Author Archives: Lance Dunahoe

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Congratulations to Our 5 Master Home Inspectors

We at Inspect 360 are proud of our 5 Master Home Inspectors

 

What does it take to become a CMI?

According to InterNachi (the company who certifies inspectors), the process is one that takes time and requires a lot of the inspector seeking the designation:

Every Certified Master Inspector® must:

  1. have completed 1,000 fee-paid inspections and/or hours of education (combined);
  2. have been in the inspection business for at least three years;
  3. agree to abide by the inspection industry’s toughest Code of Ethics;
  4. agree to periodic criminal background checks

We’re the ONLY company in the Dallas Fort Worth Area to have 5 Certified Master Inspectors in a Home Inspection Company!!

Schedule your home inspection with us today!


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Purchasing an “As Is” Home? Do You Still Need an Inspection?

Some sellers – often, those working without an agent – want to sell their home “as is” so they don’t have to invest money fixing it up or take on any potential liability for defects.  There is nothing wrong with buying a home “as is,” particularly if you can buy it at a favorable price, but if you are considering buying an “as is” home, you should still hire a competent home inspector to perform an inspection.  There are several reasons for this.

First, you don’t know what “as is” is. Sure, you can walk through the home and get an idea of its general condition.  You may even spot some defects or items in obvious need of repair.  But you won’t obtain the same detailed information you will receive if you hire a home inspector.  Home inspectors are trained to look for things you are not likely to notice.  InterNACHI inspectors, for example, must follow InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice and check the roof, exterior, interior, foundation, basement, fireplace, attic, insulation, ventilation, doors, windows, heating system, cooling system, plumbing system, and electrical system for certain defects.  Armed with a home inspector’s detailed report, you will have a better idea of what “as is” means regarding that home, which means you’ll be in a better position to know whether you want to buy it.  You may also be able to use information from the home inspection to negotiate a lower price.  

Second, many states require the seller to provide you with written a disclosure about the condition of the property.  Sellers often provide little information, and a few even lie.  A home inspection can provide the missing information. If an inspector finds evidence that a seller concealed information or lied to you, that may be a sign that you don’t want to buy a home from that seller.

Finally, if you buy a home “as is” without hiring a home inspector and then later discover a defect, all is not lost.  A home inspector may be able to review the seller’s disclosure and testify as to what the seller knew or should have known about.  The inspector may find evidence that the seller made misrepresentations or concealed relevant information from you.  Even the seller of an “as is” home may be held liable for misrepresentation or concealment.

But the better choice, obviously, is to hire a home inspector first.  Remember:  The cost of a home inspection is a pittance compared to the price of the home.

Be an informed consumer, especially when buying an “as is” home, and hire an InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector®.

Original Source: https://www.nachi.org/as-is.htm

 


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Start the New Year Organized! Save Time and Donate Using Your Amazon Boxes

“Wait?  What?  How does that work?”

Did you receive any Amazon boxes this holiday?  You can use them to donate!

“But Inspect360, how does that work?”

Well it’s very simple.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

 

Step 1:  Sort!

 

Sort Before You Donate

Once the New Year arrives, most families take down holiday decorations and store them for the following year–but too often, there’s a sense of “sling it in there and worry about it later” when it comes to putting away Christmas ornaments, holiday linens and outdoor lighting.

This year, pay it forward: sort and de-clutter holiday decorations, linens and specialty cooking items as you store them. Cut the non-working, the tattered, and the tired from the herd as you put away holiday decorations. Has-been decor items can be recycled or donated; stained linens can be re purposed as cleaning cloths.

Do you have large items that you would like to donate but don’t know how?

Step 2:  Donate!

 

Check out this video and instructions on how to donate through your already received Amazon boxes:

https://youtu.be/Xe6HiD8XRS4

How it works

1. Remove any lingering items from your Amazon delivery box — or any other old delivery box you might have.

2. Fill the delivery box with your unwanted household items — clothes, non-perishable food, etc. — but no liquids, ammunition, or fragile or otherwise-hazardous items. And stuff it fully.

3. Print a free shipping label from GiveBackBox.com and stick it on the box and just wait for your USPS carrier to pick it up! (You can also just take the box to a local UPS store, and they’ll do it all for you, if you don’t have a printer.)

