And what is the requirements for having one? When you buy a home, especially for the first time, it is always highly recommended to have a professional home inspection. Unless you, yourself are an expert at this, we recommend hiring someone that is unbiased to your sale.
Although we have plenty of highly trained inspectors we can refer to you, its not a bad idea to research one yourself. This way you can be sure the inspector is solely working for you the buyer and not just trying to make the deal go through.
There are a variety of inspectors out there from simple ones that do a quick look over to ones that almost go way beyond what you wanted to know about the house. Some can pick apart a house to the point you can be amazed it's still standing. But what you want is an inspector with a great track record and long history of experience. Someone that will know what to spot for safety features and one that can point out issues to be on the look out in the future.
Having an inspection is not only a good way to negotiate issues and costs during the buying process but also to plan for the future. An inspector is not an expert on any one item but a good general expert on many. Some may have backgrounds in specific areas such as septic systems or furnaces, and these are helpful when reaching that area of the home. But also, a good inspector can tell you how many years left the roof may have or how long your water heater will last. These are issues that will need replacing eventually and you can save and plan for these issues along the way instead of being surprised with a large bill 5 years down the road.
Sometimes an inspector will recommend a more in depth inspection with something they may not be well versed in. They may refer you to a specific inspector for certain items. This is up to you to continue but its a great idea to really learn about any serious issues your home may have.