For anyone interested in purchasing their first home, condominium or townhome, there will be a lot of things to learn about. When touring homes to find the one that feels good and fits a person’s or a family’s needs, it can be hard to know how to fully assess the integrity of the property. To a large degree, this is where the home inspection comes into play.

As explained by NerdWallet, after a buyer and a seller have tentatively agreed on purchase terms, one element of the pre-close process is a professional home inspection. The results of the inspection may well end up determining whether or not the purchase completes.

A home inspector will evaluate all facets of a property including integral systems like plumbing and electrical to structural components like the foundation, roof, windows and walls. Appliances, heating and cooling systems, and fireplaces or wood stoves will be assessed in the inspection as well. The inspector’s job is to find any problems, such as outstanding repairs or maintenance, with any element of the home or associated structures like sheds, barns and fences.

The Mortgage Report notes that the buyer generally pays for the inspection and this is generally a good thing as this gives the buyer a better sense of confidence in the results because the inspector works for them, not the seller. Some specialty inspections may be required in addition to a standard inspection if there is a need to test for substances like lead, mold, asbestos or radon. Properties with septic systems may also require an additional inspection for these systems.