Did you know that Home Inspectors are not regulated in any way by the State of California? Many home inspectors will tout their credentials and indicate that they are "Certified." The question is, by whom?
The only certification available is through a self-regulated body, such as the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). This organization provides education and testing and issues designations such as "CCI" or "MCI" (Master Certification). There is also the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) as well.
What does this mean to a prospective home buyer? Well, it means that your home inspector may be no more qualified to evaluate your foundation than your Starbucks barrista (or that your barrista may be MORE qualified).
Often, as a prospective buyer, you are handed a set of inspection reports that the seller’s listing agent had prepared by their own inspector. The buyer should consider getting their own independent report. To get the most out of an indepedent inspection, you should ideally look for someone with actual engineering credentials or someone with home building experience for that 2nd opinion. It may cost more, but if it saves you $30k of termite work or $100k of mold/mildew remediation, you’ve come out ahead.
If not, you may find yourself in a situation later where you have a crumbling foundation, and you bring suit against the seller for failure to disclose. Invariably, the seller will point the finger at the home inspection reports to say that you (the buyer) had an independent inspection to tell you everything about the home. This circles back you learning things about your home that your home inspector missed.