Q: I recently bought a bank-owned home. It was in a great neighborhood, good school district, and seemed perfect for my kids and me. It did need some work, but it was mostly cosmetics I wanted to upgrade before we moved in, such as changing the kitchen tile floors, the kitchen counters, and the bathroom sink and fixtures.

My Realtor gave me some referrals to contractors to get bids from during escrow, but after closing, a friend of mine referred another guy who offered to do much more for the same price. I checked his license, called his past clients and even went to see work he had done before — everything checked out.

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