Chapter 13

Inspecting and Protecting Your Home

In This Chapter

Spotting a pig in a poke

Getting the property inspected

Buying property insurance

Understanding what title insurance does and why lenders make you buy it

Given how much houses cost today, it’s idiotic not to have the home you plan to purchase carefully inspected before buying it. Skipping inspections to save a few bucks (relatively speaking) could be the most expensive mistake you ever make. Think of your biggest fiscal fiasco ever and multiply it by a hundred. That gives you some idea of the magnitude of the boo-boo you may make if you buy a home without first having it thoroughly inspected from foundation to roof.

Why are we so obsessed with property inspections? According to a study commissioned by The Wall Street Journal and conducted by housing economist Robert Sheehan, approximately two out of every five houses have at least one major defect. If the odds were two out of five that you’d get hit by a car the next time you walked across the street, you’d be pretty darn careful to inspect oncoming traffic before crossing!

Conducting Thorough Inspections

A home’s physical condition greatly affects its value. You’d feel horrible if you paid top dollar for a home that you thought was in tiptop shape and discovered after you bought it that the house was riddled with expensive defects. Yet unless you’re a professional property inspector, you probably don’t have the faintest idea how much corrective work a house needs ...

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