Licensed Home Inspector Keith Boggs

Selecting a Home Inspection Company: You’re Hiring a Person, Not a Company

Selecting a Home Inspection Company: You’re Hiring a Person, Not a Company

Whether buying or selling, you want the best home inspector you can find to make sure your interests are protected. You’ll find there are many inspection firms to choose from in the Dallas area — some with multiple inspectors, others with just one or two, like my company, Stonebriar Property Inspections.

Does it matter if you go with a multi-inspector firm versus one, like mine, that’s run by an owner/inspector?

Yes, it does!

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Whether Buying or Building, Home Inspections Matter

Whether Buying or Building, Home Inspections Matter

Did you know that DFW is the top new home market in the country, with 33,234 homes started in 2017? 4th quarter construction starts were up 16.9% over 2016, and builders report stronger than expected sales at the end of 2017, indicating 2018 could be a banner year for new home construction as well.

And it’s not just new homes that are hot. The numbers of new listings, pending sales, and closings have also increased consistently over the last few years. DFW continues to have one of the top 20 hottest housing markets in the nation.

This isn’t surprising, given the fact that Texas keeps welcoming new businesses, like Toyota, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm, which bring new residents! Quality of life, cost of living, good schools, and tax incentives make DFW a great place to live right now.

But there’s a downside to this good news…

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A Hot Dallas Housing Market Means Home Inspections are Essential!

A Hot Dallas Housing Market Means Home Inspections are Essential!

Our housing market is booming with big names like Toyota, Huawei, Samsung, Kubota, McKesson, and Hilti setting up shop in the area, bringing thousands of jobs and transplanting thousands of people to fill them. And this means lots of new houses are being built. In fact, the latest census data shows that the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area issued more than 34,000 single-family housing permits last year — up about 17% from 2016.

This is one reason why reliable, thorough home inspections on newly-constructed houses have become more important than ever!

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Why You Should Inspect Your Newly-Constructed Home More Than Once

Why You Should Inspect Your Newly-Constructed Home More Than Once

If you’re building a new home in the DFW metropolitan area, here’s something important to consider: Our housing market is on fire! The latest census data shows that the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area issued more than 34,000 housing permits in 2017 — second in the nation only to Houston. This is also important to understand if you built a new home nearly a year ago because your one-year builder’s warranty is about to expire.

Here’s an important reason you should take note: High housing demand in the Dallas area puts builders under pressure to deliver fast. It also means that city inspectors, contractors, subcontractors, and construction pros are under pressure to meet their deadlines. Haste makes waste, which is why you should engage a reliable, experienced home inspector twice— once before you take the keys and again two to three months before your one-year builder warranty expires. Continue Reading

Increase Your Home’s Value by Transforming Your Garage

Increase Your Home’s Value by Transforming Your Garage

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you’re probably developing a master project list based on a number of questions and decisions: What needs fixing? What needs freshening up? Where will you spend your money before putting your home on the market? And what return will you get on that investment?

We all know that kitchens and bathrooms sit at the top of the list of smart investments when it comes to your home’s value. Fresh paint and outdoor upgrades are also quick fixes that add appeal.

But did you know that a garage remodel should also be on your radar? Angie’s List says that, on average, you can expect to get about 60% of your investment back on a garage remodel. In fact, simply replacing your garage door can return 90% of the cost back to you when you sell.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List writes: “Of all the spaces in our homes, the garage is perhaps the most underutilized. And it’s an area that offers endless opportunities for enhanced curb appeal, improved organization, and even remodeling.”

Angie’s List just published their monthly magazine — and it’s all about garages! So before you finalize your pre-sale project list, we think you might want to check it out.

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Selling Your Home? 22 Ways to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Selling Your Home? 22 Ways to Prepare for a Home Inspection

Homeowners focus largely on cosmetic fixes when preparing to sell. They put fresh paint on the walls, remodel kitchens and baths, and spruce up the landscape. And these efforts pay off: The house looks and feels clean and modern, which captures the attention of buyers who don’t want to mess with those projects once they move in.

