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Thread: A UNITED SHIELD

  1. #1
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default A UNITED SHIELD

    To all,

    The Property Condition Inspection (PCI) business is under pressure from outside influences to conform to “their” standards. Unfortunately, those folks performing such inspections are having very little say (in some cases no say at all) in guiding and or defining these standards. It is my opinion; the only way to address this matter is to unify the group to shield our profession so that we can control our own destiny.

    Some will say it is impossible! Some will fall back on the belief it can only happen if the big organization step-up-to-the-plate! Some will say “no” because that is just the way they think…! There are going to be many reasons put forward to say it will never work.

    It is NOT impossible.
    The big organizations are not big enough to claim consensus status. When one steps up with a proposal the others feel threatened and object – it has happened in the past and it will happen again and again.

    Hence, I believe enough small, individual inspectors who believe in the same goal can achieve results, regardless of their affiliations to an association and or trade organization. “United Shield” should not be considered another organization, let us consider it as a group of Property Condition Inspectors who want to meet specific goals.

    I undertake this project, not because I am the “best” inspector in the world. I do this because I have insight into events that are occurring on a national basis (I have also been tracking similar data on a global basis), I have been both directly and indirectly involved on a consultancy bases gathering data basically associated with the Real Estate Transaction Process (RETP) for well over 4 years now. And, my focus has always been towards the Property Condition aspect as it relates to the RETP. Of course the data I have is proprietary to those who have paid for the information, but similar to the PCI the knowledge of my findings remains in my head! I also pride myself as one of those persons who can get something done – once again not always with a 100% success rate, but well over 80% in most cases. I believe we can move forward and achieve some significant gain to our industry and profession.

    I open up this thread for general discussion regarding this matter. But, please try your best to look towards positive solutions. Keep any personal goals and egos out of the equation. We will never all agree, that is a fact! Instead of agreement think of the goal and ALIGNING with the goal.

    Let’s start with a KISS type goal. Here is what I propose creating a SOP and Ethics statement that clearly represents basically what we do and what we do not do.

    [1] The proposed documents above are created for whose purpose? The fact is, it is not primarily for your “client” nor is it to protect your job or customer base. It is to give a clear, simple understanding of what the MINIMAL expectations would be in performing an inspection. So who would be the audience? All stakeholders in the REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION PROCESS (RETP) and the general public, especially the prospective “consumer”
    [2] Reviewing many inspection SOP’s already in existence, it is fairly obvious that based on intent (not wordings, grammer, definitions etc..) there is far more in common than there are differences. I am in contact with many well respected persons who know quite a bit about the process in creating the ideal document, naturally I will get their input. We need to keep it as simple and readable as possible.

    Once we accomplish the first step, we approach the various trade and associations, armed with the documents as above and get them signed up to the goal – not to replace their current SOP’s/Ethics but to provide a “shield” for the ~33000* current Property Condition Inspectors.

    Lots of words and plenty of ideas ….. are you willing to support this goal?

    Best regards – Richard Soundy.
    * - possibly proprietary information as to how numbers obtained and error rate associated with same. I will seek clarification to release the methodology used.

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Richard Soundy; 01-22-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    RS: Why do you envision that the formation of yet another HI organization is the answer to anything?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    That point was made very clear "“United Shield” should not be considered another organization."

    Regards - Richard


  4. #4
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    That point was made very clear "“United Shield” should not be considered another organization."

    Regards - Richard
    RS: Consider that you are attempting to organize a group of people in order to accomplish a particular goal. Also consider that you have set forth plans to establish guidelines or rules in the form of an SOP. Then ask me not to consider this an organization. I consider that too much to ask.


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Not really understanding what your issue is since I don't know how you write your PCI or what standard you use.
    Do you use ASTM 2018 or have an issue with it? Is there a problem with ASTM 2018 that you would like to explain? Granted it could use some updating but I find it very useful as a guide for property condition reports.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    AD - what you are reading in my thread and concluding is something in your own mind at this stage.

    Bare in mind it was your idea to use this forum .....

    The forum is being used to communicate my opinion and a proposal to a group of inspectors.

    Where do you read I "have set forth plans to establish guidelines or rules in the form of an SOP" Once again please read - I propose ........

    My purpose is definitely not to establish rules and guidelines for a SOP - there are many well qualified persons who will put such a document together. All I seek is communications with the HI (as a group) for their opinion on this matter

    So far your response(s) has been very typical. A "child bickering" Get over it and start putting useful suggestion forward to make our profession a better one.

    Regards - Richard


  7. #7
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    RS: Before you go down the wrong road with me, which I assure you that you will long regret, let us revisit your first post, which says in part:

    "It is to give a clear, simple understanding of what the MINIMAL expectations would be in performing an inspection. "

    Bear with me when I do not see how this is not establishing an SOP.

    This is not bickering sir, it is a request for clarification. If you are already this defensive, how do you propose to reach out to and gain the support of others?

    Even the most cursory reading of the thread that led to this one would inform the least attentive that it was I who was in support of your original ideas. With the establishment of this thread you digress, in my opinion.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Markus.

    I have no problem or issue with ASTM 2018. You are quite correct it could use some updating and I do find it very useful as a guide for property condition reports. It is geared up primarily for Commercial property.

    The shortfall here is that ASTM does not have a SOP geared to the Home or Residential inspection standard. This is the shortfall I am attempting to to address in this thread. Without some sort of national standard the residential inspectors operating under ~35 or so different SOP's do not have the clout they justly deserve.

    AD,

    So far I am addressing your 3rd attempt to rectify something that you conclude in your own mind. There is a big difference between PROPOSING something and ESTABLISHING something - wrong once, wrong twice now wrong a third time.

    I am certainly not defensive. If you have a better proposal voice it!

    Reading your opening line sure sounds like a threat ..... a very defensive act I may say.

    All the best - Richard


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Unfortunately I have to agree with A.D. I'm not sure what you're looking for but it seems you'd like to start another HI organization where you make up your own standards. If you were successful wouldn't you just be another HI organization who pressure HIs "to conform to “their” standards."?

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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Markus.

    I have no problem or issue with ASTM 2018. You are quite correct it could use some updating and I do find it very useful as a guide for property condition reports. It is geared up primarily for Commercial property.

    The shortfall here is that ASTM does not have a SOP geared to the Home or Residential inspection standard. This is the shortfall I am attempting to to address in this thread. Without some sort of national standard the residential inspectors operating under ~35 or so different SOP's do not have the clout they justly deserve.

    AD,

    So far I am addressing your 3rd attempt to rectify something that you conclude in your own mind. There is a big difference between PROPOSING something and ESTABLISHING something - wrong once, wrong twice now wrong a third time.

    I am certainly not defensive. If you have a better proposal voice it!

    Reading your opening line sure sounds like a threat ..... a very defensive act I may say.

    All the best - Richard
    Hi Richard, I really do not know how long you have been around the profession. A few years back ASTM did try and establish what they called a "National" standard. They were joined by NAHI in a whirlwind attempt to sway folks into going along with it. ASTM quickly discovered that they really did not have a market to sell "another" standard and that the majority of the inspectors across the country were happy with what they had.

    One major item to consider is that we have around 35+ States that have some type of license or home inspector regulation program in place. Those states also have adopted a form of SOP, most are based on either a current or old ASHI SOP.

    Truth be known the current SOP's that are used by the various associations are primarily designed to protect the inspector, they do little to provide a road map for a good and through inspection.

    What is needed is exactly what the National Home Inspector Examination uses as it's blueprint for it's design and that is a Role Delineation Study. This is a study of the profession basically shows or tells what is common or best practice in the performance of a home inspection. It is a survey of the profession. This is how you know what is actually being done out in the field from coast to coast and region to region. This is what you will need to do if you want a true "national" SOP that will reflect what the profession is really doing or should be doing during an inspection.

    Just getting some folks in a room or on the Internet and tossing out some ideas on what needs to be in an SOP because this is what they do or don't do is not the way to make a national standard.

    Then you also need to take into consideration about the liability of creating a new SOP. Who is going to be responsible if somebody sues because their great aunt died and they blame it on the SOP that the inspector used! Think about the liability of making a new SOP..... ASHI spends thousands of dollars a year just for such insurance.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Ken,

    I have no allusions in this regard - forming another HI org. will not work at all.

