If you are thinking of buying a home you should be familiar with what a home inspector is and why you would hire one. First, a home inspector does just that-inspects the home. Generally a licensed home inspector will help you to determine the major problem areas (if any) and help guide you to get further inspections if necessary. In our area home inspections generally cost under $350 and provide a level of comfort to the buyer (who generally pays for the inspection if they so desire).
The five areas that you want to ensure your home inspector inspects are: roof, electrical, foundation, plumbing and inspect the attic. The inspector will review the electrical panel and outlets to ensure they are grounded, crawl under home if possible to check foundation, run dishwasher, sinks and toilets for leaks, look in the attic for insulation and/or pests. Not all home inspectors are created equal so ensure you are hiring a reputable inspector and that they are licensed! Also, a good home inspector will refer you to other inspectors (ie a roof inspector) as needed.