January, 2004

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


"Mapping a House"

ARLENE PUENTES

“Mapping a House” is an educational video for home inspectors that teaches analytical and thoughtful home inspection techniques. At the same time, it is a suitable presentation video for real estate professionals because it demonstrates the value of a good, investigative home inspection to an agent’s reputation. It is able to be both by being wellwritten, fast-paced and well-produced.

When you first see this video (and real estate agents are likely to see it only once), you think you are seeing a cautionary tale. It is, at first glance, a story of how serious problems can be missed if the home inspector does not take the time to consider subtle clues. For you, the home inspector, it is a video that becomes more valuable with each viewing. It is rich in theory, sleuthing techniques and information.

Produced and written by ASHI Member Jack Reilly, “Mapping a House” persuades you to imagine, that is, mapping, a house inside your head before you even step inside. Reilly calls this, “creating a virtual house.” From your inspection of the exterior he convinces you to imagine where in the house to expect all the major systems and where, for example, a bathroom or a finished second floor would be unlikely. The value of this technique lies in contrasting your virtual house with reality. In this way, Reilly says, inconsistencies between your virtual house and reality will make you more likely to discover easily overlooked defects. He gives examples of some inconsistencies that should raise a red flag. This video also gives good (but abbreviated) information on soil problems, structure, plumbing, heat ducting and air quality.

An educational video for home inspectors and a presentation video for real estate professionals, “Mapping a House” is an important contribution to our profession. In this video you will be treated to the union of an excellent script and creative images. This video will make a measurable contribution to you arsenal of inspection techniques and is a valuable addition to any home inspection educational library.

VHS, 26 minutes Available through: Jack Reilly Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 153, Riderwood, MD 21139-0153 410-276-6444, jackreilly@comcast.net