Most offers to purchase are written subject to the buyer approving of a home inspection. I strongly advise doing this. The cost (around $400) is paid for by you, but it is very cheap insurance if it keeps you from buying a money pit! This inspection should cover items such as the roof, gutters, wiring, plumbing, foundation, framing, and insulation. It will usually include a rudimentary inspection of the heating system, but it is often advisable to hire a heating technician to inspect the furnace separately.
It is a good idea to accompany the inspector that you hire so that you can learn the good features about the home as well as the areas that need attention. I will be there during the inspection as well. If some items come up on the inspection report that are not satisfactory to you, it is possible to negotiate with the seller to make the necessary repairs. The seller is not obligated to agree to do this, but if they don’t, you are not obligated to complete the purchase.