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Lots of men and women who believed that buying the house they desired was simply out of their reach are now taking pleasure in a new lifestyle in their very own homes.  


Owning a home is the smartest financial decision you will ever make.  In fact, most homeowners would be broke at retirement if it wasn't for one saving grace -- the equity in their homes.  Furthermore, tax allowances favor home ownership.


Real estate values have always gone up steadily.  Of course, you'll find peaks and valleys, but the persistent trend is a continuous increase.  As a result each month once you make a mortgage payment, the total that you owe on the home goes down and the value commonly rises.  This "owe less, worth more" situation is labeled equity build-up and is the primary reason you can't afford not to buy.


Even if you have small money for a down payment or credit rating issues, chances are that you will be able to purchase that new home.  It merely comes down to having the right strategies, and working with the best people.  See below.



Deadly Mistake #2: Not hiring a buyer's agent to represent you.


Buying property is a complicated and aggravating task.  In fact, it is often the greatest, single financial investment you will make in your life.  That being said, real-estate transactions are becoming increasingly complicated.  New technology, laws, processes, and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing degree of proficiency and reliability.  In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars.  It shouldn't be this way!


Work with a buyer's agent who has a keen comprehension of the real estate business and the area market.  A buyer's agent has a fiduciary responsibility to you.  This means that he or she is loyal only to you and is obligated to look out for your best interests.  A buyer's agent will help you locate the best home, the best loan provider, and the best home inspector in your area.  That inspector should be an InterNACHI-certified home inspector because InterNACHI inspectors are the most qualified and  best-trained inspectors on earth.


Trying to purchase a home without a agent or a certified inspector is, well... unthinkable.



Deadly Mistake #3: Getting a cheap inspection.


Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchase you'll ever make.  This is no time to go shopping for a cheap inspection.  The cost of a home inspection is small in relation to the value of the house being inspected.  The additional cost of hiring an accredited inspector is almost trivial by comparison.  As a homebuyer, you've recently started crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgage loans, and trying to get the best bargains.  Don't stop now!  Don't let your real estate professional, a "patty-cake" inspector, or anybody else talk you into going cheap here.   


InterNACHI front-ends its membership requirements.  InterNACHI turns down over fifty percent the home inspectors who want to become a member of because they can't fulfill the membership conditions.  


InterNACHI-certified inspectors perform the best inspections, without a doubt.  InterNACHI-certified inspectors earn their fees many times over.  They do more, they are worthy of more and -- yes -- they usually charge a little more.  Do yourself a favor...and pay a bit more for the quality inspection you have earned.

Click or Call Today To Set Up A Home Inspection In The Houston Area


From Three Deadly Mistakes Every Home Buyer Should Avoid - InterNACHI


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Posted by on in Home inspection in Houston, Texas


Hello All,

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holidays. I hope the relatives didn't drive you up the wall, but helped you laugh. I hope you didn't get socks and underwear, but gifts that made your heart skip a beat. I hope your New Years Eve was fun and your New Years day restful. I hope that your new year will be what you hoped for and your New Years Resolutions a cake walk to complete. I hope the team you wanted made it to the Super Bowl and if not, I hope you win all your football squares. Happy New Year every one! Let's make sure it's a good one! Expect to see new articles and blogs this new year and expect to see some home tip videos coming out this new year also. 

Travis Hooper

SEI Inspections LLC

Click Below or Call if you like a Home Inspection in the Houston Area (832) 322-1481

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About 2.5 million kids are injured or killed by hazards inside the home each year. The good news is that most of those incidents could be prevented by using easy child-safety devices available on the market today. Any safety product you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. It's important to follow installation instructions carefully.


What's more, if you have older children around, be sure that they re-secure safety equipment. Remember, too, that no device is completely childproof; motivated youngsters have been known to disable safety equipment. You can childproof your house for a fraction of what it might cost you to have an expert do it. And safety systems are easy to find. You can get them at hardware retailers, infant equipment shops, super markets, drug stores, home and linen stores, and through online and mail-order magazines.


InterNACHI inspectors, too, ought to know what to tell clients who are concerned about the security of their youngsters. Here are some child-safety devices that can help prevent many accidents to younger children.


1.  Use safety latches and locking devices for cabinets and under drawers in kitchens, bath rooms, and other locations to help prevent poisonings and other accidents. Safety latches and locking devices on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from obtaining access to medicines and household cleaning solutions, not forgetting kitchen knives and other sharp objects.


