ATEX Inspects - Houston Home Inspector Blog
A Houston home inspectors comments on what we observe during property inspections and advice we give to clients, customers and inquiries from professional
journals and Internet networks:
Houston Home Inspector - Robert Welch

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ATEX Inspects' Blog by
Houston Home Inspector  Robert Welch

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my Blog.

You will see references to Robert throughout this Blog. I am a Houston home inspector in Houston, Texas and I own & operate a Houston home inspection company named ATEX Inspects. I own the
company, we do all of the inspections, we really care about doing a great job for every customer and we are passionate about our work.

I started this Blog after I realized the need to stay in continuous contact with my clients and share some of the odd things I have seen during my home and commercial inspections. Some things I've
seen are funny, some are neat & interesting and some are just plain frightening & dangerous.

I decided that maybe I should Blog about these things and offer a place for you to add comments, insight and/or questions about a home inspection you have had or just a home inspection
comment or question.

I encourage you to comment on topics as you see fit, ask us questions, link to us, etc.

For my part, I hope to be at least part entertaining, part thought provoking and always informative.

Thanks for giving us a look....

Visit our web site for more home inspection information at:
Posted by Robert Welch, ATEX Inspects on May, 4th 2016

Swimming Pool Maintenance Takes Time & Money
If you're considering adding a pool to your home, winter is the slow season for Texas swimming pool companies and therefore, you may be able to negotiate a better price on a new pool.  Whether
you add a pool to your existing home or buy a house that already has a pool, below is some information to consider about swimming pool maintenance.

Maintaining a swimming pool in Houston takes time and money.  Pools consist of many systems; the structure, as well as electrical, plumbing & mechanical systems.  So there's a lot to maintain
including pumps, filters, lights, valves, sometimes a heater and other features.  Each pool is different; therefore the exact cost of maintaining your pool will depend on many factors such as the
pool's age, surface area, type of finish, water capacity, type of pump & cleaning system, etc.  For more information on pool and spa maintenance, visit my web site link on pools and spas at:  www.

Things to Consider are listed below:  This our web site at to read the entire web page.







If you're buying a home that already has a pool, you may have to be less picky about the type of pump, cleaning system and other features the pool has.  But financially, it's usually best to buy a
house that already has a pool since the cost of adding a pool is much higher than what it will add to your property value.  For example, adding a $25,000 pool might increase the home's value by
$10,000-$15,000.  If you do buy a home with a pool, be sure to GET BOTH THE HOME AND THE POOL INSPECTED by a Certified Home Inspector!
Adding a pool yourself will cost more, but you can choose whatever options you want.  In this case, you should carefully consider which type of pool/cleaning system best fits your budget and your

In short, a swimming pool can be a fun way to escape the Houston Texas heat and get some exercise.  However, pools also take time and money to properly maintain, and they must be properly
secured to avoid drowning accidents.  So if you're considering a pool, just be sure you know what you're getting into!
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Posted by Robert Welch, ATEX Inspects on April 6th, 2016

Houston Area Home handyman electricians vs. playing chicken on the highway a speeding car - Which is more dangerous?

Let me unequivocally state that playing chicken on the road is always a very bad idea and we always recommend never playing it! That said...

We've seen quite a few home handyman electrical wiring jobs. This recent one tops our current list of "Who would have thought..."

I had finished inspecting the main electrical panel and had found two circuit Breakers missing along with the open hole in the interior panel cover. (Which is very unsafe because it allows direct
access to the interior of the main panel where lots of volts and lots of amps reside.) OK, two Breakers are completely gone and the interior panel has an open hole in it at about head height for a 10
year old child. Very unsafe, very accessible and very dumb!

Later while inspecting the garage, this is what I found.

Go figure. This is one of the missing Breakers. We never recommend wiring a breaker into a glob of wires and just suspending it in midair but that is what our home handyman did. Very unsafe. This
picture still gives me the willys! I still wonder from time-to-time where that second breaker went...

Visit our web site for more home inspection information at:
Posted by Robert Welch, ATEX Inspects on March 30th, 2016

Pastor in PA is relocating and buying his retirement home - He wanted advice on choosing a home (price range of 80-240K) and available down payment of up to 50K:

This is what I told him on

Hey Don,

I would recommend finding a mid-range home for your budget that you are happy with.  I would also recommend not putting down a large down payment unless you goal is to reduce you total

Most financial advisors recommend keeping things mid-range or modest on your budget.  This gives you more flexibility over time.  I recommend developing three plans, Consider worse case
situations, and plan those out to see how it affects each course of action.  This is how we do it in the military, it allows you to weigh it situation and all possibilities.

