Home Inspection Outlook for 2005 is Strong
New ASHI President Sees Expansion in Home Inspection Needs
Don Norman of HouseMaster Home Inspection Service in Bridgeton, Mo., the newly-elected president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), predicts growth for his profession in 2005 based on current housing statistics and the increasing needs for home inspection services.
Both the National Association of Realtors(R) (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently predicted a strong housing market for existing homes and new housing construction for 200 1. Since the majority of home inspections are conducted as a part of the real estate purchasing process, this indicates there will be growth within the home inspection profession as well. Norman wants to make sure that homeowners not only remember the importance of obtaining a home inspection from a qualified professional, but he's also reminding them of other circumstances calling for a home inspection.
Elected at ASHI's recent 29th annual InspectionWorld Conference in Austin, Texas, Norman will continue to emphasize ASHI's role as the leading association for consumer education and for its stringent standards and ethical guidelines. According to Norman, "ASHI has always been known for its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which are in place to protect the consumer and the inspector alike. As president I want to continue to bring attention to these cornerstones of our Society, which are the strongest in the profession, while expanding awareness of the various situations for which a home inspection is warranted." Elected at ASHI's recent 29th annual InspectionWorld Conference in Austin, Texas, Norman will continue to emphasize ASHI's role as the leading association for consumer education and for its stringent standards and ethical guidelines. According to Norman ,"ASHI has always been known for its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which are in place to protect the consumer and the inspector alike. As president I want to continue to bring attention to these cornerstones of our Society, which are the strongest in the profession, while expanding awareness of the various situations for which a home inspection is warranted."
Specifically, Norman wants to make consumers aware that home inspections are not only a by-product of the buyer's real estate purchasing process. More and more, sellers are obtaining pre-listing inspections in order to uncover and address any issues before the first prospective buyer walks through the door. This simple step can add value to the home and help to speed up the process and likelihood of an offer.
"For nearly thirty years homebuyers have turned to ASHI to locate a professional home inspector as part of the purchasing process," said Norman. "Increasingly, sellers are realizing the importance of this service as a way to add value to their home prior to it being placed on the market," he added.
An Inspection Every 3-5 Years Helps Protect Your Investment
What's new for 2005 is Norman's commitment to educating the public as to the importance of an inspection to a home's routine and ongoing maintenance. He suggests that homeowners can protect their investment by addressing minor issues before they become major problems.
"Most people understand why they should have a termite inspection annually, for example, but most homeowners haven't had their entire home professionally inspected since it was purchased," said Norman. "In some cases, that could be 10, 15 or even more years during which time a minor, unnoticed repair could become a significant expense or be the culprit of major damage or safety issues," added Norman.
Is Your Home a Good Candidate for a Home Inspection?
In addition to pre-listing or ongoing maintenance inspections, Norman lists several other circumstances for which a homeowner would greatly benefit from a home inspection. He challenges homeowners to take the following quiz to determine whether a home inspection is needed:
- Was the home inspected when purchased? If not, an inspection is warranted regardless of how long you've been in the home, even if it was new construction.
- Have you been in the home three to five years? If the answer is "yes," a home inspection is a good idea, since homes and home systems age and deteriorate, even with proper ongoing maintenance.
- Are you planning on doing major remodeling or renovation work? Whether it's a do-it-yourself project or a contractor will be involved, now is a good time to determine whether there are any problem areas requiring attention that may have been overlooked.
- Have you recently undergone a major remodel or renovation? It never hurts to have an objective opinion about the work that has been done to ensure there are no remaining issues or needed repairs.
- Are you an older homeowner planning to remain in your home as you age? Elderly homeowners may have more difficulty addressing ongoing maintenance concerns or inspecting hard-to-reach areas. ASHI suggests that a professional home inspector be brought in to point out maintenance or safety issues and recommend when to hire outside help for specific problems.
- Are you a first-time homeowner that doesn't know the first thing about maintaining your home? Especially if a home inspection was not performed during the purchasing process, or the buyer was not present, a professional home inspection can be a valuable educational experience for the new homeowner.
- Do you have small children or a baby on the way? New parents have special concerns about safety in the home and a home inspector can help point out problem areas that could cause harm to a growing family.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A photo of Mr. Norman is also available and interview requests may be obtained by contacting Lisa Gunggoll or Nicho Campos of Manning Selvage & Lee at 312-861-5200.
1Information based on a January 12, 2005, NAR press release referencing its outlook on the housing market for 2005 and NAHB's January 31, 2005, press release regarding the record high sales figures for new single-family homes in 2004.
About NAR: The National Association of Realtors(R),"The Voice for Real EstateÅh is Ame
rica's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For more information visit www.Realtor.org.
About NAHB: NAHB is a Washington, DC-based trade association representing more than 220,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. For more information visit www.NAHB.org.
For More Information
Formed in 1976, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected non-profit professional society for 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 visi
t the ASHI Web site at www.ashi.org. While online, experience ASHI's Virtual Home Inspection tool, which provides an interactive overview of the 10 main areas of the home that are part of an ASHI Inspection.