TREC IAC meeting notes

Here are my personal notes from today’s IAC meeting in Austin. As usual, my notes are in bold, blue, italic font for easy identification from the agenda items.

TREC IAC 022210 Notes.pdf (200 KB)


As usual you have provided a significant service to the Inspectors in Texas. I for one thank you for providing me the opportunity to learn what occurs at these meetings as I can not attend them.


Thanks for the excellent report. So it seems TREC or the IAC thinks there is an inspector shortfall now? Any data to support this? Is this a statewide thing or limited to certain locales? Houston seems to be crawling with inspectors.

Can they honestly believe that lowering the passing score is in the best interest of the consumer?

Something smells very bad here. I’d like to see the supporting data. I don’t know of any inspector that would refuse more work right now.

John, you are absolutely correct. This lowering of the exam pass score was floated by TREC staff not the IAC. I do believe it was misguided and once the IAC has an opportunity to ‘school’ the proposer then this idea will not gain traction and will die on the vine. (Sorry for all the cliches :slight_smile: ). The proposer was likening the reduction in the number of inspectors to a “mass exodus” which probably can be defended to a degree, i.e we’ve gone from around 4250 inspectors 18 months ago to around 2400 or so now if you include the ones that have gone Inactive. Even at 2400 statewide if you divide out how many inspections the average inspector would have to do to meet the demand then the average inspector is not that busy. It’s been a while since I visited that calculation but I suspect it still holds true.

I would bet there are a good number of Rural Texas inspectors that cannot support their families with inspection revenue alone. 2400 was about the number of actives when I got into this about 7 years ago. Seems right sized to me.

Yeah…I’ll try to go get the statewide home sales figures for 4Q’09 from the TAMU RE Center and divide it out to see how many inspections, on the average, we are doing. Granted, that will be at the state level and won’t take into account any differences in concentration of inspectors in the big cities but we can get a feel for the numbers. I know I can get the sales figures by metro area so if you know the number of Houston metro inspectors then let me know. I’ve used the TREC inspector search feature to determine that there are around 110 inspectors in the Austin metro area. It would take some doing but you or I could do that for Houston as well but there are so many Houston suburbs that have to be looked at individually then it becomes unwieldy.

OK, here’s a rough ‘for instance’ based on TAMU RE Ctr numbers for 4Q’09 Austin:

5,193 homes sold in the quarter
x .8 let’s say 80% get inspected
/ 3 to get a monthly figure
= 1385 homes inspected per month
/ 110 inspectors
= 12.6 inspections per month average
/ 4.3 weeks per month
=2.9 inspections per week on the average.

Doesn’t seem to support the need for more inspectors does it? BTW, there were 15,386 homes sold in metro Houston in 4Q’09.

Nope, not at all.

I would say that figuring 80 percent inspected is quite generous also.

Looking a it on the statewide level it’s really bad:

53,398 homes sold statewide
x .8
/ 3
= 14,239 inspections per month
/ 2400
= 5.9 inspections per mo
/ 4.3
= 1.4 inspections per week average

That’s pretty abysmal. Just shows that the only inspectors that are able to even barely keep profitable are those near the larger metro areas probably. Yeah, you may very well be right that 80% is too high.

That’s really the same old story isn’t it? Doesn’t seem like it would support the theory of a need to lower the bar.

Thanks for the detailed report Mike. You do all of us TX inspectors a great service.

I can’t imagine reducing the test score requirement. I remember taking it years ago and thinking it was too low then. They need to make it easier to bring on apprentice types or RE inspectors, not lower standards for PIs. The E&O requirement for an apprentice who must work under direct supervision of a Professional Inspector is a farce. I’m surprised that there are any active licensed apprentices out there.

Apparently the supply of inspectors in and around the Houston area isn’t too low yet as there is still a great number of price sensitive shoppers out there. I’m keeping my calendar pretty full, but I’m getting a lot of folks who vanish after asking for a price quote.

I’ve never looked into it but aren’t there E&O offerings that, for a small premium increase, provide coverage for an inspector and those that work for him? In other words, an apprentice inspector doesn’t necessarily have to have his own private policy but can be covered under a company policy.

Mine covered it at no additional fee. It covers additional inspectors at no additional cost.

Yeah, I just checked my policy as well…it includes “all employees” for no additional premium so if I were to bring an apprentice on as an employee then he would be covered.