Hire a professional inspector
Inspecting the physical condition of a house is an important part of the home-buying process and should be included in your purchase contract as a condition of closing the sale. Even if the seller provides you an inspection report, it's best not to rely on this alone. Not all sellers know about problems with the house or honestly disclose them. One or more professional inspectors should look for defects or malfunctions in the building's structure, systems, and physical components, such as the roof, plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems, floor surfaces and paint, windows and doors, and foundation, and detect pest infestations or dry rot and similar damage. The inspector should also examine the land around the house for issues concerning grading, drainage, retaining walls, and plants affecting the house.
When should I order an inspection?
Before paying for a professional inspection, you can conduct your own informal inspection. The best time to do this is before you make an offer, so that you can save yourself the trouble should you find serious problems. Most buyers get professional inspections only after they have entered into a contract to purchase a home. The contract is commonly made contingent on the buyers' approving the results of the inspections.
After the inspection has completed
If the inspection brings problems to light, you may negotiate to have the seller pay for necessary repairs or to lower the purchase price or you could possibly back out of the deal, assuming your contract is written to allow you to do so. If the inspection report shows that the house has passed, you may proceed with the purchase, knowing that you are getting what you paid for.