The biggest and most expensive home repair issues are often those hidden away behind your walls or floor coverings. Rotted wood or old wiring can cost big bucks to replace, yet even the best home inspectors probably won't notice these problems.
This is because most home inspections are largely non-invasive, which means they don't extend beyond the finished surface. An inspector may peel up the edge of a carpet to check the subfloor below, but he won't be able to do the same for ceramic tile, or for items hidden in walls or ceilings. To make his job even harder, unethical homeowners may use paint or other materials to cover up water damage just long enough to get through the inspection and selling process. While there's little you can do to protect yourself from these risks, a trusted home inspector can help you gather as much information as possible as you decide on your purchase.