Call a contractor in your area and tell them what you are looking to do. They may give you answers to questions you have only because you may use them to fix any issues you find with a home.
As far as what those issues may be? There are to many to cover. What is the age of the home is the first one. Older homes may not be built to todays standards and have more issues. Soil types? clay soil is terrible , it shrinks in the sun and swells in the rain, cracking and moving piers and foundations.
My advice is to go to your local library and look up a book about what you want answered, specific to your area. Up here we have books on how to build a house in New England and winter climates. I'm sure your library will do the same.
Or contact an engineer for any ideas about what you may be looking for.
Soil conditions change dramatically all over. In my area alone we have aquifiers, sand, clay and granite ledge all within a 10 mile radius. That is probably why the big concrete companies and rock quarries are here.
The best info on foundations ,piers and concrete you will get from a book.
Good luck, hope this made some sense.