Generally, home inspectors are not responsible for checking the home for code compliance [source: Scherzer and Andrews]. This means that old, out-of-date conditions or renovations done by the previous owner may not meet modern building code standards for your area.
Buying a home that's not up to code leaves you vulnerable to both safety and financial risks. It means that your family won't benefit from all the latest safety standards and technologies, including things like modern wiring or home sprinklers. It also leaves you footing the bill for code compliance on renovation or repair work. For example, if you decide to add a home addition in the future, you'll likely be required to bring the house up to code first. For big issues like wiring and plumbing, these costs could easily run into the thousands.