An ad saying "needs a restoration" could mean it needs LOTS of work. With ads it's hard to know what the car is really like until you actually look at it. It's good experience to look at them though. Over time you'll get better at spotting things that are wrong and give you a better idea of what to look for. I find people way over exaggerate their ads or downright lie. Whether its because they didn't know or are just dumb and trying to hide something.
Stuff like "lady driven", "needs nothing", "mint condition" and ads all in caps or poor spelling scare me. Ladies drive worse then men and are more likely to neglect the car. It's a fact. I've seen a few ads where it's said needs nothing and friends from our local BMW club have gone to look at it and they need $1,000 in repairs. No 13+ year old car is on mint condition. Specially with 199,000+ miles on it. Doesn't happen. "Original paint" it's always original and sometimes can be quite easit spotted as a respray. They ever respray the door jambs and other small areas including the engine bay so if theirs two colors you know it was re painted. My car has had the front bumper and grille supports and hood repainted dork a minor accident but the job was so well done that you could never tell.
I have been really lucky, but it comes down to good care. I do have things that are wearing out like the inside door handle but it's not a huge deal. Everything can be fixed.