In California anybody can be a home inspector. You need only a business license. If you do not have a home inspector that you know and trust, where to start?
Yet you know you want a qualified home inspector. That's why I recommend ASHI Certified Home Inspectors. These would be inspectors that you know are trained and accountable to a set of standards. Their standards of practice are online on the customers page (link below) as are theire FAQs on home inspections.
If you visit http://www.ASHI.org/customers/ you will learn more about the certification and about what they check in a home inspection. I particularly like the virtual home inspection at http://www.ashi.org/customers/vhi_tour.asp This link will take you to an ASHI home inspector finder http://www.ashi.org/find/default.aspx
There is one large local company that I would like to bring to your attention. the name is HomeGuard and they are at http://www.homeguard.com/ I get no referral fee or 'favors' from them. They just have a good package deal that offers value to home buyers. Buy an ASHI-certified home inspection and termite inspection from them and they throw in a free roof inspection (provided the structure is no more than 2 stories). Additionally, if you pay for services on day of inspection they discount their fees.
Any inspector will have lots of questions about the home when the appointment is set up, so I make it easy for you. I'll be happy to set up your inspection appointments. If you choose an independent ASHI inspector, please ask them if they often work/ are accompanied by a specific termite company. If so, please get their name as well. Please know that inspector's schedules are like doctors, we have to take what we can get because we have a tight timeline as outlined in the Residential Purchase Agreement. If you give me times that work best for you and times that don't work at all, I'll be sure to communicate that to the inspection company.