Try to find safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and utilize, but that are durable enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Safety latches are not an assurance of protection, but they can make it harder for children to reach dangerous chemicals. Even items with child-resistant packaging should always be locked out of reach; this packaging is not completely childproof.


But, according to Colleen Driscoll, executive director of the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), "Installing an inadequate latch on a cupboard is not an answer for helping parents with safety.  It is important to understand parental habits and behaviors.  While a latch that loops around cabinet knob covers isn't costly and easy to install, most parents do not continuously re-latch it."


Parents should be sure to buy and install safety products that they will actually adapt to and utilize.


2.  Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children clear of hazardous areas. Look for safety gates that kids are unable to free easily, but that grown ups can open and shut without difficulty. For the top of staircases, gates that screw into the wall structure are more secure than "pressure gates."


New safety gates that fulfill safety standards display a certification stamp from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If you have an older safety gate, be certain it won't posses "V" shapes that are large enough for a baby's head and neck to fit into.


3.  Use door locks to help prevent kids from entering rooms and other locations with potential hazards, including swimming pools.


To restrict access to swimming pools, doorway locks on safety gates should be placed high, out of reach of young kids. Locks should be used in addition to fences and alarms. Sliding glass doors with locks that need to be re-secured after each use are usually not a effective barrier to pool access.


Door knob covers, while low-cost and recommended by a few, commonly are not effective for children who are tall enough to reach the doorknob; a child's resourcefulness and determination can usually best the cover's usefulness.


4.  Use anti-scald equipment for sinks and shower heads, and set your hot water tank temperature to 120° F to help avoid skin burns from scalding hot water. A plumber might need to install these.


5.  Use smoke alarms on every levels of your home and close to bedrooms to notify you of fires. Smoke alarms are essential safety items for protection against fire fatalities and injuries. Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they're working. If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries at least once a year, or consider using 10-year batteries.


6.  Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings. Window guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent severe falls.  Check these safety devices often to make certain they are secure and correctly installed and preserved. There should be no more than 4 inches between the bars of the window guard. If you have window guards, be certain at least one window in each bedroom can be easily used for escape in a fire. Window screens aren't practical for preventing kids from falling out of windows.


7.  Use corner and edge bumpers that can help deter injuries from falls against sharp edges of home furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be applied to furnishings and fireplace hearths to help avoid injuries from falls, and to lessen falls against sharp and rough edges.


Be sure to consider bumpers that properly fit on home furniture and fireplace corners.


8.  Use receptacle or wall plug covers and plates to help prevent children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.


Be sure the outlet protectors are unable to easily be taken out by kids and are large enough so that children can't choke on them.


9.  Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside sleeping rooms to help lessen CO poisoning. People should install CO detectors near sleeping locations inside their homes. Households which should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heating or with connected garages.


10.  Cut window blind cables to help deter children from strangling in blind-cord loops. Window blind cord security tassels on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and curtain cords can help prevent deaths and accidents from choking in the loops of cords. Inner cord stops can help prevent strangulation in the internal cords of window shades.


However, the IAFCS's Ms. Driscoll states, "cord-less is best.  While not all families are able to replace all equipment, it is important that moms and dads understand that any corded blind or window treatment can still be a hazard.  Regrettably, children continue to be entrapped in dangerous blind cables despite advances in safety in recent years."


For older miniblinds, cut the cord loop, remove the buckle, and put safety tassels on every cord. Make sure that old vertical blinds and curtain cords have tension or tie-down equipment to hold the cords secured. When buying new miniblinds, vertical blinds and draperies, ask for safety characteristics to counter child strangulation.

11.  Use door stops and door holders to help avoid injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders on doors and door hinges will help keep small fingers and hands from being pinched or smashed in doors and door hinges.


Make sure whatever safety equipment for doors is simple to make use of and is not expected to break into small parts, which could be a choking hazard for young children.


12.  Use a cellular or cordless telephone to make it simpler to continually watch young children, especially when they're in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas. Portable phones help you monitor your kid constantly without leaving the area to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are particularly helpful when children are in or close to water, whether it's the bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach.



To sum up, there are a range of different safety devices which can be purchased to ensure the safety of children in the household. Homeowners can ask an InterNACHI inspector about these and other safety measures during their upcoming inspection.  Parents should be sure to perform their own individual research to find the most reliable safety devices for their home that are age-appropriate for their children's security, as well as reasonably priced and compatible with their household habits and lifestyles.


