Hello! The GATOR Family is here to help. We offer a unique blend of professionalism and southern hospitality with every inspection we perform.
DEREK R. BALLARD – Owner / Founder
License: Texas TREC 10108 Arkansas HI1529
Born and raised in the Texarkana area, Derek has had the honor of many friendships and acquaintances over the years. In 2008, looking for a new career path, he decided he wanted to serve the community by doing something meaningful to enhance the housing quality in the area. He attended the American Home Inspectors Training at the University of Texas at Arlington and obtained licenses from both Texas and Arkansas. Later that year, he started Inspection Gator LLC. Clients began spreading the word about his style of inspection and he was humbled to see how rapidly the company grew. With Jessica as a constant support and part of the background success of the company, they feel they have found their calling: To be an ally to buyers and sellers, giving that home-town service and quality information to make good decisions regarding all real estate investments.
JESSICA BALLARD – Co-Owner / Office Manager
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science | Emphasis: Business Leadership
Jessica is co-owner, wife of Derek and Office Manager at Inspection Gator. She loves providing the best possible customer experience, being a support system to the inspectors, and building friendships along the way. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M in Business Management. Her career focus areas have been in accounting, management, and education. She is also licensed by TREC to teach continuing education classes. She grew up in west Texas and was transplanted across the state to east Texas when she met Derek over 18 years ago. She says that her and Derek are the perfect complement to each other in their style of managing and serving the community. Her hobbies include, travel and a tremendous love of the oceans, crafting, sewing, and party planning.
KEITH GREEN – Professional Home Inspector
License: Texas Trec 22723
Keith received his training through American Home Inspector Training in Arlington Tx. He is a licensed Professional Home Inspector in Texas. He loves inspecting and helping people. He and his family live in the Clarksville area but he spends much of his time traveling to east Texas to meet the inspection needs of clients. Keith has a background of appraisal and construction, so he understands many aspects of the value and structure of properties. His warm smile and compassion for people is evident in all he does. He brings an honest, genuine dedication to his work. We are proud to have Keith a part of our team.
TONY CROUCH – Professional Home Inspector
License: Texas Trec 23663
Tony is a licensed professional real estate inspector. He received his training through American Home Inspectors training in Dallas, Texas. Tony’s 30 years of carpenter and home building experience made for a natural transition to home inspection.
Tony’s honesty, kind disposition, and love of helping others is why we chose him to be a part of the Inspection Gator team.
BRIAN CENTER- Mold Technician | Assistant Home Inspector
Home-based in Texarkana, Brian often travels the Texas / Arkansas area to meet our client’s needs. As a Military Seabee Veteran and Private Contractor, he possesses over 30 years of knowledge and experience. While stationed overseas, he successfully implemented a Journeyman Apprenticeship Program between the locals and Navy personnel.
Brian has an in-depth knowledge in all things building-related and an admirable work ethic. His integrity, impeccable work skills, genuine love of people, and willingness to help makes him the perfect addition to our Gator team.
HEATHER HAWKINS – Marketing | Graphics | Client Care
Marketing was a natural career choice for Heather, as she has always loved art, writing, and anything creative. She delights in visiting clients and creating new friendships. She is a problem-solver by nature and loves a challenge. Organization and systems bring her joy, as does creating eye-catching and meaningful marketing materials to help our clients.
She and her son call Texarkana home and enjoy all things outdoors together– but especially fishing and nature walks. You can often find them on the weekends building and creating together.
Heather’s determination, attention to detail, and work ethic make her an ideal employee, but her genuine love of people and strong sense of dedication make her the perfect fit for our Gator Family.
LAUREN JONES – Administrative Assistant | Client Care
Lauren is daughter to owners, Derek and Jessica. She works remotely, part-time, completing administrative duties. She credits her work ethic, love of people, and values to her parents, 4 older brothers, and one older sister. Lauren’s love of people influenced her career choice as a registered nurse.
Growing up spending summers at her grandparent’s lake house instilled a love of water, early on. Today she enjoys scuba diving, wake-boarding, and swimming with the stingrays at Sting Ray City, Grand Cayman.
She and her husband now live in San Antonio, where they recently welcomed their son. She feels blessed as a wife, mother, and in her career choices. Since having her son, she decided to become a stay at home mother and feels blessed for the opportunity to work for her family’s business, while still being able to care for her son. She says working with family, and the Inspection Gator team, has given her so much joy and she hopes to continue to bless all of those she encounters.
Why Choose us
Why choose Inspection Gator?
Because you are looking for someone that will work for you and you only.
Because you are searching for peace of mind as you make the very important decision to purchase or sell a home or to buy or sell a commercial property.
Because you want to get value for your hard-earned dollar. Our Inspectors are licensed and receive additional training to explain deficiencies and recommend remedies.
