February, 2006

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


2005 ASHI Annual Reports - Report of the President

DON NORMAN

Great wins for ASHI and home inspectors

Don-Norman.gifIt’s been an exciting year for ASHI. This year, we have had some great wins for our society and the profession at large.

Insurance inspection inroads

As you may be aware, ASHI has been working closely with the insurance industry over the last several years, talking up the value of a home inspection prior to insuring homes; I’m happy to say, we have made good progress. This year, for the first time, Citizen’s insurance has allowed ASHI Members to begin doing 4 Point Inspections where, in the past, only contractors were allowed to perform them. We have also seen an increase in inspections for Farmer’s Insurance and USAA. Farmer’s has requested inspections in many areas to determine the condition of a home prior to writing a policy, while USAA has encouraged their insured homeowners to have maintenance inspections on their homes. And just recently, I saw a commercial recommending a home inspection on HGTV paid for by State Farm Insurance. Ladies and Gentlemen, when the largest insurance company in the country pays for an advertisement promoting the importance of a home inspection, that’s a big deal and a big win for the profession.

Magazines deliver the message

We had two media tours this year. The first one was to the home of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine publisher, Meredith, in Des Moines, Iowa. There,
I met with seven different editors to discuss the importance of home inspections and the role we can play in the purchase and maintenance of a home. Most recently, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the publishers of the Journal of Light Construction and met with eight different editors for their various publications. An article about how home inspectors and remodelers can work more closely together will appear in the January Remodelers Magazine.

A presence on Capitol Hill

And, as I mentioned a month or two ago in my President’s message, on September 26, 2005, HUD moved to eliminate the Valuation Condition sheet from the appraisal process, helping to eliminate the confusion for homebuyers that was prevalent between home inspection and appraisal. That, too, is a big win for ASHI in more ways than one. When the Homebuyer Protection Plan was introduced by HUD, it opened the door for a lot of confusion because HUD required the appraiser to do a so-called “inspection of the property.” They even ran a commercial about the value of the “inspection” for the customer. That woke ASHI up to the need for a lobbyist in Washington who could speak for us and for our profession. Since that time, we have become well known on Capitol Hill. We continue to work closely with HUD, the Veteran’s Administration and legislators. And, we partner, where possible, with other associations that share our view of the inspection profession.

On the road

Also, I would like to thank all those chapter leaders and members who were kind enough to extend an invitation to me to visit. This last year, I visited 15 chapters and spoke to hundreds of members. I was particularly pleased to be able to talk to you personally, answer your questions and let you know what was happening at ASHI headquarters. I also was invited to attend the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) conference early last year to share ASHI’s stand on ethics. It was clear from that conference why we stand out from the crowd in the home inspection profession. Late last year, ASHI exhibited at the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), where about 25,000 Realtors® passed through the doors. Many knew of ASHI, but were fascinated by our virtual home inspection tour and the audio that was recently added.

Fiscal win for the society

And finally, it appears that we will end the fiscal year with a profit of approximately $200,000, which, in part, will be used to rebuild our reserves fund. Not a bad way to end the year. Thank you for the privilege it has been to serve as your president.