Editor's note: As a special feature for April, TheStreet.com offers a 20-part series on virtually everything about real estate. This installment is Part 12.
Once you find your dream home and figure out how you're going to pay for it, the next step is to get homeowner's insurance. This is an insurance policy covering the structure of your house and other structures on the property, such as a shed or fence, as well as the contents of your home, such as your furniture and other personal belongings.
Homeowner's insurance may also cover you against lawsuits in the event that you or a family member cause bodily injury to someone else or damage someone else's property.
It's important to note that ordinary homeowner's insurance, also known as hazard insurance, does not cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes. This can't be emphasized enough. Even though the insurance declarations for hazard policies specifically state that any damage caused by flooding is not covered, many people who suffered damage in Hurricane Katrina expected to have their flood damage covered, only to have their claims denied.Flood insurance is sold exclusively through the National Flood Insurance Program, found at