If you’re looking for a company you can trust when it comes to home inspections, you can turn to a company I trust: Watch Dogs Home Inspectors.

The purchase of a home is arguably the largest investment an individual makes in their lifetime, so trusting someone to inspect the dwelling before buying is hugely important. I trust Watch Dogs Home Inspectors because we have investigated the background of this company, and the way they treat their customers. As a result, I am proud to endorse Watch Dogs Home Inspectors, and declare the company GEPHARDT APPROVED.

Standards where there are no regulations

Here is something very unique about Watch Dogs Home Inspectors: This company is licensed in a state where no license is required!!

That’s right. In Utah, unlike most other states, I find the home inspection industry troubling because there are no consumer protection laws, standards, or regulations whatsoever. At Watch Dogs they’ve solved that problem by adhering to the tough standards and licensing requirements in Nevada!!

“We acknowledge the State of Utah does not require any licensing or certifications to perform home inspections,” says co-owner Mike Stanford. “That’s why we decided to get licensed in the state of Nevada. Nevada has some of the toughest requirements in the country to perform home inspections.”

Those tough standards, Mike says, are delivered to every customer of Watch Dogs Home Inspectors. Nevada requires not just 40 hours of academic instruction, but also 20 hours of approved continuing education. Watch Dogs Home Inspectors now carries a minimum of $100,000 in errors and omissions, and general liability insurance, not required in Utah. In addition, they had to complete what Mike calls a very difficult inspection exam, had to pass a criminal background check, prove experience in front of a master inspector, and on and on…all things not required by Utah.

“We are certified home inspectors,” says Dana Stanford, co-owner of the company who is talking about the extra requirements for every person in her employ. “Every one of our inspectors had to take instruction from the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI — http://www.nachi.org/ ), and pass several tests. Those tests require knowledge in all the systems of a home, like plumbing, electrical, structure, foundation, and roofing. It is not required in Utah, but we wouldn’t do it any other way.”

In homes I have purchased, I have had, for example, home inspectors recommended to me by my real estate agent who refused to walk on the roof. They were not required to, but that’s not how Watch Dogs Home Inspectors conducts business. “We do walk on the roof if at all possible,” co-owner Mike Stanford told me. “We do de-winterize homes if we inspect them during the winter, we do turn on the gas and water if it’s not already on inside the home. We check switches and plugs, windows and doors. We do want our home buyers to have a complete and objective view of the condition of the home.”

“I went through home inspector training courses in Phoenix through the “American Home and Training Institute,” (www.ahit.com) says owner Dana Stanford. “and, all inspectors go through monthly continuing education. The general public has no idea about meth houses, radon protection, or bad repairs. That is what we’re here for, and we guarantee our work. If a home buyer doesn’t think we did a good job, they don’t pay. If something should have been caught and is not, we will pay to make it right. Our motto is “nothing gets past our nose.”

“When we interview someone to be a home inspector, they have to have a detective mind,” Dana told me. “We’re not permitted to tear into homes to inspect them. But a detective mind will see a little stain or a little buckle in plain sight. That might indicate a real problem hidden behind the wall or in the roof. It comes from experience.”

And Mike told me, “When we hire a new inspector, I like to go out with them on 50 inspections. The people we hire are contractors. But still, I like to go out with them on home inspections to train them to our standards. I want to make sure our customers get a thorough report on what is right and wrong with the home they are about to purchase.”

“Another thing,” Dana added, “We want inspectors with good writing and communication skills. They must write reports that home buyers can understand. We encourage home buyers to come to the inspection so we can explain what we find, offer solutions, and teach them about the home and its systems.”

Dana says she would love to see licensing requirements in Utah for home inspectors. “The general public has no protection from knowing if a company has any idea what they’re doing,” she says. “So, we raise the standard. Consumers deserve it.”

So there you go: Watch Dogs Home Inspectors. Now you know what our investigation has found about this company, and the way they treat their customers. Now you know the philosophy of the owners. Now you know why I trust this company and why I am proud to endorse Watch Dogs Home Inspectors as Gephardt Approved.

~ Bill Gephardt

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