cover image Homeowners Legal Guide

Homeowners Legal Guide

Cynthia L. Cooper / Author, Consumer Reports / Author Consume

Cooper ( The Insider's Guide to the Top 15 Law Schools ) ably identifies the legal thickets related to home ownership in this serviceable if not fully comprehensive manual. She explains basics (types of mortgages, insurance policies, taxes and abatements, etc.), as well as other options (renting out one's property; protecting one's rights in the event of marriage or divorce). While she faithfully defines legal argot, Cooper seems indebted to the party-of-the-first-part style of legal writing (``When a divorce becomes apparent and a house is involved, the parties are wise to engage attorneys''), an approach which fails to inject much interest into a dry subject. And since property laws vary greatly from one locality to another--and because Cooper rarely delves into the statutes of individual states and cities--the book's value is limited, chiefly, to alerting the reader to general issues best taken up with an attorney. However, the material is consistently well organized and succinctly presented; it's easy to locate the discussion relevant to a particular question and to become familiar with its underlying principles. (June)