Top Questions to Ask a Home Inspector When Buying a House

Buying a house is one of the most significant investments you'll ever make, and ensuring that you make an informed decision is crucial. One of the best ways to safeguard your investment is to hire a qualified home inspector. A thorough inspection can uncover potential issues that may not be immediately apparent, saving you from costly repairs down the road. However, to get the most out of your inspection, it’s important to ask the right questions. Here are the top questions to ask a home inspector when buying a house.

1. What Does Your Inspection Cover?

Understanding the scope of the inspection is vital. Different inspectors might have varying protocols, so clarify whether the inspection includes:

• Structural elements (foundation, walls, roof)
• Electrical systems
• Plumbing systems
• HVAC systems
• Appliances
• Insulation and ventilation
• Exterior (siding, paint, and trim)
• Interior (ceilings, walls, floors)
• Attic and basement/crawlspace

2. Are You Certified and Insured?

Ensure that your home inspector has the necessary certifications and insurance. In the U.S., reputable inspectors often have certifications from organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Insurance is also crucial as it protects you if something goes wrong during the inspection.

3. Can I See a Sample Report?

Finding a qualified inspector early in this fast paced market is a good idea. Ask to see a sample report to get an idea of how thorough and detailed their inspections are. A good report should include photos and descriptions of any issues found, with clear explanations and recommendations for further actions.

4. How Long Will the Inspection Take?

The duration of the inspection can vary based on the size and condition of the home. Typically, a thorough inspection takes 2-3 hours. If an inspector says they can do it in significantly less time, that might be a red flag.

5. Can I Attend the Inspection?

Being present during the inspection allows you to ask questions on the spot and get a better understanding of the home’s condition. A good inspector will welcome your presence and explain their findings as they go along.

6. What Are Major Issues Versus Minor Issues?

Not all problems found during an inspection are deal-breakers. Ask the inspector to differentiate between major issues that need immediate attention or could affect your decision to buy the house, and minor issues that are less urgent or easy to fix.

7. What Are Your Recommendations?

After identifying issues, a good inspector should be able to suggest what kind of professional you need to consult for further evaluation or repairs, whether it's a structural engineer, electrician, plumber, or roofer.

8. How Much Will Repairs Cost?

While home inspectors aren’t contractors, they often have a good idea of how much certain repairs might cost. Ask for rough estimates to help you budget for any necessary work. 

9. Is This Home Up to Code?

Code compliance is critical for safety and future resale. Ask if there are any areas where the home doesn’t meet current building codes, especially for significant elements like electrical wiring and plumbing.

10. Are There Any Environmental Concerns?

Inspectors should check for environmental issues such as mold, asbestos, lead paint, or radon. These can pose health risks and be costly to mitigate.

11. Do You Offer Re-Inspections?

Sometimes, sellers will agree to make repairs before the sale is finalized. Ask if the inspector can do a follow-up inspection to ensure that the repairs were done correctly.

12. What Should I Address First After Moving In?

After the inspection, you’ll likely have a list of issues to address. Ask the inspector to prioritize these for you, so you know which ones need to be dealt with immediately after moving in and which can wait.


Hiring a home inspector is an essential step in the home-buying process. By asking these key questions, you can ensure that you choose a qualified inspector and gain a comprehensive understanding of the home’s condition. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions, negotiate effectively, and ultimately protect your investment. 

I have worked with many inspectors and would be happy to recommend some to you!


Spring Home Improvements

Easy Spring Home Improvements that add Value to your Property

Spring is the perfect time to spruce up your home. Whether you're preparing to sell or just want to enjoy a more beautiful space, there are many simple improvements that could add value to your home. 

1. Refresh Your Curb Appeal
Curb appeal plays a crucial role in creating a positive first impression. Here are some easy ways to enhance it:

• Landscaping: Add new plants, flowers, and shrubs to your garden beds. Choose a mix of perennials and annuals for year-round beauty. Edge and mulch the garden beds for a neat look.

• Lawn Care: Mow, fertilize, and aerate your lawn. A lush, green lawn signals a well-maintained property.

• Front Door Makeover: Repaint or replace your front door. A bright, bold color can create an inviting entryway. Hanging a new spring wreath can also make a good impression.

• Exterior Cleaning: Power wash your home's exterior, including siding, walkways, and driveways. This can remove dirt, grime, and mildew, instantly brightening the appearance of your property. Washing outdoor windows is also a good idea in the spring.

2. Update Your Outdoor Living Spaces
Outdoor living spaces are in high demand. Consider these improvements to create a more inviting and functional outdoor area:

• Deck and Patio Refresh: Clean and refinish your deck or patio. Repair any loose or damaged boards, and consider adding a fresh coat of stain or paint. 

