ASHI Inspectors Protect Consumers' Home Investment
Society's Resources Offer Value-Added Education, Customer Service
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a national homeownership record was set in 2004 with more than 74 million Americans families now owning their own homes. The real estate market is expected to capitalize on this record, as an estimated seven million Americans will buy or sell a home this year.
Considering that nearly 40 percent of these homeowners are first-time buyers and the age of a newly purchased home averages 15 years, it is imperative that homebuyers consider pre-purchase home inspections as part of their potential major investment.
Fortunately, homebuyers recognize the value of pre-purchase inspections to support a fully informed purchase decision, according to a 2003 survey conducted by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the oldest and most respected professional association for home inspectors in North America. While pre-purchase inspections can allow homebuyers peace of mind in their purchase decisions, they can also initiate proactive improvement on behalf of the home seller. Furthermore, through its commitment to both consumer education and customer service, ASHI's comprehensive inspections impart new and established homeowners with the knowledge needed to make better informed purchase and maintenance decisions.
"Since the study, the industry has witnessed a growing appreciation among homebuyers for the value a professional home inspection," said Don Norman, ASHI's 2005 president, whose organization represents nearly 6,000 professional home inspectors in North America. "The education that can be gained from an ASHI Inspector ultimately enables homeowners to realize the value, and prolong the life, of their home."
ASHI Signature Resources, Recognized Inspectors
To support its commitment to setting the industry standards for consumer education, customer service and technical expertise, ASHI launched a branding initiative in January 2004 that resulted in a revamped, innovative and resourceful Web site (www.ASHI.org). As part of the effort, deemed The ASHI Experience, the signature Web site features a Virtual Home Inspection (VHI) tool that offers an interactive home inspection, based on the actual Standards of Practice followed by an ASHI Inspector.
Also available at ASHI.org is the revised and streamlined "Find an Inspector Tool," which allows users to locate professional inspectors in their area and contact them 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.
In an effort to ensure their customers receive exceptional service, as part of their membership, ASHI Inspectors must obtain ongoing education which helps keep them up-to-date on buildings and their systems. To become a member, ASHI Inspectors are required to perform a minimum of 250 fee paid professional home inspections and successfully complete two written examinations that test home inspectors' knowledge of building systems and components, report writing, the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and the diagnosis of building defects.
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.