Not as much attention is focused, however, on making sure the inner workings of the home are in good shape. We recommend having a seller’s home inspection to make sure you’re aware of issues before you even put your house on the market, because when you receive an offer, the option period is short — generally, five to ten days — in which you must have your home inspected, make repairs, and possibly have it reinspected.

Additionally, you want this home inspection to go really, really well! Its outcomes have a huge influence on the profit you make from selling your home. We’ve gleaned the best advice from the field to create this checklist on preparing for a home inspection. Continue Reading

5 Good Reasons to Have Your Home Inspected Every Year

5 Good Reasons to Have Your Home Inspected Every Year

When you buy or sell a home, it’s a given that you will have a home inspection — but have you thought about having your current home inspected outside of the buying or selling process?

We’ve lived in our home for twelve years, and I can’t tell you how many times my experience as a Dallas home inspector has helped us keep minor issues from becoming major over that time.

How long have you lived in your home? What problems may be lurking? It’s time to schedule an inspection. Continue Reading

Seller’s Home Inspection Services

Seller’s Pre-Listing Home Inspection Services

We will inspect your home as if we were your potential buyer.

When you sell your home, you want the most value out of your investment. And while many sellers don’t have a pre-listing home inspection, there are many important reasons you should. A pre-listing home inspection provides a view of your home’s condition through the eyes of an unbiased third party. It gives you the information you need to make repairs and identify items that will likely be called out by your buyer’s inspector, avoiding surprises that could potentially slow the sale of your home. Continue Reading

Buyer’s Home Inspection Services

We will inspect your home as if we were the ones making this major investment.

Buying a home is a major step and a big investment, so discovering any defects before you’ve signed on the dotted line is a top priority. Having a detailed understanding of a home’s condition before you commit to it gives you what you need to negotiate a fair price with confidence. It also provides you with peace of mind when making your final decision. Stonebriar Property Inspections offers Buyer’s Home Inspection Services. Continue Reading

How to Clean Windows Like a Pro in 3 Easy Steps

How to Clean Windows Like a Pro in 3 Easy Steps

One of the most effective ways to make your home lighter, brighter, and happier is to clean its windows — inside and out.

And it is an essential task when you are getting ready to put your home on the market. You want to let the sun shine in! For those windows to gleam and sparkle with joy! Your potential buyers will notice if this is not what they experience when wandering from room to room.

Cleaning windows, however — especially both sides of the panes — requires time and energy. Sure, you can hire a professional window cleaner, but at a cost ranging from about $3 to $7 per window pane (plus extra charges for a variety of additional services), you’re looking to shell out at least a couple of hundred dollars. (Angie’s List estimates an average of $206 for window cleaning in the Dallas area.)

So will you DIY? If that’s what you choose, here’s what we’ve learned from the pros!

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5 Ways to Get Rid Of Old Paint in the Dallas Area

5 Ways to Get Rid Of Old Paint in the Dallas Area

Look into any home’s garage and you’re likely to see a collection of paint cans — some old, some not-so-old — but most of which are likely to sit unused for years. Why do we hang on to them? Because figuring out how and where to get rid of them safely — without harming others or the environment — can be confusing.

According to the City of Dallas’ Sanitation Services web page, household hazardous wastes (HHW) are “chemicals which could cause harm to the environment if they are thrown into your garbage roll cart, poured down the drain or storm sewer, illegally dumped, or stored incorrectly.” And paint is potentially one of these items if not disposed of properly.

We’ve done a little research to find out what you need to know about getting rid of your old paint if you live in the Dallas area. Read on to learn more!

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How Can Insulation Contribute To Home Repair Following A Hurricane?

home insulationFrom your friends at Stonebriar Home Inspections!

