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About Robert1966

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  1. Seller’s Home Prep Recommendations from an Home Inspector’s prespective! After an officer for 30 years in the U.S. Army I learned several lessons, one important lesson was: “Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail” Take control of your home presentation, no one knows your home better than you! Disclose all facts about the home, but equally inform buyers about home features and upgrades. Please ask the home owner to leave the home during inspection. Kennel or remove all pets and remove all pet stains and odors. Compile a “Show & Tell” home book including all items such as home plans, surveys, plots, itemized upgrades and features, services records and warranties. Bottled water, snacks and chocolates with a welcome note to all potential buyers is a plus. Ensure the key provided in the Supra or combo box actually opens the door. Opening locks with newly cut keys is often difficult. Set thermostats in the home at a comfortable setting, and turn lights on in occupied homes. Coming in to a extremely hot or cold home leads a buyer to believe something may be wrong with the HVAC system. Soothing music seems to relax the atmosphere. If the home’s upgrade budget is limited, I recommend focusing on key areas like kitchen and baths. Do not ignore things such as home cleaning, pet damage, stains and odors, exterior water damage & rot, roof leaks/repairs and painting. Nothing scares a potential buyer more than major component issues such as: roof leaks, roof damage, plumbing or electrical issues and foundation settlement. Ensure all utilities to the home, both inside and out are on. Nothing frustrates the buyer more than delays and incomplete inspections. Ensure hot water heater & furnace are on. Inspections cannot be completed if utilities or components are not on and operational. Flush stale water and sediment from hot water heater. This is done simply by attaching a water hose to the hose bib (drain faucet) at the base of the heater. Run the open end of the hose to a near bathtub or exterior and drain the heater for 30 minutes. This may prevent you from having to replace the hot water heater when all it needs is a thorough flushing. Make all home systems accessible: HVAC, Hot Water Heaters, Sprinkler Control Panel and Electrical Panel. Do not block electrical and sprinkler panels with stored items in garage. If you have a hidden system such as a hot water heater, disclose their location. Remove panels and items that block or hide hot water heater and electrical panels. Ensure all attic and crawl spaces are accessible. Inaccessible areas or components can delay the inspection thus delaying the selling process of your home. Remove all stored items from attic. Remove vehicles and clutter from garage when possible. Buyers want to see as much of the home during there visit as possible. Leave 4-5 inches of foundation slab face visible for inspection, avoid piling mulch too high on slab face. Trim hedges and cut grass, weeds & foliage. These simply things speak volumes for overall property maintenance. Correct lawn drainage issues. Water pooling in areas around the home can cause undue concerns for the buyer. Make sure home is clean and presentable and free of clutter. Please do your dishes and remove dirty clothes from view. No one wants to see another person’s dirty under clothes. Insect & rodent infestations are a turning off for potential buyers. I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen potential buyer’s displace concerns about rodent and pest infestations. ATEX Inspects, LLC Robert Welch TREC 9292
  2. Chinese Drywall Issues One issue that is found occasionally during HOME INSPECTIONS in the Greater Houston Area, Texas and more than 20 other states in the U.S., is Chinese Drywall. WHAT IS CHINESE DRYWALL you MIGHT ASK?! Well, Chinese Drywall is an environmental health associated risk relating to the drywall or sheetrock material used in building walls in houses. The material was placed in more than 100,000 houses nationwide during the period of 2001-2009. Chinese Drywall contains extremely high levels of sulfur, which is very corrosive and damaging to most metals and is toxic in high doses to humans. It has been linked to HEALTH related issues such as Asthma, Headaches, Coughing, Sore Throats and Irritated Eyes. Along with being harmful to the people occupying the houses, it can be very damaging to many household appliances, basically any that are comprised of metal. Many people actually found out their houses were contaminated by their household appliances failing prematurely of the unit’s typical life expectancy. HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HOME IS A VICTIM OF CHINESE DRYWALL? There are a couple variables that will help you decide if having an expert take a look is worth your money. Firstly, your house would have to have been built during the period of 2001-2009. The next usual tell-tell sign would be an invigorating smell of sulfur in the house (smells like ROTTEN EGGS!). Then it goes a little more in depth, Random things placed close or in contact with the sheetrock in the home, basically anything made of metal have started turning greenish white (corroding). Another step would be to shut off a breaker in the suspected area and to remove the plate cover on an outlet and take a flashlight and look at the actual electrical plug to see if the copper wire connected to the plug or the screws were rusting or corroded or turning BLACK. Any Copper that is in the house and generally located close or touching drywall would typically start turning BLACK, rusting or corroding (turning greenish-white), this also applies to most electrical lines in the home and many other household components made of metal. TO MEET THE ACCEPTED THRESHOLD OF HAVING CHINESE DRYWALL YOU MUST.... 1. Have had Drywall installed during the period of 2001-2009 2. Have BLACKENED Air Conditioning Evaporator Coils or Copper Electrical Wiring WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR THINK YOUR HOME HAS CHINESE DRYWALL?! If you think or are uncertain whether or not your home might be victim of this health issue, DO NOT wait, call a Professional Home Inspector in your area to come out and both identify and inform/show you the certain signs of the condition. When it comes to health concerns and the chance of it affecting your family you do not want to wait. An inspector can tell you for certain whether or not you are facing a headache in the near future. GETTING RID OF THIS PROBLEM!!! Getting rid of this issue within a home is a little more of a hassle than your regular household problem. This is due to many reasons, the biggest being that it affects more than one component in the house. If the issue was localized to just one thing, say... affecting the Air Conditioning Unit, then you could just replace it. Since it affects wiring, plumbing, walls, Air Conditioners and basically anything metal or copper related, then you have to fix everything that has been affected. The Second main reason is that, the some of the components it affects in the house are typically permanent systems that aren't supposed to be removed are accessible. The FIRST thing you need to do when you know for sure you have it is to contact a company that provides remediation services for Chinese Drywall. They will then come out and assess your situation since every house is going to be different and provide a repair estimate and detail everything they would have to replace/repair. Since the subject entails such a variety of things, make sure to get repair estimates from several different companies. Lastly, once a remediation company has been decided on the final step is for them to complete the necessary repairs. They will come in and rip out the flawed sheetrock, repair the wiring that is need while the wall covering is down and accessible and replace any other components that are needed at the time. Then they will put up the new sheetrock and put everything else back in place and you're DONE! ... If only it was that simple... IF YOU ARE IN THE MARKET FOR A HOME BUILT IN THIS YEAR RANGE THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS.... HAVE A PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTOR COME OUT AND EVALUATE THE HOUSE TO VERIFY AND REASSURE YOU THE CLIENT, THAT IT IS A SAFE AND RELIABLE INVESTMENT!
  3. Home ownership may be easier, but the foreclosure rate in the area is up and according to market trends and real estate professionals, we are in for another big influx of foreclosed homes in the Houston area. Robert
  4. I have seen this with several Houston builders, especially the smaller ones in the area. Robert
  5. I have had good and bad experiences with most builders. Robert
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