A special tip: Don’t forget to ask for your tax-deductible receipt! It’s a donation and is treated as such by the IRS, as it should be.

Thanks thrillist.com for that great information.

Got Larger Items to Donate?

 

When You’ve Finished Sorting, Donate Your Access- and These Dallas Charities Will Pick Up Your Furniture and Other Large Items!

Dallas / Fort Worth Donation Pick Ups

 

Do you have large items that you are looking to donate, but don’t have the means to transport or are you just short on time?  There are several non-profits in our area that will pick up your donations.

Arlington Urban Ministries (Arlington)-Pick up is available for furniture donations, please call 817-795-6379 for more information.  Your donations help needy families in the Arlington area.

Brighter Tomorrows (Grand Prairie)-They need working household appliances including HD-Ready TV’s, or furniture that is not broken or has no stains or torn upholstery. Brighter Tomorrows does not have the capability to maintain or repair items. Due to Health Department regulations they are unable to accept mattresses.   They cannot accept computers or computer peripherals and televisions.  Furniture pickups available – call 972.254.4003.

Center for Transforming Lives (formerly the YWCA Fort Worth & Tarrant County) (Fort Worth)-Pick up is available for large items, call 817-377-0664 to schedule a pick up.

Christian Community Action (Lewisville, Flower Mound, Carrollton, The Colony)-To schedule a pick up you can use their on-line form or call 972-219-4304, your donations help the needy in our area.

Community Enrichment Center (North Richland Hills)-For large items (gently used furniture and/or working washers & dryers): Call 817-281-1164 x110 to arrange a free pick up of your donation. The pickup area is limited to Tarrant County and appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday.

Community Storehouse (Keller)-They offer donation pickup for gently used furniture. For questions, or to schedule a pickup, please call their office at 817-431-3340.  They will pickup donations between Interstate 820 and Hwy 114 and east to west from Hwy 287 to Hwy 26.

Closing the Gap (Fort Worth)-They are able to pick up any donations that they are in need of.  Please, no large appliances or furniture.  Contact Shannon Kneeland at 817-438-8887 or sk@dynamicedusvc.com to arrange pickup.

Interfaith Housing Coalition (Dallas)-Pick ups are on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month and you must schedule a pick up time.  To schedule a pick up email donations@ihcdallas.org.  Please include in your message your name, day-time phone number, the address of pick-up, and items you have for pick up.    A primary furniture item, such as couch, table, or bed is required for all pick-up donations. If you are unsure of what qualifies, please contact them at donations@ihcdallas.org or at (469) 828-1812.  Items with large tears, stained, or not on their list will not be accepted.  Interfaith reserves the right to refuse items not needed.

Lancaster Outreach Center (Lancaster)-Only large items will be collected, clothes will be accepted if picking up large donation that will not fit in a car.  Area served is Southwest Dallas County and Northern Ellis County, call 972-227-5117 for pick up.

LifeSavers Foundation (Richardson and Irving)-Pick up is available for large furnishings, please call their resale store to schedule a pick up.  Richardson-972-669-9000, Irving-972-252-9000.  You can make an on-line request for pickup here.  Your donation helps pregnant women become self sufficient.

SafeHaven of Tarrant County(Fort Worth/Arlington)-Furniture, large appliances, and other large items are greatly appreciated.  To schedule a pick up call 817-921-5898.

Salvation Army (Dallas/Fort Worth)-Call 1-800-SA-Truck for pick up of large items.

Samaritan House (Fort Worth)-Pick up can be provided for large items, contact Elvira Munoz at 817-332-6410 for more information.

The Family Place (Dallas)-Contact 214-358-0381 for pick-ups.  Everything is accepted except for pianos, TVs, mattresses/box springs, drop down cribs, Christmas trees, and large appliances.  No second floor pick ups.

World Relief Fort Worth (Fort Worth)-If you would like to schedule a donation pick-up please contact Anthony Campbell at 817-915-8912 or email him at acampbell@wr.org.  They don’t take mattresses, bed frames, or clothes (except coats).

Thanks to http://givinggoodsdfw.com/ for that awesome list!


