Home buyers will hear that it is essential to enlist the services of a home inspector — this crucial step, they’ll be told, prevents them from being met with nasty and costly surprised after they have already closed on the home. What can home inspectors see that anyone else with a keen eye can’t, you may wonder?

Home inspectors are especially trained to evaluate any issue that may impact the longevity of a home, from top to bottom. On the ground, they look for trees too close to the foundation, or evidence that gutters do not drain sufficiently far from the home.

They’ll check whether walls slant or bow. On the inside of the property, home inspectors will look for problems like rotten wood, cracked walls, asbestos, evidence of damp and water leaks, and assess whether the electrical wiring meets current regulations. The roof also gets a thorough look — what are the shingles made from, is the chimney in proper condition, what is the state of the gutters, and are there any signs of water penetration?

A skilled home inspector is able to, in a very short period of time, conduct a thorough investigation that no layperson can rival, and that is why a home inspection is a truly indispensable step when you are buying a home.