Make sure the real estate contract includes an inspection clause. Typically, contracts allow home buyers 10 or so days after signing to have the property inspected. But that's not always the case, so it's important that the contract include a home-inspection clause. The results of the inspection can be used to ask the seller to fix trouble spots, or to adjust the selling price to cover the cost of necessary repairs.
I really like a home inspector with contracting license or experience. They seem to be well rounded in their approach to a home. I also like one that carefully explains everything to the buyer, without over dramatization, and presents a written report of their findings.
It's not desireable to find additional defects after the inspection is over, and if that happens I would use another home inspection company.
Again, best of luck!
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyer Agency since 1999