As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting in a home. The purchase of a home is the largest investment for most people, you don't want to take it lightly. A professional home inspection is highly recommended whether you are purchasing an existing home or a new one. A home inspector is a chance to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering buying and getting both a verbal and written opinion as to the homes condition.
Utilize your real estate agent to recommend a home inspector. They most likely have worked with several and can recommend someone you can trust and that you know will do the best job for you. It is also a great idea to go along with the inspector during the inspection. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and to get answers that are not biased. Several inspectors also take photo's to show exactly what they are referring to that might be an issue of the property. Along with the photo's you should receive a written report. Read over the report carefully.
You should demand an inspection when you present your offer. It must be written in as a contingency, if you do not approve the inspection report, then you don't have to buy the property. Most real estate contracts have the inspection contingency, but if not, make sure your agent writes it in.