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How Real Estate Agents create liability for themselves in referring 3 Home Inspectors

written by Nathan Thornberry

realtor-liabilityIt’s one of the most amazing myths in real estate, and one not only believed thoroughly but often acted upon by over 80% of participants- brokers and agents alike. Sometimes it is an office policy, sometimes it is just the typical way of doing business, sometimes it is simply bad advice from an E & O Insurer, other times it is a learned protocol from one agent to another…and it goes something like this:

“We give our clients a list of three home inspection companies to reduce our liability.”

It’s an interesting concept, and to a risk management guy like myself with 150,000+ transaction involvement in the U.S. and Canada monthly and relationships with agents going back 20+ years into a childhood that involved my parents’ home inspection business and my grandfather’s successful real estate practice, I understand where this makes sense to some or even many. The idea is that if you tell a client that the best inspector in town, based on your involvement in both sides of the transaction many times a year, is company X and company X disappoints the client or misses a material defect that this will come back to bite you as an agent in the form of a lawsuit because you might have suggested a home inspector that wasn’t qualified or didn’t treat the client with the level of care that they expected.

It is also worth noting that many if not most all E & O claims outside of fraud for real estate agents and brokers are based on property condition issues, and it’s something I wrote a whole chapter about in my book The Savvy Agent (available for free at http://www.Nathan.tv/#!Books ). So if there is anywhere we would all like to reduce our liability, this is an obvious place to start.

Here’s the problem: This is only one aspect of the scenario to consider and in the experience we have of literally millions of transactions it has proved to be 100% false.

In fact, we haven’t found one singular account of a case where a buyer, frustrated with the negligence of the inspector they ultimately hired, sued their agent for the referral and after the judge hearing that more than one inspector had been referred he stopped the proceedings and said, “oh, well if you referred not just the best inspector you knew of but also one that was worse and another that logically must have been even worse than the second inspector, then you’re in the clear and I am dismissing this case!”

It hasn’t happened in the history of the courts that we can find. (We’re happy to publish right here any actual examples of that happening, as seldom as it may have been, simply message me the case link at nathan@nathan.tv …and if I don’t get one single case from all of you attorneys in real estate pushing this myth I will be greatly disappointed! )

So unless there are hundreds or thousands of these cases we mysteriously just haven’t seen yet…the legal liability issue is just simply a myth and one that needs to be annihilated now. Candidly, it makes me really angry when someone whether it be a lawyer, E & O agent, or even an amateur know-it-all decides to make all of my agent friends scared of the liability boogie man. I’m sure the intent is good, but if you are pushing this wrongheaded idea in the industry do us all a favor and don’t.

Now let’s look at the other aspects:

1. Non-Legal Liability (referrals from clients)
2. Duty to the Client
3. Actual Liability (legally) regarding home inspections

Non-Legal Liability

Some may read this and say, “okay, so offering up a list of inspectors doesn’t actually reduce my chance of going to court or increase my chance of walking out of there the winner…but the bigger liability for me is a client deciding that I didn’t take care of them well and then they don’t refer me to their friends, family, and neighbors and my real estate business is heavily referral driven. What about that liability?”

This is a fair point and one I have answered live in front of agents from coast to coast at events held by Associations, Offices, and even our own series of Power Agent Conferences ( http://www.PowerAgentConference.net ). You definitely want a client to have an excellent experience in the process of buying or selling with you, which is why you give them the royal treatment, make sure they are covered by a home warranty (like the one from Residential Warranty Services at http://www.RWSwarranty.com ), and you stay up all night crossing T’s and dotting I’s on purchase agreements and closing statements. The last thing you need is for the client to feel under-served by the inspector you trusted to take care of them- especially when you kill yourself trying to take care of your clients (people outside the industry just don’t understand do they?).

Let’s play this out in a couple of ways. Let’s say you basically hand the client the phone book when it comes to home inspectors and say “pick one,” and later they have an issue. They call you to complain about it. Do you think it makes the situation better that you can tell this client that these problems are all their fault for being so idiotic as to pick inspector #3 on the list rather than inspector #1? Do you think they want to hear you tell them this isn’t your problem? I have yet to hear a good way to approach a client with a problem where we left them to do everything themselves without the representation they were paying for and they are the only ones to blame- even if it is ultimately their responsibility.

