Home Inspection Outlook for 2005 is Strong / New ASHI President Sees Expansion in Home Inspection Needs

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Home inspection is not just for buyers and sellers. The president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) offers tips to homeowners who may be in need of an inspection and not realize it.

Don Norman of HouseMaster Home Inspection Service in Bridgeton, Mo., president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), predicts growth for his profession in 2005 based on current housing statistics and increasing needs for home inspection services.

Both the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently predicted a strong housing market for existing homes and new housing construction for 2005. Since most home inspections are conducted as part of a real estate transaction, this indicates likely growth for home inspections as well. Norman wants to emphasize the importance of obtaining a home inspection from a qualified professional, while reminding homeowners of other circumstances calling for a home inspection.

Norman said he will also continue to emphasize ASHI’s role as the leader for consumer education and for its stringent standards and ethical guidelines. He added, “I want to continue to bring attention to these cornerstones of our Society, which are the strongest in the profession, while expanding awareness of situations for which a home inspection is warranted.”

Specifically, Norman wants to point out that home inspections aren’t just for homebuyers. Increasingly, sellers are obtaining pre-listing inspections to address any issues before the first prospective buyer walks through the door. This simple step can add value to the home and help 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. “Now sellers are using our service to add value to their home prior placing it on the market,” he added. Regular Inspections Help Protect Your Investment

What’s new for 2005 is Norman’s commitment to educating the public as to the role a home inspection plays in routine and ongoing maintenance. He suggests an inspection every three to five years, allowing homeowners to protect their investment by addressing minor issues before they become major problems.

“Most people understand the need for an annual termite inspection, but most homeowners haven’t had their entire home professionally inspected since it was purchased,” said Norman. “In some cases, that could be 10 or more years during which time a minor, unnoticed repair could become a significant expense or cause major damage or safety issues,” added Norman. Is Your Home a Good Candidate for a Home Inspection?

To find out, Norman challenges homeowners to take the following quiz:

1. Was the home inspected when purchased? If not, an inspection is warranted, even for new construction. Regardless, if you’ve been in the home at least three years, it’s time for an inspection, since homes and home systems age and deteriorate, even with proper maintenance.

2. Planning on 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 identify any problem areas that may have been overlooked.

3. Are you an older homeowner planning to remain in your home as you age? Seniors may have more difficulty addressing ongoing maintenance concerns or inspecting hard-to-reach areas. ASHI recommends a professional home inspector to point out maintenance or safety issues and suggest when outside help is needed for specific problems.

4. 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.

5. Do you have small children or a baby on the way? New parents have special concerns about safety and a home inspector can help point out problem areas that could cause harm to a growing family.

For More Information

Formed in 1976, ASHI is the oldest and most respected non-profit professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its mission is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. For more information, visit http://www.ashi.org or call 800-743-2744. While online, experience ASHI’s Virtual Home Inspection tool, an interactive overview of the 10 main areas of the home that are part of an ASHI Inspection.

About NAR: The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For more information visit http://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 http://www.NAHB.org.

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Lisa Gunggoll