    My objective is to attempt getting HI as individuals to sign-up to a common cause. With that sign-up as backing, there is no reason why one cannot approach the many organizations/associations already in existence so that one ultimately ends up with a document that we all ALIGN with. We then have something showing a united front to preempt other stakeholders from defining our future.

    As you already know there have been a few attempts to accomplish this goal - for a variety of reasons they have failed.

    As stated before, if not on this thread then the Texas SOP clarification thread, implementing something to unite our industry can be achieved - it is basically the approach and timing.

    I proposed starting with SOP's and Ethics - Why? Because the commonality in these documents between all organizations is very similar (this makes the proposed task easier to implement).

    Yes, I am using a different approach! And, IMO time is ticking.....

    My posting of this thread on this forum is to see if this is possible and there is no better way than to explore how it can be done as opposed to hearing for many years now that our group (i.e. HI) are too splintered and has no hope of uniting.

    I welcome your input as to what you believe could be a possible method in uniting our group to a common cause.

    Best regards - Richard


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    I welcome your input as to what you believe could be a possible method in uniting our group to a common cause.

    First, drop the PCI stuff and join in with everyone else and call this profession what it is commonly known as ... home inspections.

    Second, drop the United Shield stuff and simply try to get everyone to work together on SPECIFIC TASKS which are needed to accomplish the goal.

    Third, while you are trying to form yet another group of home inspectors you are trying to make us believe you are not doing that, yet that is EXACTLY what you are doing, and at the same time trying to bring a new term into the mix in (my guess) an effort to distract attention from the NEW GROUP you are trying to form.

    Stick to the basics: refer to home inspections as to what they are; avoid trying to create a new entity "to represent" the home inspectors; let everyone be as they are but ask for letter writing support on important issues ... so far ... you have not only missed your target, but you are shooting yourself in the foot, and that is not easy shooting with bow and arrow ...

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    RS: So then, either get creative or add your name to the list:

    AAHI
    AAREI
    AII
    ASHI
    CAHI
    CAHPI
    CREIA
    FABI
    FREA
    GAHI
    HIF
    IHINA
    INTERNACHI
    MAHI
    MSHI
    NABIE
    NAHI
    NCLHIA
    NIBI
    NYSAHI
    OAHI
    OREP
    PHIC
    SNAPPI
    SPREI
    TAREI
    WAHI
    . . . . . . . . . . . . .et al. ad infinitum


  14. #14
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Scott,

    Thank you for your response and your input is greatly appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Hi Richard, I really do not know how long you have been around the profession. A few years back ASTM did try and establish what they called a "National" standard. They were joined by NAHI in a whirlwind attempt to sway folks into going along with it. ASTM quickly discovered that they really did not have a market to sell "another" standard and that the majority of the inspectors across the country were happy with what they had.

    Not that long Scott, 7-8 years as I already stated I would not consider myself as being the "top" inspector in my area - but just another trying to do a good job.

    I am aware of the ASTM outcome from NAHI Vegas meeting. But better still, I quickly understood the persons motivations within my own organization (CREIA). Enough said in this regards. You should have stated "the majority of inspector ORGANIZATIONS did not support NAHI's ASTM Standard proposal.

    One major item to consider is that we have around 35+ States that have some type of license or home inspector regulation program in place. Those states also have adopted a form of SOP, most are based on either a current or old ASHI SOP.

    That is the reason for so much commonality in SOP's - to me that is good news and something we should attempt to tune-up for all inspectors benefits.

    Truth be known the current SOP's that are used by the various associations are primarily designed to protect the inspector, they do little to provide a road map for a good and through inspection.

    I agree with you fully. But trying to solve the problem of a "thorough" inspection should to be further steps down-the-road - let us unify first!

    What is needed is exactly what the National Home Inspector Examination uses as it's blueprint for it's design and that is a Role Delineation Study. This is a study of the profession basically shows or tells what is common or best practice in the performance of a home inspection. It is a survey of the profession. This is how you know what is actually being done out in the field from coast to coast and region to region. This is what you will need to do if you want a true "national" SOP that will reflect what the profession is really doing or should be doing during an inspection.

    For me this is great information, please provide me or this forum with additional information on what NHIE can do for us. I apologize, I do not know everything that is occurring within our industry. Please understand I am just a person who in my current activities gets to hear how "splintered our group is and acting like bickering children" (I quote from reliable sources) within organizations that are currently setting up the communications standards within the Real Estate Transactions Process. From my aspect speaking as a Property Inspector our current approach to the common problems facing our profession, perceived or not has to be addressed - and rather rapidly under the current market conditions.

    Just getting some folks in a room or on the Internet and tossing out some ideas on what needs to be in an SOP because this is what they do or don't do is not the way to make a national standard.

    Please suggest a method and the steps to achieve the goal.

    Then you also need to take into consideration about the liability of creating a new SOP. Who is going to be responsible if somebody sues because their great aunt died and they blame it on the SOP that the inspector used! Think about the liability of making a new SOP..... ASHI spends thousands of dollars a year just for such insurance.
    As stated before there are many fine persons in our business that could advise us - naturally, it will need legal scrutiny. The biggest task is getting the blessing from the various organization. I am willing to take the effort and risk in getting this done. Why? Because it is time to talk with one unified voice.

    Regards = Richard


    Last edited by Richard Soundy; 01-22-2010 at 07:24 PM. Reason: seperate response

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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    I am willing to take the effort and risk in getting this done. Why? Because it is time to talk with one unified voice.

    Regards = Richard[/COLOR]
    Richard.. I hope your a very young man,

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
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  16. #16
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    Jerry.

    I certainly value your input. But, I wish to ask specific questions and specific reasons to your response.

    PCI or HI? I personally do both commercial and residential inspections. We are an industry of inspectors. What is the purpose in "splintering" our group further. Yes, HI is the main focus, but I believe many of us perform "other" type of inspections to serve the "Real Estate Transaction Process" The goal is to unite our industry.

    Sorry you do not like my Topic Heading or Tag line. From my experience and habit, you always look towards your opening paragraph and tie a heading that is appropriate - "unify to shield us..." You may know your current business activities but I know marketing. Specific Tasks for a New Group definitely has no call for "action" or any motivating aspects to it.

    In regards your "third" point - I clearly stated I am trying to form a GROUP of like thinking inspectors to tackle a common problem facing us and the industry we serve. What is your purpose in trying to make out that this is some sort of mystic conspiracy or something similar on my behalf? I assure you it is not.

    We live in a society where communication is generally carried out over the internet or e-mail. Snail Mail days are passed. If someone wants to make a suggestion privately then e-mail me (soundyr@sbcglobal.net).

    All the best - Richard Soundy (with arrow sticking out from foot!)


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    That point was made very clear "“United Shield” should not be considered another organization."
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    In regards your "third" point - I clearly stated I am trying to form a GROUP

    Huh?

    Either you ARE, or, your ARE NOT trying to form a new group/organization.

    Make up your mind and state it clearly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Yes Sir,

    I can see the problem clearly.

    Please read and quote 4th paragraph last sentence fully of the opening post #1 to this thread.

    This is a forum for communications - I seek "like thinking" individuals to join this thread as a group. Do you understand the difference between an "organization" and a "group"? Why do you waste time trying to distort facts and statements as you perceive it?

    Put forward some useful suggestions. Let us move forward.

    Regards - Richard


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    I'm starting to understand.

    First start with the states that have licensing and get them to agree on a common SoP and licensing requirements. Get the remaining states to enact legislation matching that of the others.

    Next, go to all of the HI associations and have them change their SoPs to match those of the states.

    Then go to the national inspection companies and franchises and have them force their inspectors to only perform the minimum SoPs.

    Finally, get the independent inspectors to only perform the minimum SoPs.

    Good luck. I'll stick with the ASHI standards.

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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Hi Richard,

    OK, first off the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (makers of the National Home Inspector Examination aka NHIE) would not be able to help you with the production of an SOP. Why? Well, the cost involved for one and for another is due to the liability involved in writing a new SOP. If you were to approach EBPHI, they might be willing to assist in the development background information for a fee, to help offset the cost of the RDS (Role Delineation Study).