• Outdoor Lighting: Install outdoor lighting to highlight key features, such as walkways and landscaping. Solar-powered lights are an energy-efficient option. 

• Outdoor Furniture: Add new outdoor furniture or update existing pieces with fresh cushions and accessories.

3. Kitchen Updates
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms when it comes to home value. Here are
some simple kitchen updates you can tackle in the spring: 

• Cabinet Refresh: Repaint or reface your kitchen cabinets for a modern look. Add new hardware, such as knobs and pulls, for a quick upgrade. 

• Backsplash: Install a new backsplash. This is a relatively simple DIY project that can add color and personality to your kitchen. 

• Lighting: Update the lighting fixtures in your kitchen. Consider under-cabinet lighting to brighten the workspace. 

• Appliance Upgrade: If your budget allows, consider replacing old appliances
with energy-efficient models.

4. Bathroom Improvements
Bathrooms are another area where small improvements can yield significant returns. Try these easy updates:

• Vanity Refresh: Repaint or replace the vanity for a fresh look. Add new faucets and hardware to complete the transformation. 

• Shower and Tub Updates: Regrout tiles and replace old caulk to give the shower or tub area a clean appearance. 

• New Fixtures: Update the lighting fixtures and install a new mirror to modernize the bathroom. 

• Eco-Friendly Toilets: Consider installing water-efficient toilets to appeal to environmentally conscious buyers. 

5. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
A new coat of paint can work wonders for any room in your home. Focus on neutral colors that appeal to a broad range of buyers. Don't forget the trim, doors, and baseboards for a polished finish.

These easy spring home improvements are cost-effective ways to boost your property's value. By focusing on curb appeal, outdoor living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and fresh paint, you can create a more attractive home for yourself or potential buyers. Happy spring cleaning and renovating!


Navigating the 2024 Spring Market

Calgary’s real estate market feels a bit like a rollercoaster ride, especially for first-time homebuyers. For quite some time our city has been experiencing a seller's market, where the demand for homes outweighs the supply, giving sellers the upper hand in negotiations.

While this can present challenges for buyers, fear not! Our team has the experience and expertise to guide you through the maze and offer some invaluable tips and tricks to help you secure your
dream home.

The Challenges:
• Limited Inventory: Our supply levels are very low in the city across all property types. This scarcity can lead to intense competition among buyers, driving up prices and making it difficult to find a suitable property. 
• Bidding Wars: With multiple buyers vying for the same property, bidding wars are common in a seller's market. This can quickly escalate prices beyond your budget and leave you feeling discouraged.
• Quick Sales: Homes in a seller's market tend to sell rapidly, sometimes the same day it is listed. This leaves little time for thorough consideration and may force buyers to make hasty decisions.
• Seller's Terms: In a market where sellers hold the power, they may dictate terms that favor their interests, such as higher prices, shorter closing periods, or minimal contingencies, leaving buyers with limited negotiating leverage.

Tips and Tricks:
• Get Pre-Approved: Before you start house hunting, obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a lender. This demonstrates to sellers that you're a serious buyer and gives you a competitive edge over other potential buyers. 
• Act Quickly: In a seller's market, time is of the essence. Stay vigilant for new listings and be prepared to act swiftly when you find a property that meets your criteria. Delaying your decision could result in missing out on your dream home.
• Know Your Limits: Set a clear budget and stick to it. Determine the maximum amount you're willing to spend on a home and resist the temptation to exceed it, even in the heat of a bidding war. Remember that overextending yourself financially can lead to long-term stress and financial strain.
• Flexibility is Key: Be open-minded and flexible when it comes to property features and location. Consider homes that may need some cosmetic updates or are slightly outside your preferred neighborhood. This widens your options and reduces competition for in-demand properties.
• Make a Strong Offer: When submitting an offer, make it as attractive as possible to the seller. Offer a competitive price, consider waiving certain contingencies (within reason), and include a personalized letter to the seller expressing why you love their home and why you're the perfect buyer.
• Stay Positive: Finally, don't lose hope if your offers are repeatedly rejected or if you encounter setbacks along the way. Remember that the right home is out there, and with perseverance and the right strategy, you'll eventually find it.
• Work with Us: Our knowledgable team can be your greatest asset in a seller's market. We have insider knowledge of the differences and trends in all the communities, access to off-market listings, and negotiation skills to help you navigate the complexities of buying a home in a competitive environment.

In conclusion, while navigating a seller's market as a first-time homebuyer can be challenging, it's certainly not impossible. By arming yourself with knowledge, staying proactive, and enlisting our help, you can overcome obstacles and achieve your homeownership goals. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your house-hunting hat, and get ready to embark on an exciting journey towards homeownership!

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.