As we are all too aware, hurricane season is in full swing, and thousands of homeowners across the southern U.S. and Puerto Rico have been hit by mammoth hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Nearly every year, the cost of damages that occur as a result of hurricanes or intense tropical storms making landfall in the U.S. numbers in the billions. Heavy rain, storm surges, and coastal flooding can all contribute to the destruction of homes and other buildings.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding accounts for more than $3.5 billion in insurance claims annually. Flood waters due to storm surge, underperforming drainage or broken levees can induce physical deterioration of the building structure, perpetuate mold growth, contain contaminants, corrosive dissolved salts and/or raw sewage, saturate insulation and wallboard, carpets and furniture as well as contribute toward respiratory problems, allergies, infection and irritation of the eyes and skin. Continue Reading

5 DIY Home Upgrades Anyone Can Do In A Day

easy home office upgradeHelpful information from Stonebriar Home Inspections!

Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it’s easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs.

To get started, here are five inexpensive projects that can be tackled by any DIYer, each of which will have an impact on the entire home. Continue Reading

3 Steps To A Healthier, Happier Home

a happy babyBrought to you by Stonebriar Home Inspections!

Today, people are more focused on health and wellness than ever before. You know this because you are constantly flooded with advice on what to eat, how (and how much) to exercise, and what to ask your doctors.

All of these things are important but what about the vital role the home plays in your healthy lifestyle? As you prepare for another season of indoor living, it’s time to ask: how can I improve the functionality, efficiency, and health of my home?

A healthy, safe and comfortable home is essential for those you love. When winter weather keeps you indoors, it’s even more important.

Tackle a few home-health tips now and your family and guests will be comfortable now and any time of year. Review and handle these must-dos, happy home style, today! Continue Reading

4 DIY Tips To Save Money And Get Your Home Ready For Winter

getting ready for winterFrom your friends at Stonebriar Home Inspections!

Many people look forward to the cooler weather. The brisk autumn winds and colorful leaves signal that once again it’s time to take out the sweaters and scarves. There are the hot soups and pumpkin-flavored drinks to keep one warm as the weather gets cooler, but for the conscientious homeowner and dedicated DIYer, it’s time to start winterizing your home.

Sealing out pesky drafts around your home helps save energy while also making your home more comfortable. It also prevents water damage from rain, ice or snow and blocks out pests that might be trying to find a warm place to spend the winter.

As you’re deciding where to get started, here are four projects that will go a long way to save you money and make your home ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it this winter. Continue Reading

The Sound Of Silence: How To Design A Quiet Home Office

home officeThe Article Courtesy of Stonebriar Home Inspections!

In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s no surprise that more employees are opting to work from home. While there may be a shift of physical locations — from the office building to the home — productivity is still paramount, making the need for quiet home workspaces more important than ever.

“As urbanization continues, builders and developers are focused on optimizing available land, which results in more homes, apartments, and condos built near highways and airports,” says Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for leading window manufacturer Ply Gem Windows. “The convergence of telecommuting and higher noise levels means there’s a growing need to enhance homeowner comfort with noise reduction technology.”

If your workspace needs a sound makeover, consider the following tips. For even more information on home improvement solutions, check out websites like www.plygem.com. Continue Reading

Tips To Stop Drafts, Save Money And Improve Your Home

Here are a few great fall/winter tips for helping to keep your home warm and also help on your energy bills from your friends at Stonebriar Property Inspections.

As you are aware, colder weather is here. Before those winds begin to howl, be sure your home is ready for the chill. Not only can draft-proofing your home help in colder weather, but even homeowners in warmer climates can draft-proof their homes to help save on energy and moderate their home’s indoor climate. Air leaks not only allow cold air in, but they also allow warmed air to escape. Continue Reading

10 Hot Home Tech Gifts for Every Budget!

10 Hot Home Tech Gifts for Every Budget!

‘Tis the holiday season, which means it’s prime time to find good deals on fancy new electronic gadgets that promise to make your home even more awesome! Does your home entertainment system need an upgrade? Are you looking to improve your house’s security system? What about some new technology in your kitchen appliance cabinet?

Whether you gift them for your kids, your partner, or yourself, home tech gifts are always well-received. And the perfect electronic gift begins with research. We’re giving you a head start with this list of 10 hot home tech gifts perfect for any budget.

Time to start shopping!