Because word of mouth has value. Many clients have remarked at the detail and clarity of our reports and are very satisfied returning customers.
Your peace of mind is our commitment to you.
Who needs our services?
Buyers- Someone considering the purchase of a new home or property and who wants to know the condition of the property before making a sizable investment.
Business Owners- considering the purchase of a commercial property and wants to know the overall condition of the property.
Sellers-Someone considering the sale of their home and having a desire to know about potential issues that may affect the sale or the negotiation of the sale.
Current Homeowners- Desiring to maintain your home and need someone to inform you of the current performance and possible repairs that may improve future function of the home.
Financial Institutions- Needing timely information regarding a home or commercial property that may require conditional information allowing for quantified decisions about finance options.
Local Insurance Company- Needing additional information regarding a claim application.
How do we compare to the competition?
We bring over a decade of experience to the table along with stories from hundreds of satisfied clients providing you peace of mind that you have made a competent choice.
Our inspectors must meet or exceed all state requirements and must maintain continuing education requirements to stay up to date on changes in the industry. Each go through additional extensive training beyond the state requirements and must meet additional requirements to become part of the Gator Team.
When you trust us to inspect your future investment, we promise to give you our best: our knowledge, experience, and ability. Unlike many of the people involved in your real estate transaction, we have no stake in the “deal.” Our fee is not contingent on the sale, so you can be assured to receive an entirely objective opinion to help you make an informed decision. ‘’Your Peace of Mind is Our Business’’
Inspection Gator is blessed with a reputation built on honesty, integrity and reliability who will be here long after the purchase. Our effort to communicate clearly and effectively is second to none.
In 2008 Derek was longing for a career change but was unsure which path he should take. He was working rotating shifts at a local papermill. Five of their six children had left the nest and while the papermill had provided well for a big family full of teenagers, the shift work had lost its glam and Derek was ready for a change. Meanwhile Chris, Derek’s oldest son, was about to buy a house and called his dad to come take a look for hopefully a stamp of approval. Derek had been around construction for years so he felt confident he could guide his son. It was during this process of looking and evaluating the condition of that home that a light bulb turned on and Derek began to wonder about a career in home inspection. He knew he loved building and construction, awe the smell of wood, and watching things come together. He knew he loved meeting and helping people. He shared with Jessica the idea of becoming a home inspector and what that would look like for them. Jessica supported Derek 100% seeing how this would utilize his personality and skills and could be a very fulfilling career. Quickly they both got excited and set a plan in motion to get to school. The excitement and vision of a new world overshadowed the challenges of juggling his current rotating shift job.
After getting his license and passing his test with very high marks, he set out to see if he could establish a new business while maintaining his current job until it was strong enough to become a full-time career. Their evenings were spent with white boards, strategies, logo designs, brochures, and brainstorming. Derek and Jessica worked tirelessly together creating the Inspection Gator brand and enjoying the process. There was much discussion about the “Gator”. Derek wanted a happy memorable character and Jessica thought folks would think they were in the exterminating business. Guess who won! Little did they know that during this time, it was 2008 and the bottom had just fallen out of the housing market.
It was an eye-opening experience when they discovered there were 12 home inspectors in Texarkana and properties were not selling. Proving his commitment to integrity and quality, over the course of the next 3 years, he built the business up to the point he could leave the paper mill and became one of the top 2 inspectors in town. It was a dream come true. Derek said, “I just knew that I had been a consumer and wanted to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. It wasn’t work to me. I loved it and actually had fun meeting so many wonderful people and hearing their stories.” It was not without ups and downs but a life outside of shiftwork was worth pursuing. In 2013, the company had grown enough to add an additional inspector. The growth of the company was exciting.
Each year Inspection Gator continued to grow and in 2016 Jessica was able to leave her accounting job at the same mill to begin running the IG office. She answered the phone,scheduled inspections and kept things flowing smoothly behind the scenes. She said “when I hear the excitement in a first-time buyer’s voice and get to know them a little during their scheduling, then later read their review of how we helped them…. well it just doesn’t get any better. I think we have found our calling.” They enjoyed their new world tremendously even though there were many long hours, it was obviously a passion for them.
Today, as IG continues to grow, there are now several inspectors with additional help in the office and the coverage area spans from Paris Tx to Arkadelphia AR. They say that now the fulfillment is not only in helping clients, but also in knowing they have grown something strong enough to support multiple families and provide jobs. Additionally, the opportunities to give back to clients and cancer research is something they take pride in being able to do. They are proud to have affected the quality of homes and to have made so many new life-long friends along the way. None of it would be possible without everyone on the team seeing the vision and embracing the same dedication to providing customers with the type of service they would want for themselves, going the extra mile with details, timely reports and excellent communication.