A home inspection is meant to detail problems with a house and if they’re serious enough to prevent a sale. The three main points of an inspection are physical condition, items in need of repair or replacement, and remaining useful life of major systems.
It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection: you can ask questions and the inspector can point out areas of potential trouble and offer maintenance tips.
Expect an inspection to take 2-5 hours (old homes may take longer) and to cost $200-$500, depending on size.
To hire an inspector, get recommendations from others or check the phone book under “Home Inspection.” Be sure to ask about references, memberships in professional associations, training, and experience. Of course, I have inspectors that my clients have used with great success and would be happy to provide their information!