From Child-Proofing Your Home: 12 Safety Devices to Protect Your Children - InterNACHI


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The aim of this article is actually twofold. To begin with, at InterNACHI, we’d like you to make strategies to keep your garage free of fire. Fortunately, there are tactics that can be done, many of which are explained below. Secondly, garage fires will occur, and we’d like you to make sure that a fire cannot not easily spread to the rest of your house. While one can perform many of the recommendations in this post yourself, it's really a great idea to work with an InterNACHI inspector to make sure your house is safe from a garage fire.


Why do countless garages create a fire hazard?

Where are you most likely to perform most welding, or any work on your car? These actions require working with all sorts of flammable materials.

Hot-water systems as well as boilers are often stored in garages, and they could produce sparks that could perhaps ignite fumes or liquids. Car batteries, too, will spark in certain circumstances.

Engine oil as well as fuel can leak from vehicles. These liquids might gather unnoticed and eventually ignite, given the proper conditions.

Combustible liquids, such as gas, motor oil and paint are commonly kept in garages. A few different examples are brake fluid, varnish, paint thinner and lighter fluid.

The following tips will help prevent garage fires as well as their spread:

If the garage permits access to the attic, make sure a hatch protects this access.

The walls and the ceiling should always be fire-rated. Regrettably, it might be difficult for inexperienced homeowners to tell if their walls are Type X fire-rated sheetrock. An InterNACHI inspector can examine the walls and ceiling to make sure they are adequate flame barriers.

The flooring should be devoid of clutter. Loose papers, matches, greasy towels, and other possibly flammable items are very dangerous if they are strewn about the garage area.

Use light bulbs with the correct wattage, and do not overload electrical outlets.

Tape down every cord and wire so they aren't distorted or perhaps unintentionally yanked.

If there's a door that leads the garage from the living area, take into account the following:

Do not install a pet door through the entry! Fires can more easily spread into the liveable space through the pet door, particularly if it’s made of plastic.

Does the door have a window? An InterNACHI inspector can inspect the window to tell if it's fire-rated.

The door should be self-closing. Although it may be inconvenient, especially while carrying groceries into the home from the car or truck, doors should always be self-closing. One never knows when a fire could happen, and it is going to be unfortunate to accidentally leave the door open while a fire is beginning in the garage.

Inspect the joints and open areas all around the doorway. Is it tightly sealed? Any cracks whatsoever can allow dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide or fuel vapour, to enter the living area. An InterNACHI inspector can suggest methods to seal the door so that fumes are unable to enter the living area.

Regarding items laid on the floors, you can check for the following:

Store your combustible fluids in clearly labeled, self-closing canisters, and only in limited quantities. Always keep them clear of heating units, appliances, pilot lights and other sources of heat and flame.

Never keep propane gas tanks indoors. Once they catch fire, they're able to explode. Propane tanks are sturdy enough to be stored outdoors.

To sum things up, there are plenty of methods that you can complete to avoid garage fires from spreading to the other parts of the house, or to prevent them from beginning to start with. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that you have your garage periodically examined by an InterNACHI inspector.

Click or Call Today To Set Up A Home Inspection In The Houston Area



From Attached Garage Fire Hazards - InterNACHI

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Home inspections are probably one of the most important things to do either prior to buying or as a element of annual maintenance. This article will incorporate various general tips, along with a bit of insight on just what home and apartment owners or tenants can do. Just like going in for an yearly checkup, dwelling spaces do need to be kept up for the duration of their lifetime.

Most brokers or real estate professionals can require a home inspection to be performed previous to often finalizing the mortgage or moving in. If codes or infractions are found out of date those problems should be repaired usually by a certified technician or contractor just to make sure that the home is safe and comfortable to live inside. It could practically be the same as having an x-ray done verses an MRI.

There are many companies that may accompany the broker or real estate agent of the house that is about to be bought. However, anyone is nonetheless free to choose whomever they have the most interest in, normally the cheapest. Yes, they actually cost, some quite a bit based upon on how thorough the inspection needs to be completed, but most tend to be very reasonable.


Another factor to account for when arranging the inspection is ensuring both sides are on site; the inspector as well as the buyer. The Realtor or representative does not necessarily need to be present either, but if each parties are included it may possibly lead to a lower negotiated price for the home.