    INACHI comes to mind as an organization that writes new SOP's about as often as the trade winds blow. Changes are made on a whim and apparently without much thought as to what now happens to those that were working under the previous SOP.

    An SOP should establish the minimal guide for a home inspection, but that minimum might not be what is really considered to be the Standard of Care. The Standard of Care goes beyond the SOP and it reflects what home inspectors are doing in the area, region or across the nation.

    Right now and for about the last 18 months ASHI has been working on specialized SOP's (Pre-drywall and Pool & Spa's). The insurance alone just for the Pool and Spa SOP would be around a $20,000 increase in what ASHI already pays on their SOP. They have also had input from those in the prospective industries and the manufacturers of the products in order to gain stakeholder input into the new SOP's.

    Creating a new SOP is not a simple matter if you want to do it properly.

    My suggestion if you want to help with changing the SOP's that are used by the majority of folks is to get involved on the Standards Committee with one of the national associations. Since ASHI SOP's are the most common and have been tested in the various courts around the country that would be my choice if I wanted to work/improve on some SOP's.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Scott & Ken,

    I understand what you are both saying in regards my opening proposal and I was aware of the pitfalls facing such a simple proposal. Your responses have definitely increased my awareness, for which I thank you for the knowledge.

    Bare in mind the reason for my posting was to gauge the possibility of uniting PCI's or HI's (whatever you want to call it...) for one common cause. To shield us against other larger stakeholders who can and are effecting our business.

    On a personal basis I would look to our largest association with the biggest clout - ASHI is a natural. But, this thread is not about my personal choice. In theory it should be about the ~33000 inspectors in the USA. I had also outlined the outcome when larger associations attempt to take some sort of lead in regards this aspect. I was seeking a different approuch, that is not threatening to the associations and or their existing SOP's, therefore I wanted to keep associations off the table so that we can avoid going down that same road.

    Would you agree, that having a document that by consensus represents our industry fully, would benefit us (both directly or indirectly) in many ways.

    Having stated that, perhaps the SOP's/Ethics was a bad choice! Can you offer some other suggestion? Ken, your suggestion to do this on a State-by-State basis does have merit, but it would take a long time - rules, regulations and influences to our standards are already trickling down the pipe line. Do we really have the luxury of time? I doubt it.

    I inspect in California, I fully support my association (CREIA) and operate under their SOP's which I think is well thought out and just great. But, this is not about me.

    All the best - Richard


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    An inherent problem to the national SOP game is that houses are about the most diverse thing out there... they generally span a couple centuries and have a virtually infinite number of construction methods and materials. Then factor in various people hacking at it over the 100 years and you just never know what you're going to find.

    Then, take HIs.... as anyone can see from hanging around this board, we're about as diverse a group of people as you could find. What's a big deal to some is not to others, etc, etc. We all have different backgrounds and experience and just focus on different things.

    Then, factor in all the regional differences (in construction, people, materials, methods and so on).

    Bringing us all together with a few pages of SOPs is just not going to happen. And not because we're all particularly opposed to it (while of course many are), but mainly because it's just not logistically possible.

    In a lot of ways these facts are what preserve this profession and prevent some large corporation from taking it over like they have fast food, grocery stores and just about everything else in the country.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Matt,

    Strangely enough, I was expecting the input provided by you to be one of the first incoming posts.

    I tend to believe that what you stated is exactly how many inspectors feel.

    The question is; how does one change this type of thinking?

    Naturally it is based on the individuals view on this matter (is the glass half full or half empty ... etc.). I respond to your closing paragraph from my specific view:

    In a lot of ways these facts are what erodes this profession and incourages some large corporation from taking it over like they have fast food, grocery stores and just about everything else in the country

    Matt, thank you for taking your time to voice your opinion in this matter. It is greatly appreciated.

    All the best - Richard


  24. #24

    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Encourages. Not "Incourages."


  25. #25
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    I think I see what your trying to get across here Richard. We as Inspectors need to come together to stand up to the all powerful National Association of Realtors and their army of lawyers and lobbyists and dictate our own direction. Instead of being led like sheep.
    Many of us here thump our chests about standing up to individual realtors to protect our clients, and that's great, but in reality we are being played and controlled by the NAR. Who was it on this board that always ended their post with something like " I say we merge all inspection assoc. into one"
    Personally I don't think we have a prayer in hells chance of fighting the NAR, but I'd enjoy trying! But that Union word scares me.
    Am I close to what your proposing Richard?

    Cheers
    Jim Weyenberg
    HouseMaster inc. of NE WI.


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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    I am a still fuzzy on how creating yet another variation of an SOP will unite all inspectors. All the existing associations and states choose to draw up their own variation because they found some fault with all those SOPs that went before.

    Why would any of the existing SOP owners want to move towards a unified SOP? What is in it for them? How does it help them to support a unified SOP? How does having a national SOP help me directly?

    While it might be nice to have the same SOP nationally/internationally, it does not change the way I inspect homes daily. Why do I care how they inspect homes in the next state or accross the nation? I am just trying to feed my family and meet the demands of my licensing board. Changing the industry is a nice pie in the sky idea but I am not sure how it makes my job any easier, better, more efficent, or profitable. I just want be considered better than all the inspectors in my area of operation.

    Last edited by Bruce Ramsey; 01-25-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    I am a fuzzy on how creating yet another variation of an SOP will unite all inspectors. All the existing associations and states choose to draw up their own variation because they found some fault with all those SOPs that went before.

    Why would any of the existing SOP owners want to move toward a unified SOP? What is in it for them? How does it help them to support a unified SOP? How does having a national SOP help me directly?

    I just want be considered better than all the inspectors in my area of operation.

    Bruce,

    You are close to hitting the nail on the head on this.

    Creating ANOTHER SoP will only FURTHER diversify the profession as it will only add one more choice of SoP to follow, and, as you stated, why would any of the existing SoP makers feel that they should adopt their SoP over to some other SoP and dilute their oversight.

    Then, add to that what you last said, as all home inspectors (or at least every self-respecting home inspector) will use the SoP they have chosen to follow as the MINIMUM starting point, which (in fact) is precisely what an SoP is - the MINIMUM STARTING POINT. Each home inspector, or each multi-inspector company, establishes their inspections at some point ABOVE the MINIMUM SoP they are following. The extent they go ABOVE the MINIMUM SoP is the extent they put themselves out as different from other home inspectors in their area.

    The only way this would work out as Richard is dreaming about would be for this to become a nightmare (remember, always be careful of what one wishes for) as the SoP would not be an actual Standards of Practice establishing a MINIMUM but would have to be a MANDATORY UNIFORM EVERY HOME INSPECTOR IS REQUIRED DO IT EXACTLY THIS WAY procedure, and any deviation from it would need to be dealt with, otherwise the entire apple cart would be upset and tipped on its end.

    I don't know about anyone else, but *I* simply cannot see *ALL* home inspectors strictly adhering to a mandatory uniform procedure ... first off, would this be paper check list or computer check list, narratives would not be allowed as narrative offer options to say things differently, followed by the big question of whether or not the report would be required to be given on site or prohibited from being given on site.

    Might as well all wear doctors white coats, white shirts, white pants, and white shoes, least there be any variation between home inspectors, home inspections, or home inspection reports.

    Richard is reaching for more than just pie in the sky, he is dreaming and his dream will turn out to be a nightmare.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  28. #28
    archivoyeur's Avatar
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post

    The Property Condition Inspection (PCI) business is under pressure from outside influences to conform to “their” standards. Unfortunately, those folks performing such inspections are having very little say (in some cases no say at all) in guiding and or defining these standards. It is my opinion; the only way to address this matter is to unify the group to shield our profession so that we can control our own destiny.
    .
    Jeese Dick - I missed it. Who exactly are these evil bad guys?


  29. #29
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Jim W. - You definitely grasped the point I am trying to make. Forget the word UNION it was just a title heading or tag line to a thread seeking "similar thinking" inspectors.

    John G - Thanks for the correction

    Archi & Jim W. - Yes, NAR is one of the so called big players in this game, but you also have the various National Lenders (have you noted FHA/HUD requirements in an inspection and method of filing your findings as well as the requirements coming down from some mortgage companies). Another one is the appraisal group (have you noted their property condition call-outs recently and deferrals that need sign-off). National Insurance Companies. Then we also have the politics and legislation which is unlikely to go away. I have a PowerPoint slide that shows the players and connections in a Real Estate Transaction that will give you a fairly good picture of these stakeholders. I will have to dig this up and show it in another posting.

