Buyer Beware! 9 Traps & 3 Tips

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Did you know that most major buying decisions are influenced more by emotion than logic?

There’s nothing wrong with that – especially when it comes to home ownership – but before you make a final decision, consider these 9 potential major money traps:

Make an Informed Decision

Roof: Check the roof covering and visible flashing, as well as any skylights, chimneys, gutters, and downspouts, to determine condition.

Exterior Elements: Consider the condition of all siding or wall-cladding systems, windows, doors, porches, decks, and stairways.

Foundation and Substructure: Look at load-bearing members and other major structural components found in basements and crawlspaces – including the foundation, floor slabs, and floor framing – to determine their condition.

Interior Elements: Assess the condition of attic areas, stairways, and all wall, ceilings, and floors throughout the house.

Central Heating System: Determine the condition and operability of the home’s heating system(s), including the heating unit and associated fuel-supply, venting components, and distribution system.

Central Cooling System: Determine the condition and functionality of the home’s central air conditioning system(s), including components of the distribution system and any built-in wall units.

Interior Plumbing System: Inspect the condition, function, and flow of the water supply distribution and waste systems, as well as hot-water heating equipment, venting, and fuel-supply systems.

Interior Electrical System: Examine the electrical system, including service panels and exposed wiring. Test fixtures, switches, and receptacles.

Built-In Kitchen Appliances: Make sure major built-in appliances (including ovens, ranges, cook tops, and dishwashers) are in good condition and operating properly.

Know When You Need Help

If you’re like many Canadians, your home may be the largest purchase you’ll ever make. And, if you’re like most people, you probably lack the knowledge, skill, and ability to thoroughly and objectively assess each of these potential problem areas on your own.

That’s why wise homebuyers choose to make an informed decision regarding the condition of the home by engaging the services of a home inspection company. It’s a truly objective look at your house – by a trained professional.

A good home inspection consists of a thorough evaluation of all readily accessible, major elements of a home, with a written inspection report documenting findings. The inspection conducted should follow recognized industry standards and cover all 9 important areas listed above – including functioning or visible major elements and systems, plus hundreds of associated components. The duration of an inspection typically ranges from 2 to 4 hours for an average size and style house.

Here are 3 important tips for getting the greatest value from your home inspection.

3 Tips for Home Buyers

1. Get a home inspection.

Whether you are buying a brand new home, a charming 100 year old Victorian, or a townhouse, the condition of the home should factor into the buying equation. Parents and friends usually do not have the training, expertise and tools required to check out all components of the home. You need to know what you’re buying.

2. Verify the credentials of the home inspector you select.

Credentials in the home inspection industry vary as much as the prices do. Bargain-priced inspectors are often least credentialed. Make sure the home inspector you select has been professionally trained and tested, has access to experienced technical support, and completes continuing education on a regular basis.

3. Go along on the inspection.

No matter who you choose for your home inspection, be sure to attend the inspection in person. And ask lots of questions, no matter how “naïve” you think they sound! In touring a home with a qualified professional, you’ll learn a great deal about the property – and feel much more confident about your decision. You’ll also avoid those unpleasant surprises upon move in.

Information for this report was generously provided by HouseMaster, Edmonton’s largest home inspection company.

This company has preformed over 28,000 inspections and has a team of 5 fully qualified, trained, certified and insured inspectors. Their inspections are guaranteed for 120 days from the date of inspection (any item rated satisfactory is covered by a limited guarantee). Reporting is done onsite and includes an abundance of full colour photographs. The report is then uploaded on the internet and instantly available to clients and their guests.

Each inspection comes with an Inspection Resource Guide, assisting clients with many ongoing ownership issues. HouseMaster has a fully staffed office, and after-hours bookings can be made by paging on-call staff members.

Please call HouseMaster at 780-449-3883 for “Home Inspections. Done Right.” Or visit