Virgin Homeowner Paperback – Mar 1 1999
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Janice Papolos describes her own first-home experience this way: "Part of the problem was that I had a mystified awe of the house. I swear there were times when I viewed it as more intelligent and powerful than we were.... There was a time or two in which I felt the house was being downright vindictive."
Ranked as "Most Useful to Homeowners" by The Wall Street Journal, Papolos's humorous and helpful book is the definitive guide for the first-time homeowner. Few experiences in life are more intimidating and complicated than one's first home purchase, especially when the new homeowner is perhaps a bit inexperienced with home repair and maintenance, as many (if not most) are. Starting with the basics of what you need to know to make sense of the initial, prepurchase home inspection, Papolos heads right into the "Inner Mysteries"--the plumbing and electrical systems--then on to heating and cooling, septic systems, insects and other pests, security concerns and measures, proper ventilation, child-proofing, and much, much more, topping it all off with an annual calendar of seasonal maintenance, advice on paint colors, and a thorough index for easy reference.
The goal is to remove the intimidation for the homeowner, and at the very least, permit him or her to talk knowledgeably with home-repair professionals, as necessary, without coming across like an idiot. This is a great reference book for any new homeowner, and probably would open the eyes of many longtime homeowners, as well. --Mark A. Hetts
From Library Journal
While some readers may not like her title, Papolos has produced an excellent owners' manual for the first-time homeowner. After buying her first house, Papolos realized that there were many things she should have done differently or instances when she should have paid more attention to experts. By writing this book, she is giving the reader the opportunity to learn from her mistakes. Beginning with how to get the most out of the initial home inspection, Papolos takes the reader through a house, describing each system, its quirks, and its potential problems. Later, she covers pest control, security, and safety. This highly readable book will prove useful to both new homeowners and those just thinking of making a purchase, and veteran homeowners will undoubtedly learn something, too. Recommended for all public libraries.?Jonathan N. Hershey, Akron-Summit Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Early one cool, misty morning in April, we took the elevator to the lobby of our New York City apartment building to meet our contractor and one of our good friends. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Probably the most useful portion I found a little too late was the chapter on home inspection. I really wish I had this book when I was going through the inspection process. It gave a lot of insight as to the processes, questions to ask, etc. I realize I got very lucky with my inspection, but next time, I'm telling you I will have that portion memorized!
The only part I found not useful were the sections meant more for rural housing. Being on a city sewer, electricity, etc., she gave a lot of detail into septic systems, oil heating, etc., that had no application for me with this house. But again, if I look at buying a property not accessed by many modern or city services, I will have a good foundation for knowledge.
Really, you just can't go wrong in purchasing this book.
One of the best aspects of this book is its conversational, humorous style. As a virgin homeowner I repeatedly felt embarrassed or frustrated because I couldn't speak knowledgably to repairmen or home improvement store people. Papalos has been there, too, I think, and her humor encouraged me that I "wasn't alone." Finding myself chuckling as I read about plumbing traps and sacrificial anodes was certainly refreshing.
The descriptions are straightforward in ordinary language, and the terms and jargons are demystified. Since some house systems vary with geography and house age, Papalos did her research and addressed all the systems (forced air, gas, electric, oil, heat pump, *and* baseboard heat, for example). I disagree with another reviewer that this book applies only to a northeastern homeowner; I thought it was quite thorough in addressing the variations.
I also like her "systems" approach to explaining the house (plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, etc.) and how she addresses issues beyond physical construction of the house, such as pest control (termite picnics). She alerts the reader about some important maintenance tasks, though there is more of this kind of information for some topics than others.Read more ›
The best aspect of The Virgin Homeowner is that it is written in a tone that evokes an image of a friend sharing information. This book is not a dry "how-to" manual. It is obviously the product of first hand mistakes, triumphs, and research. The tone in which it is presented not only makes it very easy to understand, it also gives it a realistic credibility that only life experiences can impart.
I'm sure that The Virgin Homeowner will give other readers the same sense of confidence that I didn't have before I read it. Frankly, I can't think of a higher compliment for any type of guidebook. But, this one is worth the accolade. This book should be read by all first time homebuyers either before or immediately after a home purchase.
Most recent customer reviews
My husband and I recently bought our first home, so I ordered this book in the hopes that it would give us helpful details on how to maintain it, make minor repairs, and accurately... Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003 by Tigger
I am a Realtor, and find that this is the perfect gift for a young couple purchasing their first home. Read morePublished on June 18 2003
This book could also be titled, "How Not to Look Like An Idiot At Your Home Inspection." I am in escrow on my first house, and read much of this book prior to my home inspection. Read morePublished on June 6 2002 by Olivia Louise Smith
I am currently building a house with a well-known national builder. While my construction company couldn't be bothered to indicate what types of systems they would be installing... Read morePublished on May 23 2001 by M. Singh
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK - unless you just bought an older home in the Northeast, since that's all this book covers. Read morePublished on April 2 2001
I bought this book hoping it would help me to understand and fix the minor repairs my new home needed (and it needs a lot). To be honest, it was useless. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2000
My husband and I are the epitome of the "virgin homeowners", and I'm so glad we bought this book even before we were really started looking for a house. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2000 by L. Hickey
This book should have been titled something like 'How Does Everything Work In Your House", because it does very little toward letting you know what you have to do to... Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2000
I read the reviews for this book on amazon.com and went ahead and bought myself a copy. It's worth every penny I paid for it! Read morePublished on June 20 2000
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