    Bruce - As noted from previous postings I have to choose my words well. Basically, if you take an existing SOP and change one word you are "creating" a new SOP. Using "simple speak" and referring to my opening post proposal item [2] it may be possible to "merge and or condense" the commonality already existing in all the SOP's. And, definitely not to make something more or greater than what already exists.

    I am purposely staying away from making this a discussion about various organizations. The commonality that exists between the various SOP's is no doubt based on ASHI SOP. I have also been informed that ASHI already has created a special version for general (other associations) use. So, using the words "to create a SOP" may not be necessary at all.
    Why have a unified SOP? Basically to give us the clout we get as "speaking with one voice" and our profession is no longer viewed as a splintered group.

    I cannot understand how Jerry sees this immediately becoming a MANDATORY UNIFORM. We all operate under a SOP which we all know is a MINIMAL standard. It is fairly well known that the majority exceed this minimal requirement to better serve our client. The SOP I operate under certainly has not put me in some sort of uniform or changed the way I inspect - so Jerry's statement really baffles me!

    Best regards - Richard


  30. #30
    Brian Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Get some time on the job!


  31. #31
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Yes Sir,

    I can see the problem clearly.

    Please read and quote 4th paragraph last sentence fully of the opening post #1 to this thread.

    This is a forum for communications - I seek "like thinking" individuals to join this thread as a group. Do you understand the difference between an "organization" and a "group"? Why do you waste time trying to distort facts and statements as you perceive it?

    Put forward some useful suggestions. Let us move forward.

    Regards - Richard
    Richard,

    I think what you may need to do is start a blog...a blog centered around this goal you have. Send invites out to HI's nationwide and allow them to comment on your blog postings.

    You said you were willing to take this "task" on. Let's see it in a forum that is yours alone (to start with) and see where it goes. If it appeaars that your blog is going to take off, and that you are getting some contructive input and consensus, you just might begin to see some light showing in the area of unification.

    This forum is obviously not going to work for your endeavor. So far there has only been opposition, or at the least, need for clarification for what you are trying to accomplish.

    Give the "blog" thing a try. It will require alott of work, sacrifice, time and money on your part. But this is the risk you said you were willing to take. I would read your blog, if! Provided that your blog appeared to put forth truth, continuity and focus, you will most likely get others who will want to contribute, and you may even get somewhere.

    Good luck.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    "I am still a fuzzy on how creating yet another variation of an SOP will unite all inspectors. All the existing associations and states choose to draw up their own variation because they found some fault with all those SOPs that went before.

    Why would any of the existing SOP owners want to move towards a unified SOP? What is in it for them? How does it help them to support a unified SOP? How does having a national SOP help me directly?"

    "Bruce - As noted from previous postings I have to choose my words well. Basically, if you take an existing SOP and change one word you are "creating" a new SOP. Using "simple speak" and referring to my opening post proposal item [2] it may be possible to "merge and or condense" the commonality already existing in all the SOP's. And, definitely not to make something more or greater than what already exists."

    Ok, I understand YOU want to create a unifed SOP. Wheather it is merge and condense, or an entirely new one, or just a version of the ASHI, why would any of the stakeholders of the exsiting SOPs want to adopt the new Unifed SOP? Why would they want to change?

    Please explain to me why all the various assoications, states, insurance companies, lending institutions, FHA/HUD, ad infinitium, want to abandon their version to accept a Unified version? You have to make them want to accept your standard. You have to provide some incentive for them want to use the Unified SOP vs the one they have already heavily invested in.

    What is the advantage to everyone else beside home inspectors to have a Unified SOP? What is your selling point to these stakeholders?

    In order to convince all the stakeholders that the Unified SOP is the end all, you have to have a solid marketing program that makes the idea of a Unified SOP a worthwhile change for them.

    I am not againt your proposal, I am just trying to understand how you plan on convincing all the stakeholders it is good for them? Please be more specific.

    National HI assoications will want to abandon their custom version SOP to adopt the Unified SOP because ....

    Local real estate agents will want their local Realtor associations to spend money and support the Unified because...

    FHA/HUD will even notice because...

    Appraisers who should be appraising instead of home inspecting will care about a Unified SOP because...

    How does having a Unified SOP help anyone but the Home Inspector profession? Specific examples. Sell me on the benefits.

    Last edited by Bruce Ramsey; 01-25-2010 at 10:11 AM.
    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Hi Richard,

    OK, first off the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (makers of the National Home Inspector Examination aka NHIE) would not be able to help you with the production of an SOP. Why? Well, the cost involved for one and for another is due to the liability involved in writing a new SOP. If you were to approach EBPHI, they might be willing to assist in the development background information for a fee, to help offset the cost of the RDS (Role Delineation Study).

    INACHI comes to mind as an organization that writes new SOP's about as often as the trade winds blow. Changes are made on a whim and apparently without much thought as to what now happens to those that were working under the previous SOP.

    An SOP should establish the minimal guide for a home inspection, but that minimum might not be what is really considered to be the Standard of Care. The Standard of Care goes beyond the SOP and it reflects what home inspectors are doing in the area, region or across the nation.

    Right now and for about the last 18 months ASHI has been working on specialized SOP's (Pre-drywall and Pool & Spa's). The insurance alone just for the Pool and Spa SOP would be around a $20,000 increase in what ASHI already pays on their SOP. They have also had input from those in the prospective industries and the manufacturers of the products in order to gain stakeholder input into the new SOP's.

    Creating a new SOP is not a simple matter if you want to do it properly.

    My suggestion if you want to help with changing the SOP's that are used by the majority of folks is to get involved on the Standards Committee with one of the national associations. Since ASHI SOP's are the most common and have been tested in the various courts around the country that would be my choice if I wanted to work/improve on some SOP's.
    SOPs for Pre Drywall inspections. You mean..... Like, did they build it right so far? It is already an inspection that in-tales todays standards such as building standards and codes and some of those codes are or are not accepted in certain areas or various parts of, are ignored. You are still going to right the pre drywall inspection up as in what is not right at this time and needs to be corrected before the drywall goes up.

    Seriously... what a waste of time and money. When a muni inspector comes in he is not writing up every thing in the home. He is in essence writing up only what is not right. He does not give it a stamp of approval and then go into the hundreds of ways it could have been wrong. The rest is a complete waste of time and effort and is putting ridiculous annoying check boxes and narratives for things that are right and do not need writing up. I BELIEVE THAT IS PART OF WHAT RICHARD IS TALKING ABOUT. THE RIDICULOUS, LETS STRETCH A HOME INSPECTION OUT, write UP EVERYTHING IN A HOME EVEN IF IT'S NOT WRONG TOTAL WASTE OF TIME

    My personal opinion is that the only thing written up in any home during a home inspection are the concerns in the home that the folks are either going to have to spend $ on right now or in the near future. The only other items should be safety concerns, which, by the way, are things that are going to cost them money to get right.

    This whole concept about writing something about everything in the home even when there is no concern is absolutely ridiculous and a waste of time, money effort. If we could just concentrate on concerns in the home only and not have to worry about something that there is nothing wrong with we would be doing our clients more justice and serving them better for their dollar.

    Th e absolute only reason we have to write about everything is for the "after the fact". Well, after the fact, if we miss something, they are coming after us anyway. So tell me. Why are we writing it up at all. If we write something up and still miss something, they are coming after us. If we do not write something up then it will tell them that as far as our opinion goes there were no major concerns with that item.

    The TPR valves drains to the exterior thru copper ????????? So what!!!!!

    If it drained thru a garden hose we would write it up. In a licensed state writing all the other garbage that is useless to everyone is a waste of time, effort and money. We take pictures of everything. If there is copper in our picture for back up then someone cuts the copper out and inserts garden hose and then tries to blame us then we have a picture. If there is a ground rod and electrode connecting the ground rod to the panel and it is the proper size.....Why write it up at all.

    To deep. Way to deep. The more controls and regulations that go into this wonderful profession of ours the worse things get. The more time we spend. The more inspection goodies everyone is giving away nowadays the more everyone will be expected to add it to there inspection process. Thermal imaging, termite inspection, foundation measurements, radon, lead testing etc the list goes on and on.

