Your Money: Jul. 12, 1999

HELPING BUYER BEWARE Home buyers with a government-backed mortgage should no longer be blindsided by costly repairs come Aug. 1. New rules set by the Federal Housing Administration, which will insure 1.3 million new mortgages this year, make appraisers responsible for detecting big defects such as a faulty furnace or a bad roof--and put the sellers on the hook for fixing them. Buyers will still be urged to hire an inspector for a more thorough review of the property.

BONDING WITH UNCLE U.S. savings bonds are Melba toast on anybody's investment plate. And for thousands of holders, they're even less tasty....

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