The answer to that question is YES! Think of this home inspection as an insurance policy. Many people are misinformed as to exactly what the home inspection consists of. I have had a client tell me, "$450! I can go through the house and test all the appliances on my own, for free." Well, the home inspection is much more than just testing the appliances. A good home inspector is going to test, check, and inspect just about everything they can get access to. This includes, but not limited to, exterior walls, grading, attics, basements, crawl space, garage/s, foundations, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, water heater, appliances, fire safety, bathroom, bug/rodent infestation, etc.
When examining all the different areas the inspector should notate whether that item is a safety issue, or major/minor defect. Which items need to be replaced or just repaired/serviced. A good inspector will even tell you what may potentially be a problem in the future and to keep a close eye on.
The very fact that a home inspection can be used as a contingency in your offer should speak volumes as to how important it is. Both existing homes and new construction can have a plethora of issues that are invisible to the untrained eye. The home inspection is what we will rely on to bring those issues to light and depending on the severity, allow us to back out of the contract free of penalty.
Below are some examples of what a good home inspector will find and furthermore, how he/she should present it to you.