    One Unified Home Inspectors org, group, brotherhood,etc? It is more than likely headed there anyway with ASHI some time down the road. But then ASHI is trying to put SOPs in place for a pre drywall inspection where every single construction item in the home has to be mentioned whether there is or is not anything wrong with it....Go figure


    This whole concept of "we must sit around the table and call the meeting to order and figure out what else to add to an already bloated home inspection" is insane. I can see Richards point to a point but that is just more of the same. Nothing new. Nothing changed.

    Since most standards are based on ASHI standards I say let the states be there own entity and then each state order a hit man to have a talking to the next person some one wants to call a meeting to order to discuss what more regulation and items to add to a home inspection.

    Let a home inspection be what it was intended to be. A knowledgable man/woman with all the true tests of what the standards entail since all home inspections are based on code even though they are not a code inspection and then do an apprenticeship for a minimum of a year. (In slow times no one would be bringing on apprentices because they would not have the work)the inpector market gates up because it is already way over crowded. An apprentice gets laid off then he must wait until he goes back to work for an inspector to finish up his year. If a year goes by then he needs to do another year. The inspectors could control the flood in the market.


  34. #34
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Mitch - I had pondered the thought of a blog, but just setting it up correctly is time consuming to say the least. The thread on Texas SOP's provided an opportunity to just state my thoughts and Mr. AD Miller is in agreement with what I stated. His suggestion to use this forum was and still is a good idea mainly to gauge the thoughts from various inspectors across the country. Since AD also asked a specific question twice - "where do we go from here..." and it has to be an effort to form a coalition of all inspectors, no better way than open a new thread asking for opinions from the members of this forum.

    The question is still wide open - How do we proceed to accomplish goal(s) to make us a better group of inspectors having the just clout we deserve in this market place?

    Bruce - A quick clarification so that there is no confusion - my reference to "Stakeholders" was based on those parties involved in the Real Estate Transaction Process. I did intend it to exclude the Property Inspectors (or HI's) and or their associations from these so-called stakeholders because the fact is we are stakeholders without representation. The data we collect and provide is KEY information in the transaction, so herein lies the problem "why are we not represented?"

    This would not be a case of persuading or "selling" our Unified SOP to the other stakeholders. It's only purpose would be to stop them from calling out inspections for things we do not do - example FHA/HUD asking for a YES/NO check off on Lead, Asbestos and Mold. If all the stakeholders called for information based on our SOP there would not be any problems at all.

    You are correct that it would have to be sold to our various organization and trade associations. It will be a tough sell, but no tougher than trying to sell it to the members on this forum.

    I do not believe we have to replace organizations existing SOP's (perhaps I am dreaming on this one....). All I would like to see is a simple readable SOP that represents a coalition of ~30000 HI's.

    Ted - forgive me for not providing a reply in this post. Your points do have merit and more bureaucracy/legislation is "dumbing" our profession down. I will respond in another posting because what you stated deserves emphasis.

    Regards to all - Richard


  35. #35
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Mitch - I had pondered the thought of a blog, but just setting it up correctly is time consuming to say the least.
    Well, I would think that the amount of time you will need to getting a blog off the ground would be minuscule when compared to getting a new SOP up and running!

    Richard, if you want to establish a new SOP (one that is not a cut & paste product) it is going to take literally hundreds of man hours to even get the first draft.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  36. #36
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Ted,

    I agree with what you said. We are continually being "bogged down" with our own regulations. We, that is the USA, if not the complete Western World, has tied its self up in so many knots it has become difficult to get anything achieved.

    We can discuss, research, do studies, and review findings finally implement something that could ultimate not work. A common sense, mandated implementation could also fail, but if it fails chuck it out immediately and save money/time in the process. Just my thoughts....

    In a Real Estate Transaction, two key factors dictate whether a transaction proceeds forward or not. [A] Knowledge as to what is being purchased and condition of same*. [B] Is the offer real, secure and backed up to meet the sellers acceptance. In my opinion it certainly would be in the interest of the RE to quickly establish the requirements of [A] & [B]. I am sure NAR wants to achieve the same goal, but they want it done at ZERO cost to them or the seller listing the property - the result then becomes it is up to the buyer to verify the information as it relates to the condition of the home.

    A question arose, which we are very familiar with "why is the commission on the sale of a home fixed" at a rate based on "sale price" when supply and demand pushes the sale price up by ~200% to ~ 300%. In theory, the functions carried out by the RE has not increased! A study was commissioned to find out why? (another study....). In very basic terms this is what they found out - The annual earnings of the RE agent had not increased unduly due to [1] Transactions were falling out at an increased rate* resulting in more work going nowhere. [2] Uncontrolled access to being a "qualified certified" agents entering the RE field. Exactly as you stated Ted: "times are good, open the flood gates. The studies conclusion - mandate listing inspections and tighten up the qualifications of RE agents, then and only then can you address the commission question. By the way, this study was carried out in the UK and Wales.

    The * shown in the above two paragraphs are places where our profession offers KEY information. What is our true worth and why do we allow others to cheapen/dumb-down our function so that more and more mediocre inspectors enter this field further eroding this industry.

    We are already at a point when we are talking about trying to get the MINIMAL SOP into acceptance to shield us from regulation etc. etc. If we cannot unite with a minimal standard then there is very little hope in improving things by implementing SOP's that include more and more.

    Ted, sorry for the long winded reply, but it did give me he opportunity to pass along information that I gleaned from some research carried out a few years back.

    All the best - Richard


  37. #37
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post

    Bruce - A quick clarification so that there is no confusion - my reference to "Stakeholders" was based on those parties involved in the Real Estate Transaction Process. I did intend it to exclude the Property Inspectors (or HI's) and or their associations from these so-called stakeholders because the fact is we are stakeholders without representation. The data we collect and provide is KEY information in the transaction, so herein lies the problem "why are we not represented?"

    This would not be a case of persuading or "selling" our Unified SOP to the other stakeholders. It's only purpose would be to stop them from calling out inspections for things we do not do - example FHA/HUD asking for a YES/NO check off on Lead, Asbestos and Mold. If all the stakeholders called for information based on our SOP there would not be any problems at all.

    You are correct that it would have to be sold to our various organization and trade associations. It will be a tough sell, but no tougher than trying to sell it to the members on this forum.

    I do not believe we have to replace organizations existing SOP's (perhaps I am dreaming on this one....). All I would like to see is a simple readable SOP that represents a coalition of ~30000 HI's.
    Why cant you just say what you really want instead of filling the page with made up words...

    FHA/HUD does not care what a "home inspection" is by someone elses definition. They want certain information about a home. If it requires multiple vendors to report on Lead, Asbestos, Radon, Mold, Chineese Drywall, etc., then the buyer needs to hire mulitple vendors or find a vendor who does everything. They are a large enough entity to ignore everyone.

    You still have not anwered the question why would UD/FHA, Lenders, Agents, or all the other unnamed stakeholders involved in Real EstateTransaction Process care about a unified SOP. How does it help them?! They are not going to accept the Unified SOP unless it makes it things easier or cheaper. So far you have not offered any reason why anyone would want to use or adopt the Unified SOP.

    Give us 3 reasons why anyone would want to adopt the Unified SOP. What problem does it solve for anyone involved in the real estate transaction?

    If you want 30,000 home inspectors to back your proposal, you have to explain how it is useful to someone, anyone. So far you have only whinned that no one immediately patted you on the back for such a great idea. Why is it a great idea?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  38. #38
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Why cant you just say what you really want instead of filling the page with made up words...

    Please identify these "made-up" words.

    FHA/HUD does not care what a "home inspection" is by someone elses definition. They want certain information about a home. If it requires multiple vendors to report on Lead, Asbestos, Radon, Mold, Chineese Drywall, etc., then the buyer needs to hire mulitple vendors or find a vendor who does everything. They are a large enough entity to ignore everyone.

    If you are okay with it, then thats just great for you. What do other inspectors think about it?

    You still have not anwered the question why would UD/FHA, Lenders, Agents, or all the other unnamed stakeholders involved in Real EstateTransaction Process care about a unified SOP. How does it help them?! They are not going to accept the Unified SOP unless it makes it things easier or cheaper. So far you have not offered any reason why anyone would want to use or adopt the Unified SOP.