Now let’s play this out the other way: You know Inspector X is the best inspector in town. The rest don’t compare in your mind. You tell the client pick who you want, it’s a free country, but if you’re relying on my expertise I can tell you who the best inspector is. Later the client has an issue…what do you do? Well, it’s really simple when you have a great relationship with the inspector and send them a lot of work. You tell them to take care of it. You tell them to reach out to the client. Hopefully whatever the issue is falls into the category of a misunderstanding or something that is covered by a Warranty provided free of charge from the inspector if they’re one of the 5500+ top home inspectors in North America (find one at http://www.InspectionCentral.net ).

It is always going to be better from a referral retention perspective to be able to step in and help the client– especially if the alternative is blaming the client. Besides, when you tell your client that you would love it if they were to share their positive experience with family and friends and refer them to you for real estate services, do you make sure they refer you and two other agents so that they don’t have any “liability”? It sounds ridiculous, I know.

Duty to the Client

What is our job as an industry? Is it to do online searches for homes in a database like it was 20 years ago? Last time I checked, that ship had sailed and it is called the USS Zillow.

Our job, put as simply as possible, is to protect clients from the start of the transaction to the end of it. Protect them from a bad deal, protect their wallets, ensure they don’t have outstanding liability, market listings aggressively, and ultimately buy or sell the house they wanted to buy or sell. Clients rely on us to be experts, to know who to call when it comes to services in the real estate transaction, and while certain regulations (especially around mortgages) sometimes limit our abilities to recommend the absolute best guy, in home inspection there is no such restriction. Anywhere.

In fact, I would say it is your Duty to the Client to ensure they get the best inspection.

It is your Duty to the Client to make sure they know that some inspectors offer things like RecallChek reports that give them free repairs to fire hazards, or SewerGard protection that will pay for a broken sewer line underground between the home and the street when other inspectors would simply say “sorry about your luck”, or even that there are thousands of inspectors that offer a 5 year Roof Leak Protection Plan that can help your clients avoid a financial disaster.

I would say at this point, especially considering the 23%+ of transactions in North America where clients (hopefully yours already) are receiving these benefits, that there is a real liability in referring any inspector that offers no protection for your client for any of these issues. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes- they move in, have a sewer line collapse at a significant expense, and they find out that all of their neighbors had protection from this issue and one even got their issue repaired for free because they used the right home inspector. In their mind the referral to the basic home inspector in town will be an absolute dereliction of duty on your part.

What’s our duty? To know who the best provider is and to make sure we convey that to the client. If I referred a relative of mine to an agent and they knowingly gave them the name of an inspection company that they knew wasn’t the absolute best inspection company in town that offers the best protections for their clients, they would lose my referrals forever. What else are they giving bad advice on? Are they more concerned about their own liability or ensuring their clients are taken care of? That’s not a distinction nor a sacrifice I will ever make- I work hard for my clients every day and will stick my neck out unapologetically.

Actual Liability Concerns

Why do agents get sued over inspection issues? What are the real issues that come up?

More than anything, this boils down to expectations. Many inspectors in the marketplace still have a business model from 30 years ago with a 2/10 warranty. The 2/10 warranty is simple: They guarantee the results of their inspection until 2 seconds after the inspection or when they are 10 feet off the property, whichever comes soonest. Agents who refer these inspectors are more often dealing with uninsured inspectors. They’re dealing with inspectors that guarantee nothing for their clients.

Here’s what your clients believe, regardless of what you tell them:

An inspector was here yesterday, last week, last month, or 60 days ago. He said everything was fine and the faucet is leaking. He should be responsible for this.

This is one of thousands of possibilities, but you get the idea. When these things happen, you better have an inspector with policies in place to pay for these problems or you will have a disappointed client, a problem getting referrals, or worse yet a lawsuit when the issue is something big like a sewer line collapse. Sure, hidden and new issues aren’t your fault or the inspectors, but that doesn’t matter to the client. They have an expectation that the house they move into is the one they read about in the listing, toured with you, and have well documented in an inspection report. It’s not really unreasonable if you put yourself in their position and imagine yourself to have virtually zero knowledge about the real estate transaction.

