As Jane mentioned a structural geological survey would be advised. They also can be expensive. If the home has a completed home inspection there may be comments within that report that indicate a concern about the geological make up of the property.
I can't attach PDFs but there is a very detailed report from Larkspur, CA on hillside maintenance for home owners that will point out many items. Having proper drainage is one of the most important safeguards of any hill side property. Having proper drainage also applies to the neighbors surrounding the home.
You can find the article by searching "homes hillside issues" . The report is titled, "guide to maintenance of hillside homes" and is a down loadable PDF.
Here is another link for engineers in the Los Angeles area.