April is National Home Inspection Month
ASHI Reminds Homeowners That Inspections Are Not Just Part of the Sales Process


Sheena Quinn
Public Communications, Inc.

Home ownership remains a priority for most people, with ownership rates increasing at a rapid pace and the home improvement craze still going strong as well.  But how does a consumer make sure the American Dream doesn't become the American nightmare over time?  The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reminds consumers that they would benefit by recognizing April as National Home Inspection Month by having their home professionally inspected.  Even if a homeowner has no plans to buy or sell in the near future, that doesn't mean that his or her current home is not a good candidate for an inspection.  An ASHI home inspection can also be used as a home maintenance guide.  The inspection will educate the homeowners as to the condition of the home's systems and components, help to identify needed repairs and provide valuable information as to when a professional should be brought in to make the repairs.  An ASHI Inspector can also make recommendations to the homeowner for ongoing routine maintenance.

"April is an ideal month to book an inspection, since warmer Spring weather has arrived for most, yet it's just before the start of the busy buying and selling season so the inspection can be scheduled at the convenience of the customer," according to Don Norman, president of ASHI, the nation's oldest and most widely respected organization for professional home inspectors. 

"Many homeowners think that once they are settled into their newly purchased home they won't need to think about an inspection again until they're ready to move or sell," said Norman.  "Unfortunately, this belief could be detrimental to protecting what is for most consumers their single largest investment," he added.  ASHI recommends that a home be professionally inspected every ten years.

Leaders in Consumer Education and Service

Members and Candidates of the American Society of Home Inspectors not only agree to adhere to the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, but they are also capable of delivering The ASHI Experience, an inspection of the highest technical quality, performed with exceptional customer service and the consumer education that is an earmark of ASHI Inspectors. 

"With the Virtual Home Inspection, a first in the industry, homeowners can log onto www.homeinspector.org and use the interactive hands-on tool to learn what they may expect from The ASHI Experience," according to Norman.  While online, the Find An Inspector search allows users to locate ASHI Inspectors in their area.  Although the site is loaded with valuable information, the real education occurs during the actual inspection, during which ASHI urges the homeowner to be an active participant, asking questions and getting as much learning and value out of the service as possible.

The Society's goal is for homeowners to have an exceptional experience when using an ASHI Inspector - and they encourage homeowners to complete the ASHI Experience Customer Survey, either online or via self-mailing postcards available from their ASHI Inspectors.  "This is just another way in which ASHI Members and Candidates are seeking to raise the bar of professionalism within the profession and develop long-term relationships with their customers," said Norman.

Awareness is Key

To kick-off National Home Inspection Month, ASHI has produced a series of Public Service Announcements (or PSAs), which have already begun to air on television stations throughout the country and will soon spread to radio and even the Internet.  The primary message of the PSA is to underscore the importance of obtaining a home inspection using a qualified professional.  These efforts are a part of ASHI's commitment to serve as an advocate to consumers and share important information regarding the home inspection profession.

According to Norman, "There is a lot of comfort for consumers in knowing they have made an educated decision about their homes, how to protect their investment and ensure their safety and well being."  He added, "We want ASHI to be the first place homeowners turn to meet their home inspection needs during all stages of homeownership."


For More Information

Formed in 1976, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected non-profit professional society for home inspectors in North America. Its mission is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. ASHI's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the recognized guidelines for the home inspection profession.

For more information on the American Society of Home Inspectors, contact the association at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, Ill. 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Or visi t the ASHI Web site at www.homeinspector.org. While online, experience ASHI's Virtual Home Inspection tool, which provides an interactive overview of the 10 main areas of the home that are part of an ASHI Inspection.