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The Virgin Homeowner: The Essential Guide to Owning, Maintaining, and Surviving Your Home
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The Virgin Homeowner: The Essential Guide to Owning, Maintaining, and Surviving Your Home

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The Virgin Homeowner is Janice Papolos's answer to the house buyer's blues. Using her own experience, Papolos initiates readers into all the workings of a house. She moves from the initial terror of home inspection to the mysteries of plumbing and electricity, stopping at all points along the way -- including septic systems, roofing problems, insect infestations, ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1980)
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Jan 28, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I'm re-reading this since I did not retain enough of it the first time - highly recommend for prospective or new homeowners (or long-time owners who don't know anything about their house and how it works).
Mar 18, 2009 Roxanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fritz Ward
I picked this up at the library because my fiance and I were considering buying a house, and I wanted to have a better idea of what we were getting into. This book is FABULOUS.

Papolos knew crap about houses before she moved into one, and she spent her entire pre-purchase home inspection picking out wall colors and feeling glad that her husband went down to the basement with the inspector to look at the scary stuff. During her first year of homeownership, she realized what a moron she'd been, as
The Joy of Booking
Jan 12, 2012 The Joy of Booking rated it it was amazing
I love finding books that delight me, and The Virgin Homeowner definitely falls into that category.

First of all, buying a house really is intimidating - but I didn't have a moment to spare to think about owning a house. Once I realized what I was in for, I may have panicked a little - but luckily I found this book just in time.

Janice Papolos moved from an NYC apartment (like me!) into being a homeowner (like me!). She didn't know her p-traps from her flashing, and treated her house inspection li
jay walker
Aug 05, 2014 jay walker rated it really liked it
So glad I found this book when I bought my house. So many home maintenance books were too technical, boring, written for people who already know what a boiler is. THIS is the basics without being patronizing and is also readable like a novel. I started reading it lounging on the couch, but quickly got up to start taking notes. It helped me understand the inspection report and create a whole new sense of respect and awe for all the impressive systems that make up a comfortable working home.
I trai
Aug 08, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it
There is SO MUCH information in this book -- I borrowed it from the library, but I think for it to be truly useful to me I'd have to own it. That said, it was an eye-opening whirlwind tour through the house buying + maintenance processes. All I know is that there is SO MUCH I don't know, and we're going to have to do a lot of research and planning if we want our homeowning experience to be a good one. Unfortunately, despite being very well-written, this book is just a little bit outdated and/or ...more
Katie Casey
May 08, 2009 Katie Casey rated it really liked it
Shelves: crown-library
I read this book right before Eli and I bought our first house. It was so helpful when we were going through the home inspection process. I felt like I could understand everything the building inspector was telling me!

Now that I am in real estate, I continue to recommend this to all my 1st time home buyers OR anyone who wants to better understand how their house works. It will make you a more competent (& better qualified) home owner!
Dec 28, 2007 Maureen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new & recent homeowners
The chapter on security alarm systems was very informative and I sure wish I had read it sooner. It also has a nice yearly calendar of home maintenance activities.

The author, like me, is someone who bought a house and didn't know jack about what she was doing. Unlike me, she was determined to gain knowledge in the areas of plumbing, electricity, etc. I'm doing my best to learn from her efforts.
Aug 05, 2016 Kintage rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
I loved this book. It took all the mystery out of the "systems" that exist in my home. I bought my first home a while back and knew very little about the workings of it. This book got me up to speed pretty quickly. It talks about plumbing, electrical, alarm, roofing, water heaters and more.
It goes into fairly significant detail about how all of the systems work and how to maintain them.

Dean Jackson
Jan 29, 2008 Dean Jackson rated it it was amazing
It may be a bit dated and have some aspects of home ownership that I won't have to deal with, but so far it has been a great read. Super down to earth and easy to read and understand. Great for anyone buying or thinking about buying a house. It has been bringing home the fact that once you buy, it's on you to do repairs and upkeep.
Scott W.
Aug 05, 2012 Scott W. rated it it was amazing
Excellent information for anyone who has never owned a home and does not know all of the maintenance that is required to keep a home going. There was a lot I learned about how homes are constructed that I would never have thought of without this book.
Jan 21, 2013 Sanjay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Decent read with good basic information about the systems in your house. It felt a little bit dated in parts, but still useful.
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