Sorry about your bad luck, Boozer... :(
Some of the best lessons in life are learned at the expense of others.
I have seen friends go through some complete horror shows while buying cars, homes, getting married, etc.
One of the first lessons I learned was while my dad was house hunting. He ended up buying a beautiful home in Baldwin, LI. The owner of the house was a carpenter, and had the place in great condition. This didn't prevent my dad from hiring an inspection company to examine the house. Other people weren't so lucky.
A new home, car, getting married, these are all major events and if planned poorly, can cause you regret for years. I'll make sure that when I purchase my home, I hire a good attorney, inspector, etc
Here in Florida, you can get a few acres of land, a 4/4(bed/bath), etc for less than 420k :D