St. Louis Real Estate News – What should a home buyer know about home inspections?

Gerry Loesch, PE

Gerry Loesch, PE

To answer this question I called upon Gerry Loesch, a 30 year veteran home inspector with an impressive resume. Gerry was kind enough to do an in-depth E-View TM with me on the subject of home inspections. Gerry’s experience and knowledge shows in the depth and detail of his answers.

Since this is a rather long E-View TM I’ll do it in a series. In each post I will begin with a some background on Gerry.

Gerry is a licensed Professional Engineer in four states; Missouri, Illinois, Colorado and Kansas. He first began his home inspection career in 1976 and has been active in ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) since 1978. In fact, Gerry’s membership number in ASHI is 87 compared with most of the memberships numbers which are in the 1,000’s. I’ll have more on Gerry in future posts in this series.

Now for the E-View TM :

Q-Gerry, I know you are a member of ASHI. Can you please explain what ASHI is, what it does and what is the significance of a building inspector being part of ASHI, or not?

A-ASHI (The American Society of Home Inspectors) is a not-for-profit organization for Home Inspectors. ASHI began in 1976 and currently has approximately 6,000 members.

ASHI sets the standard for home inspectors including the establishment of a Standards of Practice (what is to be covered on a home inspection). It also has a code of ethics which state that inspectors should be unbiased and have no relationship to the property. Full requirements and more information can be found on the ASHI website. For an inspector to become a member requires taking two tests; one on the Standards of Practice and Ethics and the other is the NHIE (National Home Inspectors Exam). In addition to the exams to be a certified member of ASHI an inspector must have performed a minimum of 250 inspections with a sampling of which having been reviewed by ASHI for conformance to the Standards of Practice.

Q-Are there other organizations out there like ASHI? If so, to the extent you are aware of it, can you please explain some of the significant differences and what sets ASHI inspectors out from them?

A-There are some other organizations that compete with ASHI. A few I feel are worth mentioning: NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc.) for one. NAHI is essentially a similar organization to ASHI with Standards and Ethics modeled after ASHI. While I do not believe it to be on the same plane as ASHI, it does hold its members to Ethical and Professional Standards. Another organization with similar standards is CREIA (California Real Estate Inspectors Association). It is state specific for inspectors in California. Texas has a similar state association called TARIE and Florida has one called FABI.

There are other organizations as well, however I do not believe they are of the caliber that ASHI is and, in fact, some allow their members to perform work on homes for which they have found problems. This presents a conflict of interest and is unethical in my opinion. The entry requirements for some of them are also quite minimal.

If you would like to contact Gerry direct, he can be reached via email at or , or by phone at (314) 249-8370 (cell) 1-800-285-3001 (office).

Watch for part 2 of the E-View TM which will be posted over the next few days.

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