I mentioned, on my law blog the other day, the importance of (among other things) hiring a home inspector before you buy a home (and then of listening to that home inspector.)
It's not like it's difficult to find a home inspector, and it's not like it's difficult to tell if they're qualified or not. TakeNew Jersey Home Inspectors "Looksmart Home Inspections LLC." If you go to their site, you can tell they're qualfied right off the bat.
Let me walk you through how: First, look at all the information they offer you for free about their area of business. People who are GOOD at their jobs don't need to sell you on why they should be hired. They can provide you information about their areas for free, rather than charge you to educate yourself. So when I see that Looksmart Home Inspections, LLC has answers about what home inspection is, why you should get one, and even a walk-through list to tell you what to expect, I see that they're a company that isn't looking to rook you -- they'll tell you what they can do, up front, BEFORE they start charging you.
Clue number two? They tell you how to check out their work -- and their competitors. They've got links to their code of ethics and to regulations that govern them and checklists of how to see how they're doing. They're not afraid of you knowing what they can and can't do -- and they're not afraid of you knowing the high standards they impose on themselves.
Clue number three? What they say just makes sense. They point out, for example, that while you shouldn't have to pay a bundle for home inspections, you shouldn't skimp either -- because skimping may get you an unqualified inspector and that'll lead to trouble down the line.
Honest, up front, qualified, and fair -- that sounds like the kind of person I'd want to trust with inspecting my home before I bought it.