You can go into as much detail as needed as long as it is relative and effects the outcome.  Common issues that will affect all three courses of action equally can be eliminated, they cancel
themselves out.  Once you have a budget, find 3 homes in that range and work out the situation for home quality, amenities, location, lot size, resell capability, age, etc.

One of the most important phases is to make sure the home's appraised value, minus repairs needed is greater than the selling price.  Don't buy upside down in the home's value.

Then once you have identified the home and a contract that includes a grace period with inspection allowing opportunity to back out without penalty if sever faults are found.  Find a good home
inspector, look at the HUD or FHA site (Goggle " Questions to ask a home inspector".  Ask the inspector for a sample report and references, be wiry of inspectors that only have Realtor references.

In closing, I recommend mid-range, something you are comfortable with, work out 3 courses of action in the mid-range, work this out, then find 3 homes then work these out.  Make a contract, call in
the inspector, negotiate with the seller to adjust the price or make repairs.  Remember, real estate agent's goal is to sell the home, unfortunately most no matter what the cost.

Hope this helps,

Robert Welch
Professional Real Estate Inspector
Houston Texas

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Posted by Robert Welch, ATEX Inspects on March 4th, 2016


Future Home Buyer - Henry Ask on :  What is the process of buying a home?

Here is my response to Henry:

Hey Henry,

There are several ways to buy a home, but first you should find a home that you like.  I recommend having 2-3 prospective homes to choose from.  To do this you should consider the size, age,
price, tax amounts, location and desired features of a home you are seeking.  Once you have identified these items, prioritize your needs and search for a few homes within this spectrum.  

Once you know what type of home you are looking far, look also for a Realtor to assist with the search, negotiation and closing procedures.  Another fact to consider is the cost of a home that you
can afford.  Consider premium payment, insurance and property tax expenses.  With the assistance of a Realtor, you will be able to narrow the search to a few homes, visit these homes and rank
them bases on your desires, cost, features and relation to your priority list.

During this phase the Realtor will also assist you in getting pre-qualified for a home loan at the lowest possible rate.  You can also search the Internet on ways and things you can do to assist you in
getting the lowest interest rate.  Once you have it narrowed down to one primary home, your Realtor will work with the seller’s Realtor to make an offer on the home.  If your offer is accepted, you
can proceed to the next step.  If your offer is rejected as is, most of the time the Seller, which may be an individual, bank or the US backed entities such as Fannie Mae, you have to consider and
offer a counter-offer.  This may go back and forth several times until an agreement is reached.

Once you have an agreement, a contract is written.  After you have a contract, you are given anywhere from 5-15 days as an option period to have things like a home inspection and a termite
inspection performed.  DO NOT buy a home without having it inspected by a licensed home inspector first.

After the home is inspected, the home inspector prepares a written inspection report of their findings.  You can use the inspector recommended by your Realtor or use the Internet, friends and
other referrals to find your own neutral inspector.  After you receive the inspection report, work with your Realtor to negotiate the price of the home and/or have the defects repaired by the seller.  I
recommend having serious and large end items such as roofs, HVAC (AC), plumbing and electrical items repaired by the seller.  Do not allow them to choose the repair company, insist that they use
a company of your choosing.  Insure they provide you with repair documents and receipts.  I also recommend on small items that you have the seller lower the cost of the home or provide you with
monies to repair them yourself.  Once you receive a credit on the smaller items, you can repair some of these by yourself, saving you money.  But do not attempt to repair items such as plumbing or
electrical defects unless you are licensed and experienced to do so.

After all this is completed, you proceed with the financial parts of the home purchase, such as final loan approval, locking in interest rates and providing all required documents such as credit
reports, W2's and any other required financial items required by the lender.  Once all requirements are met, you will meet with your Realtor, the Title Company and normally an attorney or lender
representative.  There you will meet any final requirements if needed and will sign all official documents, receive the keys and you are done.

This is an example of a general home purchase process, but it is by no means intended to be all inclusive of the home purchase process and procedures.  In closing, the key points are to find a
home you like and can afford.  Locate a qualified and motivated Realtor, lender and qualified home inspector.  Have the home thoroughly inspected, and then negotiate the price and needed
repairs with the seller.  Insure that you credit report and other documents are in line to insure you receive the lowest possible interest rates.  With the assistance of a top quality Realtor, they will
help walk you through this process with ease.....However, the negotiation and inspection period can be quite nerve racking.

Visit our web site for more home inspection information at:
Posted by Robert Welch, ATEX Inspects on December 10, 2015