You may start asking yourself questions the moment you do a background and professional check on any inspector. First, where was the home inspector trained? Stay away from inspectors who could not tell about his training. He might just be a poser or a con artist. Is the inspector attending continuing education classes? Is he a member of any professional organization? If he is, what are the membership requirements? Is the inspector carrying an Errors and Omissions insurance? If the answer is affirmative to all the questions, then you have found the right and qualified home inspector.
Another way to find a qualified and good inspector is to look at the inspection coverage. You should ask for a copy of a sample inspection report. It should be about 20 to 50 pages long, including colored photographs to show actual home defects. Find out what systems the inspection covers. You should beware about inspectors who exclude too many services. Are there specific and important services that would require additional charges? There are specific areas that general inspectors normally should not cover like sewerage, septic tanks, molds, foundation, electrical system, air conditioning and heating, soil tests, and chimney, among others.
Lastly, before hiring any home inspector, determine the requirements of your lender or the local government. You surely would not want to spend another few dollars for a different home inspection that is not covered by your general home inspector. It is best to avoid hiring specialists to do specific inspection, but if there really is a need, then go ahead (especially if the home to be inspected is really old).