real estate

How to avoid buying a money pit

Don't overlook cosmetics
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Don't overlook cosmetics

While contractors agree that cosmetics are often easy to fix, you should definitely take a second look if you don't like the style you see, says Laurie March, owner of Improvemental, a firm in Los Angeles specializing in home design and remodeling.

"If you don't like the basic style of a home, look somewhere else, unless you've got a big budget for a facelift and can think outside the box," March says.

According to March, buyers who downplay cosmetic differences can end up walking into a money pit even if the house is structurally sound.

So, she says, it's critical to ask two questions: Is the house true to its own style? If so, do you like that style?




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