Should We Stay or Should We Go

Our dreams are our dreams.

Countless times I’ve seen family and friends looking for a better place to live. Whether it be a different house or a different location, the grass always seems to be greener somewhere else. As a home inspector too often I see aging parents being moved out by their kids because of the costs and difficulties in maintaining the home. Sometimes this move is to a retirement apartment. Recently, my neighbor of 25 years regrettably moved himself and his wife into a retirement home. They seem to be driving by or are out mingling in the neighborhood more now than when they actually lived next door. He tells me this ‘new’ place will never be their ‘home’ it’s merely a place to sleep and stay warm.

Home is where your memories are and it’s tough to leave them behind.

Most people feel attached to their homes and the town they are located in. It’s comfortable to know your neighbors and where to find the shops and other services so often used. Even though we complain about the weather, wherever we go, we will still complain about it. Home is where you heart and friends are. This is where you get your emotional support and comfort.

It costs too much to stay here.

Moving typically doesn’t save money. It costs a lot to sell your home and move your belongings. The new place will need new things and this adds to the cost of relocating. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to modify, freshen up or age proof your home. This may also require getting assistance with the maintenance. Regardless, it’s almost always less expensive to stay in the home where your heart is. Make an informed decision on the state of your home and the improvement options for the future. A good home inspector should be able to help identify and advise you on these safety and convenience improvements.

Doug Hastings
MN Home Inspector, Minneapolis & St. Paul
ASHI Certified Inspector, ACI
Kaplan University, Home Inspection Lead Instructor

Choosing The Right Home Inspector

Look for Experience

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest national home inspection association. It has a stringent Standard of Practice which all members must adhere to. These comprehensive standards have been closely copied by all competitive organizations and state licensing laws. To become a full ASHI member you must have completed 250 paid home inspections and have each one reviewed by an association peer. This many inspections will take most inspectors 3 to 4 years to complete. Many inspectors don’t even make it through the first year and less than 10% make it to year five. Then to retain membership 20 hours of continuing education must be completed each year.

Look for Out for ‘Bogus’ Certifications

Unfortunately home inspection is a career that is more demanding than most people who enter the industry realize. Anybody can join a trade association and most have no requirements to be ‘certified’ by that organization. As long as the annual fee is paid, the association calls you certified, but this label is worthless as there are no standards to be met.

There are many excellent home inspectors who have joined associations other than ASHI or who have never joined an association at all. You could after doing your due diligence on an inspector choose one of them, and be perfectly satisfied with the result. However…

Look for True Certification

ASHI is the only home inspection association that has completed a recognized third-party certification process. They were required to adopt the most rigid standards and then verify that each member meet all the requirements. ASHI member qualification and professional competence is certified by an independent third-party.

Just the act of joining ASHI demonstrates that a home inspector is willing to meet the highest standards and is prepared to operate a professional business employing these standards of practice and meeting a stringent code of ethics.

A good place to start looking for an inspector is by seeking out ones that are ACI certified. This certification is not given lightly.

Doug Hastings
MN Home Inspector, Minneapolis & St. Paul
ASHI certified inspector, ACI
Kaplan University, Home Inspection Lead Instructor

Rob Leslie
Kaplan Professionals, Retired

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