    I did answer your Question -see paragraph 2. in my response to you. Repeat this is not something to be "sold" to other stakeholders it is to shield you as the inspector.

    Give us 3 reasons why anyone would want to adopt the Unified SOP. What problem does it solve for anyone involved in the real estate transaction?

    Unity is strength which IMO allows you to have a say in defining your own future, contrary to what is happening now. I personally do not need more reasons than stated.

    If you want 30,000 home inspectors to back your proposal, you have to explain how it is useful to someone, anyone. So far you have only whinned that no one immediately patted you on the back for such a great idea. Why is it a great idea?

    Please indicate where and why you believe I am whinning and or looking for praise
    Regards - Richard


  39. #39
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Give us 3 reasons why anyone would want to adopt the Unified SOP. What problem does it solve for anyone involved in the real estate transaction?

    Unity is strength which IMO allows you to have a say in defining your own future, contrary to what is happening now. I personally do not need more reasons than stated.
    ********************************************

    Ok, I guess I am dense. I just don't get what you want me to support.

    Some entity draws up a Unified SOP. All 30,000+ inspectors unanimously agree that it is the worlds best SOP. Then what? How does that change my future?

    Please spoon feed me the answer because I don't understand how this helps. Again I am not opposed to the idea of a Unified SOP, I just don't understand why I should want one? How does it provide me a say in defining my future, specficially.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  40. #40
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    I think it would be great if there was a way to eliminate the 45 minute wonder guys who don't follow ANY SOP other than the one concerning how to make a quick buck and head for the door!

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  41. #41
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Bruce - if you are still confused and do not understand the benefits to you then it certainly is my problem to communicate in a better way if I wish to achieve a specific goal. Allow me to state it more in simple bullet format.

    First goal to unite our current inspectors. Second goal to set up a means - I selected a "unified SOP" approach.

    Provide a clear and concise document as to what can be expected from you and what cannot be expected from you (the minimal of minimals) in carrying out an inspection.

    The features:

    • A unified message that will get through far quicker and with greater impact.
    • Identifies the Property/Home Inspection business as a recognized profession.
    • A single message by a coalition of inspectors represents strength within and without our profession.


    The benefits:

    • Helps diffuse RE agents having undue influence.
    • Provides added legal protection.
    • Provides an effective means to negotiate Insurance coverage.
    • Places our industry firmly in the position as one of the "stakeholders" in the RETP.
    • Accomplishes a "first step" means to tackling some much needed problems within our industry


    I am sure others see benefits that I have missed. There are others that may see liabilities. I believe the benefits out way the liabilities.

    Bruce, you closed off asking for specifics. I also believe you feel my responses are too wordy. Therefore I will attempt to provide the specifics in another post.

    Best regards - Richard

    Last edited by Richard Soundy; 01-29-2010 at 01:50 PM. Reason: adder

  42. #42
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Stuart,

    I agree. I refer you to my previous response to Bruce and the last stated benefit.

    Thank you for your input.

    All the best - Richard


  43. #43
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    I think we should Form a Union. Perferable under the Teamsters. Has anyone inspected Jimmy Hoffas house?
    As a union we could raise prices
    Collective bargin with the Realor franchise that wont allow us to advertise in there office
    What fun


  44. #44
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Van Houtan View Post
    I think we should Form a Union. Perferable under the Teamsters. Has anyone inspected Jimmy Hoffas house?
    As a union we could raise prices
    Collective bargin with the Realor franchise that wont allow us to advertise in there office
    What fun
    Oh yeah! And don't forget working conditions! I have sucked enough cob webs, and crawled around in enough ..er...plumbing effluent for two or three carreers, and I'm just a lowly architect*. YOU guys should insist the owner clean that stuff up before you inspect. The health hazard potential is Enormous.

    Oh- there's another one! Medical, and disability coverage. This is hazardous work. Some body ought to be providing that too!

    How about a strike? I'll bring the coffee....


  45. #45
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post

    The benefits:

    • Helps diffuse RE agents having undue influence.
    What exactly does that mean? How do we "diffuse" RE agents?

    diffuse - to spread or scatter widely or thinly; disseminate

    Did you intend to say, "Helps defuse RE agents having undue influence."?

    defuse - to make a situation less tense, dangerous, or uncomfortable

    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 02-02-2010 at 10:09 PM.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  46. #46
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Stacey & Archi..,

    I would like to defuse the thought that I am trying to set up a workers union (such thinking could be "explosive"). All I seek is an alignment to tackle some basic common sense problems that can make our profession a better one having just recognition.

    The majority of associations across this country are basically seeking the same goal through their SOP's, Ethics, Education and comradeship etc.. Based on this statement the question is why not just unite the associations. It is my belief that this is an on-going task being addressed by the various individuals within the associations. But, due to a variety of reason it is not happening.

    What makes up these associations? Membership of the individual inspectors who pay their dues. You have every right to voice an opinion and "getting involved" is NOT a requirement (but, it sure helps your cause whatever it may be).

    On a personal basis I strongly believe inspectors are not being fairly compensated for the function they perform. But, this is from my eyes working in a small rural area here in California - does the same condition exist throughout the USA? My "gut feel" from various discussion groups says YES! In theory this forum should be a fairly good indicator - currently I am not sure on this question, hopefully time will tell.

    Best regards and continue to strive in making our profession a better one.

    Bruce B. - I stay with the original meaning "diffuse". The RE agent/broker relationship is and will always be a key and meaningful function in a Real Estate Transaction.

    The minority (80:20 rule) of RE agents/brokers do the majority of transactions. The majority of that minority are true professionals and deal with inspections correctly - "call it the way it is as soon as possible so that we can address the issues and move along with the transaction" They respect our function as inspectors and also know who are the best inspectors for their client.

    So, we need to separate the good from the bad. The good will help us grow our profession. We need them, they need us - nothing to "defuse"!

    All the best - Richard


  47. #47
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    Post Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Well, this was quite a read. The idea of coming together as a profession is a very good one. But do we really need an actual organization? If we of the profession that desire to be true professionals agree that there is some minimum, and that all inspectors should be given the leeway to practice in the fashion that best protects their client, isn't that a starting point? By the way, it is music to my ears to hear other inspectors refer to SoP and CoE as minimums. I have the misfortune of constantly hearing this insufferable bore, a member of a national association that I will not name, say to me that "it sounds like you are over-inspecting". When I place myself in my client's shoes, I can not imagine what that would be. So, the original point of the thread, it seems, is one that I believe we can all agree with: there should be no one dictating to us what we will do or how we should do it, as long as it exceeds the agreed minimums. We can do that, can't we?

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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  48. #48
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Actually what I am gathering with all this is, the OP wants to start an organization that will basicly enforce the laws on home inspections. Similar to the famous PHIC, or Pennsylvania Home inspectors coalition.
    The problem with it is IMO, that nothing will get done unless it benefits those in charge.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Randy & Bob,

    Firstly, I thank you for your inputs. Feedback on this thread is very necessary to gauge what the individual inspector thinks about the current status of our profession.

    We need to view this thread as a means to align oneself in identifying problems that are common to all inspectors and explore methods that could rectify or change things to our benefit. Do we need an organization to achieve this goal? As it currently stands, I certainly do not think so! We have enough organizations and associations already serving our profession and adding another will only add to the confusion.

    Does this forum represent our industry? Not fully, but IMO a fairly good "first step".

    Randy, your closing sentences (two) are spot-on as far as I am concerned.

    Bob, I also agree with the statement ".....that nothing will get done unless it benefits those in charge" Who is in charge? You and your fellow associates or inspectors are in charge.

    All the best - Richard Soundy


  50. #50
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Bob, I also agree with the statement ".....that nothing will get done unless it benefits those in charge" Who is in charge? You and your fellow associates or inspectors are in charge.

