Order a home inspection soon after your offer has been accepted. Many states' real estate contracts allow a limited number of days to complete a home inspection and request repairs, if needed, or cancel your contract.
If the home is vacant, confirm that the seller will have all utilities on during the inspection.
Attend the inspection (it is usually best be present for at least the last 30 minutes). This is your opportunity to:
Gain knowledge of major systems, appliances and fixtures.
Learn maintenance schedules and tips.
Better understand the items that will be outlined in the written report.
Ask questions of the inspector.
Be sure you understand all conditions identified in the inspection report and that problems have been resolved to your satisfaction before closing.
Insist that you have a final walk-through prior to close of escrow to verify that repairs have been made and that no new problems have surfaced.
If you have further concerns or questions about the roof or other major systems, please have a specialist in that area conduct a more extensive examination.