House hunters, be wary: 7 seemingly small flaws may point to a money pit

When Annemarie Kill and her husband, John Duffy, bought their first house in Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood in 2003, the duo knew it needed some cosmetic work — in fact, they were excited to redo the bathrooms and kitchen to make the home their own.

Little did they realize that the back of the house had been sinking for the last 75 years, and they would spend hundreds of thousands on unexpected construction. Their inspector hadn’t uncovered the rotting wood posts supporting the back of the house; the couple had no idea they’d eventually have to pour in new concrete to fix the issue, or that they’d have to replace the posts and jack up the back of the house a bit each week, causing the new windows and tile floors they’d installed to crack.

So when Kill and Duffy — along with their two children, now 11 and 14 — were house hunting in Oak Park in 2014, Kill said, they were determined not to land another money pit.

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