July, 2002
You Tell Us
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Past-president Ghent Receives Arvida-related Letter of Appreciation

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

Dear John,

Since this matter began under your watch and as a token of my appreciation for your enthusiastic support and assistance, I thought I'd bring you up to date on the HomeLink Program here in Florida.

It was announced last week that Coldwell Banker. Real Estate, Florida's largest brokerage house, had purchased Arvida Realty Services, #2 in Florida. All Arvida agents were sent two emails. The first email announced the sale and the name change. The second was a directive regarding the immediate termination of any and all HomeLink agreements. In effect, the HomeLink Program is dead in Florida. We're not sure what will happen with the concierge program, however, I am informed that Coldwell Banker in Florida has suspended its affiliation due to conflicts similar to those encountered with the HomeLink Program. This was done voluntarily after the publication of the news article regarding Arvida and HomeLink last year.

While Florida was only a small part of HomeLinks' market, it's satisfying to me that they lost it.

Do you think this material is in anyway worthy of publication in the ASHI Reporter? If so, please forward it to the appropriate party. Thanks again for your help and support.

Norm Sage, ASHI Member
Certified Residential Inspections of Florida, Inc.
Pompano Beach, Fla.

Editor's note: See ASHI Reporter, April 2001 or the ASHI Web site for Standards Committee's response to a request for interpretation that participation by an ASHI Member in this type of program was in conflict with the ASHI Code of Ethics, and
John Ghent's supporting comments.

Confusion reigns

To the editor,

Once again, the federal government steps into the path of private business. This time in the guise of making the process of home buying simpler for the parties in contract. But in reality, the new methodology and design of a revised form does nothing but instill in the consumer a false sense of security when in reality the only parties obtaining the "security" are the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the FHA, as well as the funding or lending agencies that they are affiliated with.

According to a Federal Government revision of HUD Form 92564-VC dated Jun 99, the appraiser for the property must conduct a "survey/inspection/evaluation of the property and record certain conditions identified on a preprinted form that not only is almost totally meaningless, but overall confusing as each statement is asked in a question format with either a YES or NO answer required. Details, if any, are left to the imagination of the recipient of the form. This from now becomes a defacto inspection report, since the originator (appraiser) of the information had to review and comment on the components so identified. How many consumers will think, after seeing this form that they had a "government" inspection of the property?

To make matters more complicated, HUD - in its infinite wisdom - developed another form (HUD 92564-CN) which is supposed to negate the fact that the original appraisal VC Form 92564-VC is not an inspection form, but is merely a tool for the lenders to determine the value of the property. The new form does identify the difference between the Home Inspector and the Appraiser, as well as identify the role of the FHA, and it does state in bold type "FOR YOUR PROTECTION: GET A HOME INSPECTION." But will it be used by the real estate professional? Will it be issued to the consumer in time to obtain a "private home inspection"? Should the appraiser evaluate conditions or components that he or she may not have any expertise with? The answers to these questions will need to be addressed before home inspectors can or should endorse this paperwork.

Henry Goldberg
ASHI Member
Certified Building Inspectors,
Maitland, Fla.

Editor's note: ASHI has been evaluating and voicing concerns about the forms since their introduction. The most recent response was planned during a meeting between ASHI's officers and representatives of the Appraisal Institute in Washington D.C. See page nine.