Here’s how to avoid actual liability:

1. Always use an inspector that checks for recalls using RecallChek.
2. Always use an inspector that utilizes SewerGard to cover underground lines.
3. Always use an inspector with a 90 Day Warranty.
4. Always use an inspector with 5 years of Roof Leak Protection.
5. Always use an inspector that is insured with negligent referral protection for the agent.

Most of you are pretty aware of items 1-4 on the list, and all the top companies in the country utilize them so they are available wherever you practice real estate. #5 may be a new one for you- but one you should know all about. Ask your inspector if his E & O coverage includes negligent referral protection for the referring agent. It comes free with most all policies now, so it doesn’t cost the inspector a dime and it makes any inspection issue literally a zero dollar out of pocket legal issue for an agent and broker.

For home inspection it is always a good idea to send your clients to the most utilized online Guide to the Home Inspection at http://www.inspectionguide.net and probably not a bad idea to read the guide yourself.

There’s other things that happen occasionally outside of inspection of course, and for those we suggest the Disclosure forms from RWS. Even if you don’t utilize an inspector that offers protections from the items listed above like sewer line collapses and mechanical/structural failures, simply disclosing to your clients that these coverages exist will not only reduce your liability in a very real way, RWS will actually pay $5000 of any E & O claim from participating offices in the disclosure form system. Check out details on that program here, which is launching in offices all across the country rapidly: http://nathan.tv/#!ZeroDeductibleForBrokers

 

 


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Is your high-efficiency water heater going to lead to heartache?

Water heater leading to heartache It’s time to replace your old, energy-guzzling water heater, boiler, dehumidifier or furnace and you’ve done your homework. You’re going to save energy and money in the long run by switching to a high-efficiency condensing heater or boiler. It’s important to know the nuances of proper installation — even if you’re relying on a professional to do the job.

A growing number of homeowners are turning to boilers, HVAC systems and water heaters that rely on condensing to maximize the unit’s efficiency. Instead of venting hot exhaust gases out through a flue, these units capture additional heat from the exhaust and use it to enhance the unit’s heating. Although condensing units often cost more than conventional options, the energy savings can quickly offset the higher initial price tag.

However, condensing units present a new problem — condensate waste. Water is the byproduct of the efficiency-boosting condensing process, but waste water produced from a combustion process ends up being acidic. When natural gas burns inside a furnace or boiler, the flame draws in atmospheric nitrogen. The heat causes a chemical reaction that creates nitrogen dioxide and nitrous oxide — both of which get dissolved into the waste water.

“If the condensate waste is vented into a home’s plumbing system, over time the acidic water can corrode the metal pipes,” explains Chris Peterson of Saniflo, a manufacturer of drain-pump systems. “Ultimately, the thing homeowners did to save them money ends up costing them hundreds or even thousands of dollars when they have to replace pipes deteriorated by acidic condensate.”

Pumping the waste outside the home or into sanitary sewers usually isn’t a good solution. Those tactics put the acidic waste into ground water or channel it through municipal- and county-owned pipes that can also be corroded by the condensate waste.

“The smart, long-term solution is to neutralize the acidic content in the condensate waste before it ever goes into any piping,” he says. “Condensate waste neutralization is also required by the International Plumbing Codes, which are in force in many parts of the country.”

One solution that many contractors and homeowners have turned to is adding a neutralizing unit, like the Sanicondens Best. The condensate pump has a built-in neutralizer, and can be outfitted on any condensing boiler, HVAC system or water heater. The pump ensures condensate waste doesn’t linger in or around the unit, and the neutralizing function removes the acidity that could damage water and sewer pipes.

To learn more about condensate waste neutralization and the Sanicondens Best, visit www.saniflo.com.

 

Untitled-1 Your Premier Texas Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Inspect 360 will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Texas City area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Inspect 360, Lance Dunahoe prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (972) 652-0360 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 


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Simple Tips to Save Money, Energy-saving Tips as the Heat Rises

With temperatures — and therefore, electric bills — on the rise, American homeowners are looking for the most effective ways to make the biggest dent in their energy bills; however, many may be overlooking some of the most important energy-saving tips.

