I was watching the TV show “Flip or Flop” on HGTV. I realize many of the homes they buy are bought site unseen, but in this particular episode they had a chance to walk through the home. It was pointed out in the show the roof had issues, and they could see visible stains in the ceiling of the master bedroom. Later, in the episode, after they have bought the house, they are “surprised” to find mold issues in the ceiling.
What struck me is they could have had a home inspection. An inspector with Thermal Imaging capabilities could have taken Infrared Photos of the ceiling and used a moisture meter to determine if the ceiling was still wet or merely stained. Further a qualified inspector would have found and entered the attic space and done a visual inspection, which would have surely revealed indicators that the ceiling had moisture issues, and perhaps even seen organic material growing in the area of concern. The lesson is, even the most experienced of home buyers would benefit from a professional home inspection, by a qualified home inspector, like IM Home Inspections at http://imhomeinspections.com/.
Don’t buy a house and be caught by a “surprise” later that could have been detected before you completed the purchase.