Performing an inspection itself as per annual upkeep is just as beneficial. Naturally, while residing in the home or condo you would know whether anything requires fixing or work. It still may not be a bad idea for tenants to do the same, even though apartments rentals as well as homes are still checked prior to and shortly after renters have vacated or moved in. If leasing, they may need to have a phone call or a office visit, but for those who run the property, they would have to call in services for estimates or do the work independently.

Typically the initial area to start is the exterior by walking around the perimeter or the building, unit or structure. The proper concept of this stage is move slow, look for fractures on the foundation, clogged vents, busted or broken drains (if any) and ultimately the overall structure of the house. Is it tilting, ants, termites, are there base boards or components of the  skirting missing, issues such as that.

Next would be to go inside. From here the inspector or homeowner or perhaps renter won't be looking to see if it needs remodeling. This type of inspections will require you to run water in the sinks, look for leakage in the drainage pipes, filling up the bathroom tub making sure it keeps water and that the over flow drains work. Some states or countries may require certain kinds of electrical outlets that have to be used.

Then finally, the final locations can be the most awful but usually make or break the house, the basement as well as the roof. Some homes have crawl spaces, but as long as the baseboards or skirting on the exterior have been installed properly, there shouldn't be any worries about crawling into spiders and such insects.


Click or Call to Set up a Home Inspection in the Houston Area


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You have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, searching for mortgages, and trying to get the very best deals.  Do not stop now.  Do not let your real estate agent, a "patty-cake" inspector, or anybody else convince you into skimping here.  InterNACHI-certified inspectors perform the best inspections by far.

InterNACHI-certified inspectors earn their fees countless times over.  They do more, they deserve more, and -- yes -- they generally charge a little more.  Do yourself a favor... and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.

Licensing of home inspectors only establishes a minimal standard.  Much like being up to code, any less might be unlawful.  Imaginary individuals, children, psychics (who declare to "detect" if a home is good) and perhaps pets can be home inspectors.  InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, front-ends its membership requirements.


InterNACHI inspectors:

have to pass InterNACHI's  Online Inspector Examination  every year.  (This basic, not association-specific exam, is available and free to all);

have to complete InterNACHI's online Ethics challenge program. (This open-book Ethics course is available and complimentary to everyone);

have to take InterNACHI's online Standards of Practice examination (This open-book Standards of Practice quiz is available and free to all);

have to sign and present an Affidavit;

have to comply with InterNACHI's Standards of Practice;

have to follow by InterNACHI's Code of Ethics;

have to continue pursuing techniques and education (24 hours annually), per InterNACHI's Continuing Education guidelines;

have to keep a Member Online Continuing Education record (free), per InterNACHI's Continuing Education guidelines;

have to submit four mock inspections to InterNACHI's Report Evaluation Committee (free) before performing their first compensated home inspection for a buyer (if the applicant has never performed a fee-paid home inspection previously);

within 30 days of joining, have to successfully finish InterNACHI's comprehensive online Standards of Practice course (free);

within 60 days of joining, finish InterNACHI's comprehensive online Roofing Inspection course (complimentary), including all the tests within, and pass its final exam;

within 3 months of membership, apply for a member photo I.D. (free);

have to re-take and pass InterNACHI's Online Inspector Examination again, every year (complimentary);

have to attend no less than one chapter conference or educational seminar every two years (reasonable exceptions apply);

have access to Inspector's Quarterly, delivered to their home;

have access to InterNACHI's free Visual Aid Inspection Frames to help them learn;

have access to InterNACHI's free library for improving their inspection skills;

have access to InterNACHI's message board for exchanging ideas and techniques;

have access to InterNACHI's "What's New" section for them to stay in touch with the trade;

have access to InterNACHI's specific-topic advisory panels;

have access to "Dear InterNACHI" for detailed advice;

have access to a time-tested Inspection Agreement, which holds them (and you) out from lawsuits;

have access to InterNACHI's Report Review/Mentoring service;

have to submit passport photos for their club membership I.D.;

have access to InterNACHI's free online inspection courses;

have access to a real estate agent hold-harmless clause;

have access to InterNACHI University;

have access to the InterNACHI shopping center;

have a customer hotline for their clients;

have access to an Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Service; and

have access to a customer Satisfaction Survey.

So, the when you need to recommend your customers to home inspectors, make sure they're active members of InterNACHI.

