Protecting yourself before buying a house

PHOENIX - We all know about the standard safeguards that are supposed protect you when buying a home, like the seller's disclosure form and home inspections.

But a tool you may not know about is the comprehensive loss underwriting exchange, or C.L.U.E. report .

It's like Car Fax for your house.  

And while it may not give you an exact history of the home you want to buy, it can give you a good idea of what questions to ask.

The report includes information about any insurance claims on a house and description of what was covered for the last 7 years.

For example, if a claim was paid out for a flood, you might want have your inspector concentrate on mold issues.

C.L.U.E. reports can only be requested by the property owner, insurer or lender, so if you are interested in a house, you may want to make your offer contingent on seeing that report.

A home inspection is another big part of protecting your potential investment.

So using the right home inspector can be crucial.

They will likely have you sign something saying they are not responsible for issues they couldn't see.

Which could end up being someplace where they didn't have access.

But all inspectors are licensed in this state by the Board of Technical Registration .

If you have a concern, or find a mistake let the inspector know immediately, and you may want to file a complaint with the board.

You also want to check that the inspector working on your home is American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) certified and carries error insurance.

Let me know about your consumer issues by emailing me at or by "Liking" my Let Joe Know Facebook Page   and telling me about it there.

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