Buying a new home is a very fun and exciting process, but you have to do your due diligence to ensure that everything goes smoothly. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to hire a home inspector and have a thorough inspection completed to ensure that the property you are purchasing is stable, clean, well-maintained, and ready for you to move in.
The first tip you can follow when beginning the home inspection process is simply making sure that you hire the right one. This means asking for recommendations and doing your research into the home inspector. Check their website, ask for a sample/previous inspection report, and ask about their qualifications or what the inspection will include. Remember, a home inspection will be completed by a general inspector.
A general inspector is going to be looking to give you an overview of the home's condition as a whole, they may not be able to pinpoint tiny or specialized problems. They can also only inspect things they have access to, which means problems inside the well or septic tank are unlikely to be revealed by a general home inspector. With that in mind, realize that you have the right to call in a specialist for any area of the home you think needs to be checked more thoroughly.
That actually brings us to the next tip: When you work with a home inspector, be sure to ask any questions you have about the report or the home, and follow-up on any advice they give you if they suggest reaching out to a specialist to look into a particular part of the home further.
You can walk through the home with your inspector to see the things first-hand that they will be putting into the report. This can help you have a clearer understanding of the extent of issues they bring up and what the problem is exactly. No home inspector should have a problem with you wanting to walk through the house with them, and they should be happy to answer any questions you have about maintaining the home in the future.
At the end of the inspection, they will hand a report over to you. You should sit down with them and ask about what they have found. Any issues that have been brought up should be looked into further. Ask what it will take to fix the issues and then use that information to renegotiate with the seller. If it's a big problem, it may be worth turning the home down all together. This can be disappointing, but it's worthwhile if it means avoiding a costly problem with your new home.