Energy-saving tips on summerHomeowners are more likely to do simple things around the house to conserve energy, according to the Lennox Home Energy Report Card Survey. Those simple things may include changing air filters in a heating and cooling system on a regular basis, unplugging electronics when not in use and turning down the temperature setting on a hot water heater.

While these activities can certainly help save energy and money, Jennifer Franz, an energy efficiency expert at Lennox, a home heating and cooling manufacturer, says homeowners need to take a close look at how they heat and cool their homes if they truly want to make a substantial dent in their energy bills.

“More than half of a home’s energy costs comes from heating and cooling the house,” says Franz. “If you can heat or cool your home more efficiently, then you’ll be well on your way to seeing lower energy bills.”

The first step is to have a professional evaluate the age, performance and efficiency of your heating and cooling system. The Lennox survey found that only slightly more than half of homeowners (51 percent) had taken the proactive step of replacing an old, inefficient heating and cooling system with a new, energy-efficient model, yet doing so can dramatically help conserve energy and reduce utility bills.

Franz says if the air conditioning system is more than 10 years old or the furnace is more than 15 years old — the average life spans of cooling and heating equipment — then it’s time to consider replacing the aging unit with a new high efficiency system.

Energy-saving technologies

Significant advances in energy-efficient technologies have enabled homeowners to save hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills. One example is the Lennox SunSource Home Energy System — a solar-powered central heating and cooling system — that uses energy from the sun, collected from roof-mounted solar modules, to reduce the electricity consumed by a high-efficiency heat pump or air conditioner.

When the SunSource heating and cooling system is not in use, the solar energy can operate other appliances and electronics. Any excess energy that’s not needed is sent back to the utility company, possibly entitling the homeowner to a credit on their utility bill.

Other energy-efficient ways to cool and heat a home

In addition to replacing an old heating and cooling system, Franz says there are a number of other ways to make heating and cooling your home more efficient. She offers the following energy-saving tips:

* Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping to prevent indoor air from escaping.

* Keep blinds, shades and curtains closed during the day in the summer to block sunlight from entering the home, but open them up in the winter to naturally warm the house.

* Install a smart thermostat, which can be controlled via an app from anywhere at any time, to adjust the temperature based on when residents are at home or away.

* Add extra insulation to the attic, which will help prevent your home’s heating and cooling system from having to work harder to regulate the indoor temperature.

For more energy-saving tips, visit www.lennox.com.

 

Untitled-1 Your Premier Texas Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Inspect 360 will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Texas City area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Inspect 360, Lance Dunahoe prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (972) 652-0360 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!


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5 Top Trends in Container Gardening

Gardening is a peaceful activity that eases tension, reduces overall stress and promotes longevity. One long-term study found that daily gardening reduces the risk for both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With all of these benefits, there are ample reasons why people of all ages and lifestyles should start digging in the dirt.

Container Gardening

You don’t need a big yard or lots of room to enjoy a beautiful garden. With so many options for indoor and outdoor container gardening, there’s no limit on the number of gardens you can have. Container gardening is a great way to color up a small space, add depth and height to your yard or easily change up the look of your patio. No matter your skill level, enjoy the benefits of gardening with these container trends:

Foliage gardens

Foliage plants are no longer just accessories for your small space garden. You can create an entire display simply out of rich, colorful foliage plants. Fountain grass, papyrus, vinca and grassy rush are all great additions for adding vibrancy to your container garden. Mix and match with various textures to find a unique display that speaks to you.

Petunia tower

A petunia tower is a great way to add an unexpected element to your container garden collection. A flower tower is easy to make and sun-loving Tidal Wave Petunias will bloom all season long on a patio, deck or pool area. You will need only three Tidal Wave plants. The Red Velour have great color and texture and make a strong statement. Plant them with good potting soil into a 10 to 12 inch wide plastic nursing pot. Place a three-foot metal tomato cage into the pot. The cage should be as wide at the bottom as it is on the top. Now slip the entire plastic pot into a glazed pot that’s about one to four inches wider, and voila!

Hanging baskets

Hanging flower baskets bring your plants to eye-level, where everyone can enjoy their wonderful scents and sights. Add beauty to an otherwise dull porch, wall or rafters. Try planting succulents for a virtually care-free container garden. Petunias, calibrachoa and pansies also make wonderful additions to hanging baskets.

