My suggestion is to have the water and gas turned on and hire a professional to check things out. Where I live a good inspection costs between $300 - $500. It is well worth the piece of mind.
I would be very concerned if the heat was off for a year. Years ago, I was under contract to purchase an older large empty home with 7 bathrooms where the gas boiler and water was also off. When the water was turned on........
Well you guessed it. All pipes had frozen and broke everywhere. It was a nightmare. Fortunately I had a home inspection clause and got out of the mess.
Hire a Professional Home Inspector. Do not use a Realtor's or a seller's inspector. Realtors and sellers often recommend inspectors that do not find many faults which may cause the deal to fall through.
Find your own home inspector and check references carefully as Home Inspectors are not regulated in many parts of the country.
Then be realistic. A thorough inspection WILL find many minor faults. Especially on an older home. If the inspector notices something like the house has no storm windows, or a broken light fixture, well....DUH! You could see that yourself. Most likely the seller is not going to want to take care of this minor stuff. But he probably will make concessions for major problems like a defective boiler, leaky roof, or bad foundation.
Good Luck! Older homes usually need some attention, but can be well worth it in the long run.