I recommend that all of my home buyers hire a certified home inspector, probably ASHI Certified, to go through their "new" home inspecting all systems in the house as well as structural items.  Most times we will add a contingency to your contract offer including one.

Most buyers I meet haven't used a home inspector in Northern Virginia before, or perhaps nowhere, and they need recommendations of inspectors to consider.  While it is great if you have past experience or you have a friend who bought a home recently and used an inspector, but often I will be asked to provide names.  I will only recommend certified inspectors and normally ones that I have had experience with, but the choice of the inspector remains yours.

Here's a Reader's Digest list of 13 things they say inspectors won't tell you. Some of them are worth special attention -- 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 and 13.  As for #1, I'm sure there are agents who only want a sale to go through but I plan to talk to you, stop by occasionally, and don't want you unhappy with your house.

And one last general note.  New home construction needs home inspections as well.  Typically 2-3 starting with the foundation, then pre-drywall (before the plumbing and wiring is covered by drywall), and then when the home is complete.  I don't remember the last time the cost of the inspection wasn't worth it to the new home buyers.