Breaking the Mold
Buying a new home can be a nerve-racking experience. While having a realtor is helpful, hiring a home inspector can save you from missing costly construction, mechanical, and structural issues. But 99.9% of the time you hire an inspector, who do you expect to show up? A man, most likely. It’s no secret that home inspection is a male-dominated industry, but breaking the mold in these types of industries has sort of been a lifelong accomplishment for our very own Terra Snyder, who proudly serves as one of very few female home inspectors in Calgary.
The (Literal) Building Blocks to Success
Where did it all begin? Log homes, oddly enough. Terra’s family builds them for a living, and while many would expect a young girl to sit on the sidelines and watch from a safe distance, Terra was eager to join in and get to work. And who would dare suggest letting a man take over while she was busy operating cranes and expertly fitting logs with a chainsaw?
Later, at the age of 23 when many others her age were off partying away at bars, Terra chose to buy one instead. She successfully owned and operated a small-town bar and hotel on her own for five years. When she initially took ownership, the roof of the building had leaked for over 30 years, obviously leaving behind quite a bit of damage. With her background of building, Terra opted to build a new roof almost entirely on her own, thus proving that she is never one to shy away from challenging circumstances.
Desk Jobs Aren’t for Everyone
After her experience with the hotel and bar, Terra chose to educate herself and pursue a career in the financial industry. She managed to gain licensing for life insurance and mortgage brokerage, as well as for Canadian Investment Funds, such as mutual funds and securities, before finally deciding that she wanted more than your average desk job. Her interests simply lied elsewhere, and despite it being yet another male-dominated field, she followed her passion for construction and became a Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter.
The Inception of Accurate Home Inspections
Terra built her own successful website and started Accurate Home Inspections in 2009, doing a modest amount of home inspections throughout Calgary. By her second year she managed to quadruple her business to 220 inspections, and the 12 years that have followed have been busier and more prosperous than she could have imagined. Throughout all of this, Terra has kept her gender quiet.
You can believe in yourself and your abilities wholeheartedly, but sometimes it can be difficult to get others to do the same – especially when you’re asking them to see past gender bias. It’s the reason Terra decided not to advertise that Accurate Home Inspections is owned by a woman for the last 12 years. But not anymore. As of Spring 2021, Terra has officially come out of the closet and is proud to represent the very few female home inspectors, not only in Calgary, but in the industry as a whole.
Defying the odds and succeeding in a male-dominated world is nothing new to Terra, and it’s about time others started to see what we see: women can do ANYTHING, and we will continue to prove it as Accurate Home Inspections grows for many years to come.