I know detailed home inspections are often paid for by the home owner or seller but in terms of laws, are there state issued inspections that the state pays for to ensure public health and safety standards are being met to declare a home livable or not?
I believe some places do offer free inspections. Some realtors may offer it only for home owners who sell their homes. You are most likely responsible to get a second opinion, as the home owners who are selling and the realtors may have already done an initial inspection. You will have to get your own done though if you're planning on buying the home.
I believe they do but they are likely very limited. They won't check to see if a roof needs to be updated or pluming needs to be fixed. They will mainly check for gas leaks, issues with the foundation collapsing, and other hazards like that.
Yes and no. I depends on local laws and guidelines. I know in order to sell your home, you need to have it inspected but I am not clear on what they check for or what is needed to be passable. I have seen plenty of homes on the market that are in no livable condition and need massive repairs.