February, 2002

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

ASHI Annual Reports for 2001: Report from the Executive Director


Then and now

A year ago in this annual feature, I addressed the growing pains ASHI was experiencing as we began the celebration of our 25th Anniversary. We celebrated in grand style, and yes, we encountered those growing pains in our efforts to seek out the new and unknown, and yet to honor our traditions and acknowledge
our past.  

It’s amazing how much can change in just one year. The tragic events of Sept. 11, the economic slowdown and recession, failure of the technology sector, and the drop in consumer confidence have impacted us all in ways we likely would have never imagined. Amidst these uncertain and challenging times, ASHI remains strong – strong as a community and as your professional organization, and we continue to lead the home inspection profession on many fronts. A recap of key happenings
demonstrates this.

2001 highlights

We started things off in January in Las Vegas, where more than  1,000 InspectionWorld attendees gathered to learn, share and celebrate our 25th year. Also in January, we were approached by staff on Capital Hill to draft the appropriate materials to encourage the commission of a “GAO Study” on mandatory home inspections for FHA home loan programs. We quickly moved forward on this project, and by late August, Cong. Douglas Bereuter (R-NE), a member of the Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Housing, issued a formal request to the GAO to quantify the costs and benefits of mandatory home inspections in federal home loan programs. We continue our work on this project.

In March, the Society published its official response to a Request for Interpretation of the ASHI Code of Ethics concerning payment of referral fees and payment to a real estate company to be identified as a “marketing partner or preferred vendor.” The Society’s Standards of Practice Committee identified both of these activities as violations of the Society’s Code of Ethics. The Standards Committee and ASHI Leadership continue to monitor various programs that require such actions from home inspectors. Also at this time, ASHI launched a completely redesigned and enhanced Web site for the home inspection profession.

In April, the Society was treated to the enhanced and redesigned ASHI Reporter, which also served as our official 25th Anniversary commemorative issue. We kicked off the first-ever “National Home Inspection Week” in April, as well and laid the foundation for future, more elaborate recognition of the importance of home inspections throughout North America.

Continuing a decade of cooperation, ASHI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released key data from a joint study on indoor air quality issues during the month of May. Nearly all of the more than 800 study respondents indicated they routinely pointed out at least one environmental issue of concern to their clients during the past year. The Study also showed that “radon in air” is the predominant issue inspectors provide advice and service on at inspection time.
In June, we formally announced a strategic partnership with Business Risk Partners to offer the only ASHI-endorsed Errors & Omissions policy available to home inspectors. ASHI Membership can benefit from extensive coverage and discounted premiums as a benefit of their affiliation to the Society.

As a follow-up to the highly regarded study on home inspections conducted in partnership with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), a release was sent in August announcing 4.9 million home inspections were conducted in the year 2000. According to NAR, existing single-family homes were the primary locations where home inspections were performed, totaling nearly 4 million. Apartments/condos and  co-ops accounted for 537,000 inspections, and 377,000 home inspections were conducted on newly constructed homes. This landmark study was the first of its kind and provided the Society and the home inspection profession with repeated positive exposure for the entire year.

In September, ASHI stood in support of the Nation as we grieved for the tremendous loss of life and liberty from the terrorist attacks. The Society donated nearly $5,600 on behalf of its Membership to a Red Cross Fund providing a 50 cent match for each dollar donated, bringing the total donation amount to $8,400. In addition, ASHI provided offers of assistance to the National Red Cross, as well as contact information for the ASHI Chapters in New York.

Our first-ever-online store opened its doors in October offering significant Web-only discounts and the convenience of 24/7 access to the Society’s products. Also in October, nearly 150 National and Chapter Leaders came to Chicago for a full day of leadership training and idea exchange at our Annual Chapter Leadership Day.

In November, the Society was well represented in front of the more than 20,000 attendees at the Annual NAR Show held in ASHI’s hometown of Chicago. Local ASHI Membership, Leaders and Staff handed out popcorn and important contact information for the ASHI Membership to all real estate professionals who visited the ASHI Exhibit Booth.

December closed out our calendar year with the completion of a strong Membership Dues renewal campaign, the processing of registrations to InspectionWorld, Officer and Director Elections and the gathering of all 2002 Committee Chairs, Board and Staff Liaisons to prepare for the year ahead.

Working together will make us strong

Of course, limited space doesn’t allow me to review all we accomplished this past year, but I’m sure you get the picture. ASHI is your organization, and we are here to represent you, the professional home inspector, and the home inspection profession. Your valued support and involvement makes us strong. As we work together, you can be assured of our continued success in the face of great change.

I view 2001 as one of those years we will look back on as playing a pivotal role in defining a generation. Actually, to be more accurate,  the year’s events will have a defining influence on several generations, young and old. My hope is that the events of last year will strengthen the resilience and confidence of our nation and help to bring unity and peace.  

On behalf of the entire ASHI headquarters staff, please accept our sincere wishes to you and your families for a safe, happy and healthy 2002.