Whenever you buy a home, you should hire a home inspection services professional to look over the home's many components and point out issues that may warrant repair prior to the sale. From the flooring to the pipes, a home inspector should be thorough and should pay attention to detail. If the home you're looking at has any of these features, make sure your home inspector pays extra attention to them.

Oil Tank

Homes that are heated with oil will have an oil tank on-site to hold the fuel. Any problems with an oil tank can be disastrous. If the oil leaks, it can contaminate the soil below, which will require a costly cleanup. Plus, the cost of refilling a tank that is continuously leaking oil can be substantial. Make sure your inspector spends plenty of time looking over the oil tank for rust spots and other indications of deterioration. If there is any question as to whether the tank is leaking, you may want to have an oil supplier come take a closer look and give you an estimate for repairs.

Sump Pump

If the home has a sump pump in the basement, make sure the inspector takes time to dump a bucket of water into the pump pit to test the pump. Some sump pumps sit unused for years and nobody knows they're broken — until a storm comes through and the basement floods. Sump pumps are pretty inexpensive to repair, so a broken pump should not be a make-or-break issue in the sale, but it is something that needs to be fixed for safety reasons.

Septic System

If the home has a septic system, the tank will need to be pumped out every few years to keep things draining well. Have your inspector check to see how full it is; this can tell you how often the tank has been pumped. If the tank has not been properly maintained, that could mean a septic backup is in your future. Some home inspectors do not inspect septic tanks; you may need to have a separate plumbing company come conduct this inspection.

If the home you are looking at has a septic tank, oil tank, or sump pump, make sure the inspector pays plenty of attention to these elements. A problem with any of them could lead to contamination and expensive clean-up, so you want to catch issues before the sale.