This year, more than four-million families throughout North America will be seeking a home of their own. Unfortunately, there are among them some who will attempt to save the few hundred dollars that it costs to enlist the services of a professional home inspector. The risks involved in buying a previously owned home run the gamut from a simple, relatively inexpensive problem such as additional attic insulation to an expensive septic tank replacement. A good home inspection consists of a two-hour-or-more examination of the home’s structural, mechanical and electrical elements. From top to bottom, inside and out. If there are major, costly problems in a house, a qualified inspector should uncover them. When shopping for a home inspector, try to avoid a firm that might have conflicting interests, such as those that are in the home repair business.