Combination containers

Who says your container garden can only have one plant? Get creative and play with different color and texture combinations of plants and flowers. You can make up your own mix or search online for combo recipes by other inspiring gardeners. Mix foliage with flowers and use a color scheme to build a balanced and beautiful container.

Indoor container gardening

Take your favorite hobby inside. Even if you have a small apartment, there’s no need to rule out house plants. Find the best place for each plant, depending on their light requirements. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different locations until you find the best spot for your indoor containers. For sun-loving plants, just be sure to place them on a windowsill for maximum light exposure.

With so many options and room for creativity, container gardening is a trend that’s here to stay. Tap into your inventive side to build a container garden that brings joy and wellness both indoors and out. For more gardening ideas, tips and tricks visit wavepetunias.com.

Untitled-1 Your Premier Texas Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Inspect 360 will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Texas City area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Inspect 360, Lance Dunahoe prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (972) 652-0360 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 


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40 Years of Urban Forests Making Cities Safer

Urban Forests Making Cities SaferApple computers, the rock band U2, “Rocky” and two national football teams — of all the things that turn 40 in 2016, none have transformed the American landscape as definitively and beautifully as the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program. Since its inception with partners from the National Association of State Foresters and the United States Forest Service in 1976, the program has supported and recognized tree sustainability programs in more than 3,400 American cities, inhabited by more than 135 million people.

The thousands of Tree City USA municipalities meet core standards of sound urban forestry management, including:

* Having a tree board or department charged with caring for the community’s trees.

* Adopting a tree ordinance that provides clear guidance for planting, maintaining and removing trees in public spaces like parks and along streets.

* Spending at least $2 per citizen on a community forestry program.

* Observing Arbor Day with a formalized Arbor Day celebration.

“Meeting these core standards means a community is committed to keeping its trees healthy and public spaces green,” says Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens make smart investments in urban forests. Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.”

Not only does the Tree City USA designation make communities beautiful, other benefits include:

* Homes with trees as part of their landscaping are worth more. A study by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Station in Portland, Oregon, found homes with trees between the sidewalk and street sold for an average of $7,130 more than homes that didn’t have trees by the street. What’s more, neighboring homes see their home values boosted more than $1,600, even though the trees aren’t on their property.

* Trees make shoppers happy; a study published in the Journal of Forestry found surveyed shoppers viewed retail locations with trees to be more appealing than those without, and were willing to spend more for goods and services where trees were present.

* Due to their calming effect, trees are thought to help make neighborhoods safer, and multiple studies show communities with more trees have fewer incidences of violence.

* Trees can improve a community’s energy efficiency and air quality, control storm water runoff, reduce flooding risks and make public areas more beautiful and appealing.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s website offers information, advice, resources and an online application form to help communities become a part of this 40-year success story. To learn more about the Tree City USA program, visit www.arborday.org.

Untitled-1 Your Premier Texas Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Inspect 360 will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Texas City area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Inspect 360, Lance Dunahoe prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (972) 652-0360 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!


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New Home Improvement Trends For Your Property Investment

When you’re in the process of buying or building a home, you’re constantly researching trends and technology that will set your home apart. Fast forward a few years and you probably don’t have your finger on the pulse of home advancements like before.

6 Home Improvement Trends to Update your Stale Space

Dallas Home Inspection, Texas home Inspection, Home ImprovementIt’s good you’ve settled in to your home, but a lot can change in just a handful of years. If you’re finally thinking about finishing the basement, updating the kitchen or investing in landscaping, there’s probably a lot of new processes and products available since you’ve last been in the market.

Get up to speed by learning about the top home improvement trends that are getting lots of attention in 2016:

 

Air quality
Homeowners are taking action to improve indoor air quality by choosing smart products like AirRenew drywall boards that clean the air. Ideal when remodeling or finishing basements and bathrooms, these boards feature the industry’s first formaldehyde-absorbing technology. That means they actively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, converting them into a safe compound that improves indoor air quality. VOCs are prevalent in bathroom spaces due to personal hygiene products like hair spray and the use of cleaning chemicals. Plus, the M2Tech technology in AirRenew is moisture and mold resistant, which is excellent for bathroom and basement spaces where these conditions often thrive.