    All the best - Richard Soundy
    Now that is the problem, Who is in charge or control. Lately it seems more and more the government is taking over the duties for states. It appears that even certain Inspections organizations are in charge and out for themselves. Hell even the insurance comapnies raises rates with out good cause. This puts them in charge as well.
    Lets look at the PHIC in Pa, This is supposed to be a group of people from different organizations to come together and help to maintain ( for lack of better wording) And possibly control the state. I know Pa is self governing at the moment, but with these people it all could change. Like the automobile makers and banks, we too do not need governement control in this industry. So what do we do? We cannot appear to control ourselves any longer with the amount of so called inspectors entering the market daily, wait, did I say entering? I meant flooding. So again what is the answer? Perhaps a group who is similar to the PHIC but is also given the power to at least have some control , But it has to be for the inspectors and by the inspectors only. But I still have reservations about that as well.
    All I know is 15 years ago this industry was so much different and now, well I just don't know where it is going to. I think one problem we have is that there are too many HI orgs out there. I get it daily, do you belong to ...., or we only recommend.... organization members. I have even gone as far as to see a certain org and real estate company work together to brain wash sellers and purchasers, by getting them to sign a statement they only use XXXX organization. But tell me who is in charge again? Certainly not the hard working and honest HI's.

    Sorry for the rant, I just get upset at times when I think about the stuff that goes on, out there in this industry that I love and have been doing for so long now.


  51. #51
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Lets say that all 30K+ inspectors agree to support a specific Unified SOP.

    I operate in a licensed state with its own SOP. The Unified SOP is different in some manner, however minor from the Unified SOP. Regardless of how much I like the Unified SOP, I must follow my state version or be open to legal ramifications.

    The loose coalition of home inspectors still must convince my state along with about 30 other states to adopt the Unified version. Why would the state government want to abandon their version of the SOP to adopt the Unified SOP? What is in for the state?

    In a previous life, I was an EMT. The feds define the minimum standard for EMTs nationwide. Guess what. Each state meets the minimum standard but adds more to the Fed Standard. EMTs can take a National Exam and be certified nationally. Guess what? Only some states accept the national certification because it has lower standards than some state standards. So even though there is a Fed govt standard and a National Exam, not every state accepts them. EMTs moving between states must still meet the minimum training requirements and challenge the state exams regardless of national certification.

    In the home inspection industry, there is a national exam. It is recognized by some states and not others. The ASHI SOP is the existing defacto national SOP. It is only recognized by some states and not others. I still don't understand how having one more version of an SOP is going to empower Home Inspectors. I still haven't heard a single reason why any state, association, or any other stakeholder would want to abandon their existing SOP and adopt the Unified SOP.

    I think it could be helpful to the profession to have a recognized national standard for training, education, experience, ontinuing education requirements, reporting standards, and certification. Merging the existing national associations into a a single association would help but that is very unlikely due to existing management of the associations having to give up power and money.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  52. #52

    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Lets say that all 30K+ inspectors agree to support a specific Unified SOP.



    The ASHI SOP is the existing defacto national SOP. It is only recognized by some states and not others.
    And, it took ASHI 25 years for a 5k member organization with a paid man in Washington to get the SOP to that point. When you develop the magic of how to get all states to buy into one SOP and then get 30k inspectors to sign on let me know.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Am I, or are we in a position to say the following:

    • The logic to have a united front has merit in addressing problems or issues that are or may effect our profession on a national basis.
    • Do the majority of inspectors support the above statement and would they be willing to align themselves in putting this to the test?


    Of course there will be problems and hurdles to overcome to achieve the desired goals (this thread is "peppered" with many statements alluding to this fact). The statements of "dreaming" "magic" "not-in-my-lifetime" are cynical remarks based on past experience. Are we able to take a fresh, new untainted and non-threatening approach on this matter? Hopefully, we can deal with each problem as it arises and move forward in small positive steps.

    Since there has not been any other ideas in finding a method that could represent a coalition or consensus of the Property/Home inspectors in the USA, I will stay with the united SOP proposal. Dare I move forward to the next logical step?

    In my opinion, the easiest, quickest and least costly next step would be to call on ASHI for the "united SOP" that meets a so-called minimal standard which has the highest possibility in getting support from the various trade/associations. It is likely that ASHI would have to make some trade-offs in creating the suggested united SOP. But, based on support from 30K inspectors I am relatively sure that they could come up with something we can all align with! Could ASHI present a draft copy or sample of same for review and discussion?

    Now, being realistic we need to address something that is bound to cause outcries on this thread. Would ASHI do this (and more) for free? Again highly unlikely, and I have no "But, bla bla...." statement to follow.

    Let me ask thess questions:

    Is it right that we depend on one organization, who is already in the trenches, to do all the work for free? I do not do "free" inspections because I know nothing of value is free. IMO, pay-as-you-go always sounds good - would that be possible?
    Do we just sit back and observe the struggles that ASHI (5K to 7K membership) faces with a one man lobby in Washington when they face-off against NAR, Appraisal Industry, Insurance Companies etc.. I believe a coalition or consensus backed by support from all inspectors would greatly assist ASHI in achieving goals that ARE common to our profession.

    What would be the alternative, wait another 25 years to get better representation in Washington.

    These are just my thoughts on this matter. I look forward to hearing other thoughts and ideas.

    Best regards
    Richard


  54. #54
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    In my opinion, the easiest, quickest and least costly next step would be to call on ASHI for the "united SOP" that meets a so-called minimal standard which has the highest possibility in getting support from the various trade/associations. It is likely that
    ASHI already has a united SOP. All a person has to do is pay the fee and agree to abide by them.

    ASHI would have to make some trade-offs in creating the suggested united SOP. But, based on support from 30K inspectors I am relatively sure that they could come up with something we can all align with! Could ASHI present a draft copy or sample of same for review and discussion?
    I'm fairly certain that ASHI will not be lowering their standards just to get members of other associations to join them.

    Do we just sit back and observe the struggles that ASHI (5K to 7K membership) faces with a one man lobby in Washington when they face-off against NAR, Appraisal Industry, Insurance Companies etc..
    What information do you have that ASHI has had or is having a "face-off against NAR, Appraisal Industry, or Insurance Companies"? As far as I know the NAR endorses ASHI. ASHI has nothing to do with the appraisal industry as inspectors are not appraisers and ASHI has obtained some pretty good policy discounts with insurance companies.

    When states started talking about licensing ASHI was there to try to convince the lawmakers to adopt the ASHI standards. Some did, some didn't. Some that did ended up being sued by other associations. ASHI has tried to unify the SOP but when it comes to politicians and other associations it wouldn't matter if you had 60,000 people saying the same thing. Cash talks.

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  55. #55
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Bruce R. - In response to your questions from your last thread.

    A "unified SOP", if correctly worded, would or should not require States and or a local authority to abandon their specific requirements (through adoption or legislation). There are many examples where this already exists from one area to another.

    I am not calling on your current association of choice to abandon their SOP.

    Let me put forward an example (fictitious in this case). My State (California) suddenly calls for inspectors to verify all bolting of buildings to the foundation and correct shear panel requirements on all inspections in the declared earthquake zones - no sampling or assumptions allowed. The two requirements as stated would no doubt present us (the inspectors) with a problem in many cases - our inspections are non-intrusive. We have to get someone in to provide inspection ports to complete our inspections on a second visit. Since this requirement is an added cost, there now becomes a lobby battle between RE agents/brokers, insurance co., etc to find out it is intended to be part of the function and responsibility of the inspector who conveniently carries the insurance etc...
    Suddenly the criteria of "what is intrusive and non-intrusive" inspections could effect us all in this industry. I know my association will defend our SOP and quickly jump into action to defend us. I also know that a national or united front would provide much needed added clout in addressing the matter in this fictitious example.

    Bruce, you appear to be stuck on the concept that a united SOP must show a benefit to State legislators and or other stakeholders otherwise it will not "fly". The benefit is for us, as a shield and or method to get what we justly deserve.

    All the best - Richard


  56. #56
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Ken,

    I assume you are talking on behalf of ASHI - yes or no?

    If so what is this fee amount? Would it be any higher than that of a possible ASTM fee?

    Regarding ""What information do you have that ASHI has had or is having a "face-off against NAR, Appraisal Industry, or Insurance Companies"?"" Please read the sentence I posted carefully - I said "when..."
    I am aware of case(s) where there is no representation at all where I believe we should have representation. I would not go so far as to to state ASHI should be there, because I know that in many cases it is about numbers and money.

