How not to buy a 'lemon' house

By Marcie Geffner -

Many states have so-called lemon laws that protect consumers who buy a brand-new car that turns out to be defective. But no lemon law protects homebuyers.

Safeguards do exist for homebuyers:

  • Sellers usually are required by state law to disclose, though not necessarily repair, material defects.
  • Builders typically offer warranties for brand-new houses.
  • Home warranty policies can be bought for resale houses as well.

Still, no house is perfect, and none of those protections is a guarantee against the risk that any house could wear out, fall apart or break down in myriad ways after it's bought. In fact, all houses suffer wear, tear and damage over time.

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