Housedetective.com launched in 1996 by Barry Stone, a certified home inspector practicing on the Central California Coast. Articles written for this site are syndicated around the country in a variety of media outlets including Inman News, MSN, LA Times, Denver Post, Houston Chronicle, Tampa Tribune and more.
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On his fifth birthday, Barry’s favorite gift was a little red fire engine which he proudly peddled down the driveway and up the sidewalk of his suburban neighborhood. The fire-bell, however, still in its box, had not been attached to the hood. When Barry’s dad failed to address this matter by the next week, Barry took a screw driver and pliers from Dad’s workbench and installed the bell himself. Thus commenced a lifelong career: evaluating material defects and finding physical solutions.
At age 21, Barry exchanged the collegiate pursuit of higher learning for a hard-knocks apprenticeship as a union carpenter. The next 18 years were spent in residential framing, high-rise concrete form construction, fine finish work, antique restorations, and residential remodeling.
At age 39, Barry emerged as the first full-time home inspector in San Luis Obispo County, CA. and spent the next several years persuading local Realtors, with varying degrees of success, to abandon their fears of home inspection and of real estate disclosure.
As home inspections gradually became commonplace in real estate transactions, and as numerous home inspectors entered the profession, Barry’s reputation for thoroughness became legendary. Some welcomed him as a consumer advocate and a first line of defense against disclosure lawsuits. Others labeled and libeled him as “The Deal Killer.”
When efforts to market his inspection services to homebuyers were hampered by the fears of shortsighted Realtors, Barry began educating the home-buying public with his column, “Ask the Inspector.” These articles began as a weekly feature in small local papers but attained national syndication through the efforts of Marc Davison, president and CEO of Access Media.
Known today as “America’s House Detective,” Barry advises readers from coast to coast, providing honest clarity, fresh wit, consumer protection, and even-handed fairness in his responses to real-life real estate questions.