February, 2003

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


2002 President's Annual Report

MICHAEL CASEY

Significant accomplishments supportongoing mission

As the Immediate Past President of ASHI, it is my pleasure to provide to the Members the report of significant activities performed by the Society during 2002. I was honored to serve as the president of the Society this past year. I will continue to serve an additional year as the Immediate Past President, an officer of the Society. I know for a fact the 2003 Board of Directors has the intent and know-how to further the mission of the Society. The following is a compilation of our significant 2002 accomplishments:

Speaking out

One of the most impressive documents produced by ASHI is the “Position Statement on Regulation of Home Inspectors.” This document, created mostly by staff and the legislation committee and massaged a bit by the board, states officially the position of the Society. All Members should have a copy of this document. It was distributed to the Membership and at the recent National Conference of State Legislators in Denver. In this paper the Society states its position on legislation, and recommends language for legislation should regulation be found necessary. Additionally, this paper grades existing state legislation regarding effectiveness and education/training requirements for inspectors. With the help of staff and our legislation committee, ASHI has become more active in state regulatory issues when requested by the state Membership.

Action in D.C.

ASHI has been active on the national level. Last summer I accompanied ASHI Executive Director Rob Paterkiewicz, ASHI President-Elect Rich Matzen and our lobbyist Randall Pence on a visit to Washington, D.C. for several action packed days. We met with legislator staff members and representatives from HUD, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Appraisal Institute (AI). Our goal was to increase the visibility of ASHI and to further ASHI interests in the federal arena. At the top of our list was working with the Appraisal Institute to influence HUD to alter the VC sheet and the Notice to Homeowner documents to make it clear to the users that an appraisal is not a home inspection. We met with the NAHB to foster a greater understanding between the two organizations to facilitate more cooperation between builders and home inspectors during new home inspections.

On another federal issue, I trust all of you read the letter in the December 2002 Reporter from Randall Pence to HUD regarding RESPA. There is some concern about changes proposed to RESPA that could affect home inspectors. We asked that home inspection fees be included in the cost category approved for inclusion in the loan when federal funds are used. Of more significance was our request for no relaxation of the regulations regarding referral fees and conflicts of interest.
ASHI was also successful in convincing a senior member of the US House of Representatives to request a GAO (Government Accounting Office) study to quantify the costs and benefits of mandatory home inspections in federal home loan programs. Of course, as we all know, the wheels of government turn slowly.

Taking the message to the people

I am happy to report that our public relations efforts are exploding. The public views ASHI millions of times annually. Thanks to the efforts of our public relations firm, Publicis Dialog, we are progressing nicely in the visibility area. Of course, the most exciting of these PR efforts is the “ASHI Brand” program designed to increase significantly the visibility of ASHI and the importance of its members to the homebuying public and related professions.

As the president of the Society, I visited many of the local chapters for meetings and educational seminars. I also represented ASHI to the public and the press.
In this role, I went to New York City with Jason Bird of Publicis Dialog to meet with several journalists, including those from Popular Mechanics and Old House Journal.

Other efforts to increase visibility of the ASHI inspector included attending the National Association of Realtors® annual conference in New Orleans. This visit was dedicated to promoting the ASHI.org Web site inspector search for use in referring home inspectors. I know every member obtains referrals from this search engine, and our goal is to increase its use.

Extending overtures

ASHI has extended overtures to the Code Authoring agencies in efforts to work together and to provide input based upon our experiences in viewing the long-term performances of buildings. Home inspector experiences can be useful in developing Code changes. Progress in this area is ongoing.

What I’ve written here is only a brief list of some of the most significant accomplishments of the Society in 2002. There were many more. Your Society is dedicated to the promotion of excellence within the profession of home inspection.