New ASHI Web Site Offers Increased Education, Convenience;
Virtual Home Inspection Tool an Industry First
Des Plaines, Ill. - The home inspection is arguably one of the most important aspects of the homebuying or selling process. But understanding what a home inspection entails and locating a qualified home inspector can be difficult. For this reason, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) developed its new Web site at www.ashi.org, designed to provide homebuyers and sellers information they need to make better-informed decisions.
The Virtual Home Inspection, Added Benefits
Offering tools such as the "Virtual Home Inspection," which provides an interactive guide to the home inspection process, the site's features make it unique within the home inspection profession. The new Web site is part of The ASHI Experience - the Society's commitment to setting the standard for customer service combined with the best technical expertise in the profession.
"The home inspection is among the most important things homebuyers or sellers can do to protect one of their biggest investments - and we realize the importance of helping individuals understand this process and locate a qualified inspector," said ASHI president Stephen Gladstone, whose organization represents more than 6,000 professional home inspectors in North America. "The new ASHI Web site can take a lot of the guesswork out of the home inspection, so that homebuyers and sellers can be better prepared, make an informed decision and ideally achieve greater peace of mind about their purchase."
Among a variety of new features on the site, the Virtual Home Inspection (VHI) offers an interactive tour of a home inspection, based on the actual standards of practice followed by an ASHI Inspector. Following are some examples of what the VHI provides:
General Overview - Get an idea of what inspectors look for when reviewing a home, as well as the importance of the home inspection process when buying or selling a property.
Understanding the Standards - ASHI's Standards of Practice are recognized as the benchmark for the profession. Learn about the 10 main systems and components that are inspected throughout a home.
Common Problems - Review some of the common problems that occur in these 10 areas. Click on areas of the home for a detailed description of symptoms, photographs and what an inspector might include in the inspection report.
According to a recently released (2003) study by the National Association of Realtors , homebuyers who used the Internet most intensively were also more likely to use the services of a home inspector. In fact, 87% of buyers surveyed used a home inspector when making their purchase. Only three other real estate services ranked higher: mortgage lenders, homeowner's insurance and title companies.
"This shows that the Internet is a valuable tool in the homebuying and selling process and the Virtual Home Inspection fits right in as another educational resource for Web users," added Gladstone.
Other features on the site include the "Find an Inspector Tool." While a similar tool has always been on ASHI's Web site, the current version has been streamlined. Now an individual can locate a professional ASHI inspector in their area, and the inspector will be notified immediately of the inquiry so responses can be made in real time. Additionally, a "Rate Your ASHI Inspector" segment of the site also allows consumers to provide feedback on their overall ASHI home inspection experience.
For More Information
Formed in 1976, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its mission is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. ASHI's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the recognized guidelines for the home inspection profession.
For more information on the American Society of Home Inspectors, contact the association at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, Ill. 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Or visit the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org.