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How to Keep Your Cool by Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

How to Keep Your Cool by Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

It’s summer in Dallas — which, as you know, means air conditioners are running and utility bills are rising. Did you know that 6% of your household energy goes to cooling your home? And homeowners spend $29 billion every year to run their A/C systems!

Air conditioners are major investments, but we obviously need them in the South — not just for comfort, but for safety when the temperatures skyrocket. And to keep them running at their peak efficiency, they require regular maintenance. Do you know what you need to do to take care of yours?

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Your 7-Step DIY Sprinkler Tune-Up Checklist and When You Can Water in DFW

Your 7-Step DIY Sprinkler Tune-Up Checklist and When You Can Water in DFW

With temperatures already in the eighties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it’s a good time to make sure your sprinkler system is in tip-top shape. Doing so will save you water, which in turn saves you cash. (Did you know that minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of wasted water each year?) And it may save you a lot of time and even more money if you prevent minor problems from escalating into costly major repairs.

Many DIY sprinkler tune-up guides exist. After reviewing several, we’ve laid out the seven steps you can take to do your own springtime sprinkler check up. We’ve also included links to the 2017 watering restrictions and schedules for many of DFW’s major cities. Continue Reading

Six Steps to Keep Your Pipes from Bursting During a Freeze

Six Steps to Keep Your Pipes from Bursting During a Freeze

Did you know a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water in a single day? That’s why it’s important to protect your plumbing when the temperature dips below freezing. Water in pipes expands as it turns into ice. Pipe bursts. And you are left with an expensive mess to clean up.

The worst part? You probably could have avoided that mess by taking a few simple precautions during the winter months.

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10 Gifts Any First-Time Homeowner Wants to Receive

10 Gifts Any First-Time Homeowner Wants to Receive

Our friends just bought their first home, so we’ve been trying to find the perfect holiday/housewarming gift for them. There are so many options, and we’ve done some research. Along the way, we’ve collected 10 gift ideas we think any first-time homeowner will appreciate. Continue Reading

The Top Five Decisions to Make Before Gutter Replacement

The Top Five Decisions to Make Before Gutter Replacement

Some friends of ours recently replaced their gutters and downspouts. And while that sounds like a relatively simple project, they found there was more to consider than they expected. If you are planning for a gutter replacement anytime soon, here are the top five decisions you will need to make before you start the work. Continue Reading

What You Wish You Knew About Fire Extinguishers

What You Wish You Knew About Fire Extinguishers

It’s the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week, and their focus for the third year in a row is on smoke alarm safety. Smoke alarms are a great way to protect your family, pets, and home from unnecessary fire and smoke damage. We wrote about how to maintain them in last month’s blog post.

But another safety measure you can — and should — take is to strategically locate fire extinguishers in your home. You can’t always prevent a fire, but you may be able to put it out quickly with a working fire extinguisher and an understanding of how to use it. Continue Reading

Make Sure Your Home Inspection Isn’t Botched

Make Sure Your Home Inspection Isn’t Botched

We were watching Botched the other night – a TV show about a couple of plastic surgeons who fix procedures that other people have messed up. Usually, those who botch the surgeries are not ethical, licensed plastic surgeons. Often, they’re not even doctors. Yet people allow them to perform invasive procedures on their bodies at the risk of disfigurement or even death. Continue Reading

Prevent Costly Home Repairs with Proper Grading and Drainage

Prevent Costly Home Repairs with Proper Grading and Drainage

Standing water near your home’s foundation caused by improper grading or faulty gutters and downspouts can cause damage, including slab movement, retaining wall failures, and slope instabilities. It can also lead to serious foundation problems, requiring costly repairs to your home’s structural system.

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10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Stage Your Home For a Fast Sale

10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Stage Your Home For a Fast Sale

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, you want to sell it at a fair price, as fast as possible, and with the least up-front investment of time and money.

And while you may need to make critical repairs or decide to update a few “That 70’s Show” elements, there are many time- and budget-friendly ways to make your home look its best as potential buyers consider making it their own.

It’s called staging. And it’s about making your home as appealing as possible to people you don’t know.

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