Click or call to set up a Home Inspection in the Houston Area

(832) 322-1481


From Choosing the Right Home Inspector - InterNACHI

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15 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own


The following items are essential tools and equipment, but this particular list is by no means includes all tools you may need for residential projects and repairs.


1.  Plunger

A clogged drain or toilet is one of the more bothersome household troubles that you might face. With a plunger on hand, however, you can usually remedy these plumbing issues relatively quickly. It is best to have two plungers -- one for the sink and one for the toilet.


2.  Combination Wrench Set

A single end of the combination wrench set is open and the opposite end is a closed loop. Nuts and bolts are produced in standard and metric dimensions, and because both varieties are widely used, you’ll need both sets of wrenches. For the most control and leverage, always pull the wrench toward you, instead than pushing on it. Also, avoid over-tightening.

3.  Slip-Joint Pliers

Use slip-joint pliers to grab hold of a nail, a nut, a bolt, and much more. These types of pliers are extremely versatile mainly because of the jaws, which offer both flat and curved areas for gripping many kinds of materials. There is also a built-in slip-joint, which enables the individual to quickly adjust the jaw size to suit many tasks.

4.  Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable wrenches tend to be somewhat difficult to utilize and can damage a bolt or nut if they are not handled correctly. Nevertheless, adjustable wrenches are perfect for situations where you need two wrenches of the very same size. Screw the jaws all the way closed to prevent causing damage to the bolt or nut.

5.  Caulking Gun

Caulking is the process of sealing in cracks and holes in various structures and certain kinds of piping. Caulking is able to create sound mitigation and thermal insulation, and control water penetration also. Caulk should be applied only to areas that are clean as well as dry.


6.  Flashlight

None of the tools in this checklist are of any benefit if you can't visually inspect the situation. The problem, and solution, are noticeable only with a good flashlight. A traditional two-battery flashlight is usually adequate, because larger flashlights may be too unwieldy.


7.  Tape Measure

Measuring house projects requires a tape measure -- not a ruler or a yardstick. Tape measures are available in numerous lengths, although 25 feet is ideal.  Measure everything at least two times to guarantee accuracy.


8.  Hacksaw

A hacksaw is useful for cutting metal objects, such as pipes, bolts and brackets. Hacksaws look thin and flimsy, but they’ll quickly cut through even the hardest of metals. Blades are exchangeable, so concentrate your purchase on a top quality hacksaw frame.


9. Torpedo Level

Nothing but a level can be used to determine if an item, like a shelf, home appliance or picture, is properly oriented. The torpedo-style level is unique because it not only indicates when an object is completely horizontal or upright, but it also has a gauge that shows when an object is at a 45-degree angle. The bubble in the viewfinder must be exactly in the middle -- not merely close.

10.  Safety Glasses / Goggles

For all jobs including a hammer or a power tool, you should always wear safety glasses or goggles. They should also be worn while you mix chemicals.

11.  Claw Hammer

A great hammer is among the numerous essential tools you can posses.  Take advantage of it to push and to pry timber loose through the household, plus in combination along with other tools. They show up in a range of sizes, although a 16-ounce hammer is the best all-purpose option.

12.  Screwdriver Set

It is recommended to have four screwdrivers: a small and big form of both a flathead and a Phillips-head screwdriver. Electric screwdrivers are occasionally convenient.  Small hand screwdrivers can get into even more areas plus they are much less likely to harm the screw.

13.  Wire Cutters

Wire cutters are pliers manufactured to cut cables and wires. The side-cutting style (unlike the more effective end-cutting style) is helpful, but not sufficient to cut small nails.

14.  Respirator / Security Mask

While paints along with other coatings are nowadays manufactured to be much less harmful (and lead-free) compared to past years, many homes nevertheless contain harmful chemical substances, which is the reason why you really want to put on a mask to prevent unintentionally inhaling. A mask should additionally be used whenever undertaking work in dirty and unkept environments. Disposable masks usually are available in packages of 10 and really should be tossed away after use. Complete and half-face respirators can also be used to avoid the breathing of very fine particles that ordinary face masks will possibly not keep out.

15.  Duct Tape

This tape is very effective and adaptable. Initially, it had been extensively designed to make short-term repairs to numerous kinds of army gear. Today, it’s one of the essential items specified for home disaster kits since it is water-resistant and extremely gluey.



Call or Click Today To Set Up An Inspection In The Houston Area

(832) 322-1481

From 15 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own - InterNACHI

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