    You are correct, we are not appraisers and appraisers should not be inspectors!

    Regards - Richard


  57. #57
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    I assume you are talking on behalf of ASHI - yes or no?
    I'm talking as an individual member of ASHI.

    If so what is this fee amount? Would it be any higher than that of a possible ASTM fee?
    Fee amount for what? I think my ASHI dues are $399/yr. I'm not familiar with ASTM fees at all.

    Regarding ""What information do you have that ASHI has had or is having a "face-off against NAR, Appraisal Industry, or Insurance Companies"?"" Please read the sentence I posted carefully - I said "when..."
    Correct, you said "when" as if it has happened or is imminent. You did not say "if".

    I am aware of case(s) where there is no representation at all where I believe we should have representation.
    Please provide details for these case(s).

    You are correct, we are not appraisers and appraisers should not be inspectors!
    Please provide a case where a person hired to do the appraisal is performing a home inspection at the same time. Please keep in mind that an FHA Appraisal is not a home inspection when coming up with your answer.

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  58. #58
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Sound View Post
    A "unified SOP", if correctly worded, would or should not require States and or a local authority to abandon their specific requirements (through adoption or legislation). There are many examples where this already exists from one area to another.

    I am not calling on your current association of choice to abandon their SOP.

    Bruce, you appear to be stuck on the concept that a united SOP must show a benefit to State legislators and or other stakeholders otherwise it will not "fly". The benefit is for us, as a shield and or method to get what we justly deserve.

    All the best - Richard
    Yes, I am stuck on the concept that it must show a benefit to stakeholders to fly. I consider every home inspector a stakeholder.

    A Unified SOP that is different from my states SOP only muddies the water. If the Unified SOP is less stringent than the state SOP, not a problem because I have to meet the state SOP or lose my license. If I go to court, the Unified SOP has no bearing because it is less than the state minimum.

    If the Unified SOP is more stringent than the state SOP, then I can voluntarily perform the additional tasks and the State doesn't care. The client potentially gets a more through inspection but I would be operating outside the legal protection of my state standards and could be open to legal proceedings.

    But what about direct conflicts? For instance the Unified SOP states no Summary page in the report. Home Inspectors agree that Summary pages just dumb down the report so agents don't have to actually negotiate. State SOP requires a Summary Page as well as delineating specific verbiage and formatting. The Unified SOP will fall by the wayside because inspectors are going to meet the state requirement or lose their license.

    Unless the various national associations also agree to the SOP, then who is going to fund convincing the other stakeholders to pay any attention to the Unified SOP?

    Our local association just went to battle against the realtor association and home builder assoication over changing the state SOPs. Our local association pays a lobbist to carry our torch. Most of the changes the Realtors and Home Builders wanted had very little impact. Requireing E&O is one that is going to cost some money. My guess is that a Unified SOP would say it is not mandatory to carry E&O or GL. The Unified SOP would not have changed the outcome of the recent struggle at all. It would not have shielded me.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  59. #59
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Ken,

    Thank you for your response. I have no problem with you pointing out what ASHI provides or does not provide, I just wanted clarification for my own knowledge.

    From past postings to this thread I am under the impression that ASHI already has a "generic" SOP (template ... not sure what it is called) purposely created for "other" associations use. Scott could clarify this. Is it free? Is there a cost to use it similar to the ASTM 2018 as posted by Markus, which is strictly geared to commercial inspections? It is on a fee per use basis as best as I can recall. When you stated "ASHI already has a united SOP", I was under the impression you where referring to the "generic" version.

    Regarding the matter of sans (lack of) representation, I had already given you an example from my personal involvement in the consortium of open standards committee/task force. I think the thread on Texas SOP's (which triggered me to open this thread) is an example. The Texas RE selecting 4 HI's (their selection) on a committee of 7 is not what I call true representation of our industry. Ken, I have no doubt there are many other examples which can be dug-up by doing some research.

    In my area, the RE agents are asking the inspectors what gives with numerous "deferrals" being called out by the appraisal inspectors recently. The wording they use is similar, the systems they refer to are well within our expertise and it appears to be a fairly long list of deferrals (>6) on a very basic residence. Our local discussion board also indicates that this is occurring throughout California with conflicting "call outs". In our area the local RE agents now have to complete a new form referred to as AVID (Added Visual Inspection Disclosure - >3 pages) although very basic data (at this stage), it reminds me of the check list of the old days. Why is this happening, perhaps it is our fault in "dumbing down" our business. Whether it is FDA driven or Lender driven is immaterial in this discussion - it is happening right in front of our eyes. Your area may be different, but I somehow doubt it.

    One begins to ask the question "what is our training, qualifications and on-going education worth?" Why even belong to an association? Everybody will soon be doing inspections for free just to "close the deal". Yes, it makes me mad when I see our industry moving in this direction. Sorry for the rant and I certainly do not want to be known as an "alarmist"

    Best regards - Richard


  60. #60

    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Richard: You seem to have too much time on your hands.


  61. #61
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Yes, I am stuck on the concept that it must show a benefit to stakeholders to fly. I consider every home inspector a stakeholder.

    We are repeating this discussion - HI's are stakeholders in "theory" not in practice due to no unified representation

    A Unified SOP that is different from my states SOP only muddies the water. If the Unified SOP is less stringent than the state SOP, not a problem because I have to meet the state SOP or lose my license. If I go to court, the Unified SOP has no bearing because it is less than the state minimum.

    The aim should be "less"

    If the Unified SOP is more stringent than the state SOP, then I can voluntarily perform the additional tasks and the State doesn't care. The client potentially gets a more through inspection but I would be operating outside the legal protection of my state standards and could be open to legal proceedings.

    Again - it should be less and not more

    But what about direct conflicts? For instance the Unified SOP states no Summary page in the report. Home Inspectors agree that Summary pages just dumb down the report so agents don't have to actually negotiate. State SOP requires a Summary Page as well as delineating specific verbiage and formatting. The Unified SOP will fall by the wayside because inspectors are going to meet the state requirement or lose their license.

    No matter what industry you are in the National and State requirements are bound to differ and one works under the rules within your area.

    Unless the various national associations also agree to the SOP, then who is going to fund convincing the other stakeholders to pay any attention to the Unified SOP?

    Once again I state: To date the associations are unable to agree - but, who is in control?

    Our local association just went to battle against the realtor association and home builder assoication over changing the state SOPs. Our local association pays a lobbist to carry our torch. Most of the changes the Realtors and Home Builders wanted had very little impact. Requireing E&O is one that is going to cost some money. My guess is that a Unified SOP would say it is not mandatory to carry E&O or GL. The Unified SOP would not have changed the outcome of the recent struggle at all. It would not have shielded me.

    Bruce, problems on a State level will always exist. Deal with one problem at a time and IMO selecting a unified SOP to address National problems is more than likely something we can unite against and move forward as a team.
    As a "splintered" group we will never achieve anything!

    Regards - Richard


  62. #62
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    John,

    I am not sure how to answer your statement - "much time on your hands" is a relative question.

    I choose to retire early (age 56), build a house in a rural area of California with a great view and climate (somewhat...). Very bored with out some activity. Selected Property Inspection to keep me occupied, earn money and get to know the locals. Now at the age of 67 I still inspect, crawl (attics & under-floor areas), climb roofs and carry my "Little Giant Ladder" on all inspection. I am not the most active person in inspections in my area, I am over priced - but I continue to pick up business here and there! I do a certain amount of consultancy work for past contacts I know. I own businesses both in the USA and outside the USA. I am in the process (still in the development phase) of launching another business. I am active in my association and have organised many excellent Educational Events to serve our local inspectors.

    As far as hobbies go: I boat, weather permitting. I garden, not small but big on 10 acres. I dabble in the ceramic arts...

    I am an active person. I am frugal and like to make money. I have many failed ventures under my belt, but some winners as well. I am not perfect.

    So John, it may appear that I have time on hand. Whatever I do, I do it with passion.

    Regards - Richard


  63. #63
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    Default Re: A UNITED SHIELD

    Richard, By the replies on this thread I think I can honestly say the majority of home inspectors are viewing this "United Shield" as unneeded, unwanted and pretty much a waste of time. Most home inspectors are independent operators and don't want anyone, including the states, federal government or associations telling them how to run their business. .

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