In Seattle’s crazy market, homes are flying off the market faster than we can get them listed. Everyone and their brother is looking to buy or sell their home. We all know, the best homes (beautiful inside and out) get multiple offers which is great for the seller, but what buyer wants to get stuck in an emotional bidding war? The stress is high and the more offers you’re up against, the less chance you have at coming out on top. The whole scenario can be very stressful.

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So how can you avoid this situation? Keep your eyes out for “good bones” or cosmetic fixers. These homes might have old carpet, old appliances, a pet odor, or any number of solvable problems. Did you catch that? The key word there is solvable. These homes have great floor plans, just the right number of bedrooms you’re looking for and great backyards. Best of all, they’re in your price range: whatever that might be. Many people turn their noses to an amazing opportunity to build instant sweat equity because they can’t fathom having the hardwoods refinished or painting the interior. The best part of being a homeowner is the freedom of creativity. Think of all the money you’ll save buying a fixer upper that you can put right into the house. Five years down the road you can sell that same home for loads more than you paid for it.

With that said, don’t assume any home just needs a little TLC to shine like a diamond. Some problems should send up a red flag. An old sewer system is much more difficult and expensive to replace than the washer and dryer. Also, beware of external obsolescence. In other words: things you cannot fix with a check. This might include being next door to the local airport, railroad, or composting facility.

Rehab loans are another great option when looking for a home. The bank finances the proposed remodel on a home and includes it in the home mortgage. Click here to learn about Rehab Loans.

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Take this 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath home for example: refinish the hardwood floors, remove a small amount of wall paper and repaint with your favorite colors. Then add the finishing touches in the landscaping and voila ~ you have instant equity! Click here to learn more about this home. You can buy it today!

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