Bill Haughery: The House Whisperer
It was the night of the 2017 Fête en Blanc celebration, and our home was a frenzy of activity. Between the creation of flower crowns to packing the car with our food and drink for the evening, everyone was bustling. As we had just recently moved, a gentleman named Billy Haughtery (now known lovingly to the Pontz family as Handyman Bill) was at our house that evening, working on our new downtown home.
As we frantically prepped for that evening’s event, Bill went about hammering, measuring, and skirting our chaos. When he did need to ask a question, he patiently waited for one of us to become available. He was skilled at his work and a quiet, calming, and respectful presence. From that day forward, owning our 150-year-old home has meant keeping Bill’s number in our favorites list.
Throughout the past year, we have discovered that Bill—part Mr. Rogers and part Al from Home Improvement—is a licensed home inspector. He first took on various handyman jobs to transition from his previous 26 years as a minister. Before that, Bill owned a cabinetmaking and remodeling business, where he managed eight employees. He has grown a business, a church, and now, when many would think about retiring, he is growing another new business: Precise Inspecting LLC.
As we’ve discovered in the year we’ve known him, each time Bill has entered a new field, he has gone in with the knowledge and discipline to learn all that he can, develop relationships with other professionals, and continue to constantly develop his skills. He approaches each job with open ears and an open mind. He brings years of experience, but he never believes he is the expert. What he brings is an understanding that each customer is different, but each will benefit the most from being able to trust the veracity of his work and reporting.
Buying a home is an endeavor that can, at the very least, demand time, energy, and organization. For some, it can rank as one of the most stressful events of your life. There are so many professionals involved in the transaction, but sometimes you can feel alone, because it is, after all, you who is ultimately taking on the financial responsibility of paying for and caring for the property. The scariest part is the unknown and the questions that are very difficult to answer: What problems am I going to face owning this house? What secrets are lurking behind those painted walls and pretty décor? Depending on the age of the home, those quaint and interesting details you admire might end up amounting to many unexpected, costly, and stressful problems.
That’s where Bill comes in. Not as Handyman Bill (as we are lucky enough to know him), but as a qualified home inspector. A testament to his excellent work, his handyman business has taken a backseat to inspections, as he is in such high demand in this inspector role. Folks have discovered, as we have over the course of the past year, that Bill brings many unique attributes to his work: trustworthiness, a keen attention to detail, and a wealth of knowledge backed by not only years of experience, but national exams and accredited credentials.
As he walks through your potential new home, Bill can accurately identify the pluses and minuses of the home, the possible costs of fixing any problems, and the time frame they should be fixed in. From the roof to the basement, he can skillfully examine and explain, with pictures and diagrams, the inner workings and exterior details of your home. Bill discovers the secrets of every house. And he can help you save thousands of dollars by avoiding problems or help you find experts (not him—it’s a conflict of interest) who can help you fix the problems.
Either way, you will buy, own, or invest in a property with your eyes wide open. There are no secrets and no surprises, just a confidence that comes from being able to fully trust Bill Haughery’s word. An old fashioned idea, one that we would all like to rediscover.
ASHI Home Inspector #262900
By Marian Pontz