Acid stained concrete
Homeowners are looking beyond concrete’s core strength and durability to discover its beauty when treated with acid staining techniques. Specialty stains are used to add stunning depth and color that closely mimics stone, including marble. Perfect for basements and patio spaces, concrete experts pour the slab and then after it has cured, return to apply the stain treatment. The result is completely customizable and often closely resembles upscale applications at a fraction of the cost.

Durable drywall
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, homeowners need the option of mounting and remounting the newest televisions, speaker systems and other home electronics. By thoughtfully selecting drywall, you can say goodbye to anchors and stud finders for good. Habito drywallallows builders and homeowners to create spaces that provide easy mounting of fixtures up to 30 pounds. Visit HanginWithHabito.com to learn how you can hang a TV or piece of art without anchors and feel confident it’s secured to the wall.

MDF cabinets
Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is a high-grade, composite material that is used to create cabinetry for kitchens, bars and bathrooms. Made from wood fibers and resin, MDF is dried and pressed to create an incredibly durable material. Homeowners are choosing MDF cabinets because they do not expand and contract like solid wood, which means it better withstands seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

Acoustics
Today’s approach to home design goes beyond appearances to look at how the spaces affect every one of the senses. Homeowners in particular are paying close attention to the acoustics of a home. Knowing how sounds can be manipulated and controlled within a house is important for functionality and livability. A professional can assist in the details of acoustics design, but basic features that best control sound are insulation, ceiling material and flooring design.

Smart spaces
High tech knows no bounds because more homes are incorporating smart spaces into each room. These are special areas where you can store and charge devices so that they are always operable. For example, a drawer in the kitchen will have built-in USB chargers. The cabinet in your master bath will hold and charge your tablet. The living room built-in will feature a smartphone dock. Personal technology continues to grow and today’s home is growing with it.

To learn more about today’s most innovative drywall options, visit CertainTeed.com/CleanTheAir and HanginWithHabito.com.

Untitled-1 Your Premier Texas Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Inspect 360 will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Texas City area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Inspect 360, Lance Dunahoe prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (972) 652-0360 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!


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Does Your Door Lock Protect Against This Break-in Method?

Dallas Home Inspection, Texas Home Inspection, Attic into Living SpaceFrom self-driving cars to Snapchat, digital technology continues to transform almost every aspect of our lives. While these big-ticket smart items make the headlines, many homeowners are more interested in how smart technology can be used to increase their level of home security.

Today, advanced image sensors, indoor video cameras and DIY security hubs allow the average homeowner to install security systems that are directly linked to the police. Homeowners can also lock doors and check cameras from their phones, regardless of their location.

“No matter how advanced your security system, your home is only protected as much as your weakest link,” says Randy Johnson, a professional locksmith with Lock-Tech in Orange County, California. “Far too often, it’s the weak door lock on the door that thieves use as their entry way into a home.”

A rising danger

Recently, Good Morning America reported on the increase in the use of bump keys to break into homes.

Bump keys can be purchased online and fit into just about any door lock. A burglar needs only to hit the head of the inserted key with a hammer or a blunt object. This causes the pins in the lock to jump, allowing anyone to unlock the door and easily enter your home.

Because this entry method is not easily noticeable, many people don’t even know their home was broken into.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that household break-in rates regularly increase during the summer. Those findings are confirmed by F.B.I. data that show all criminal activity increases roughly 10 percent during the summer months.

These factors have led security experts to remind the public that not all door locks are the same and homeowners need to invest in bump-proof door locks.

Bump-proof locks

As summer crime spikes, the importance of having the right kind of door lock on your home cannot be overstated. Kwikset SmartKey locks are built with a patented BumpGuard technology that prevents would-be burglars from breaking into your house with a bump key.

Available in door knobs, door locks, smart locks, handlesets and more, there’s a Kwikset door lock with SmartKey security to fit virtually every door.

While there is no shortage of smart security options for your home, the Kwikset door locks specifically respond to a very real threat. This technology will be welcome news for moms and dads looking for the best way to protect their family and keep their valuables secure.

Untitled-1 Your Premier Texas Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Inspect 360 will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Texas City area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Inspect 360, Lance Dunahoe prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (972) 652-0360 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!


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