjoy!
It should go without saying that home inspectors are not plumbers. That’s not enough for the greedy inspectors who foist these inspections on unsuspecting clients for hefty fees. Even if the camera inspections are free they are ILLEGAL unless the inspector is also a licensed plumber. If you doubt this read the ruling issued by the Texas Real Estate Commission.