With real estate prices in the Seattle market as high as they are, the options for buying something that needs some work might be worth considering. Last week, an article titled, "No escape for priced-out Seattleites: Home prices set record for an hour's drive in every direction" was published in The Seattle Times. In it, monthly home-sales data proved how costly the Seattle and Eastside markets have become. "Seattle's new median price for a single-family house is $729,000, an extra $7,000 from a month ago and up 13.7 percent from a year earlier..." the article claims.
So, what to do when looking for your own potential home? Finding something that needs a bit of work might be the answer. However, there are still plenty of factors to keep in mind when buying a home that needs some extra love, in order to keep it from turning your future dream house into a house of hell. The biggest factor is still location. Keep looking in those dream neighborhoods for the home you're hoping to settle in - just open your mind to the options afforded to renovating your new space.
The other biggest factor to keep in mind is the home's layout and structural features. Having good bones will keep you with a great base layer to work from and keep the home from needing too many functional updates. Large windows, custom woodwork, built-in features, and a flowing layout are all things that will translate well through cosmetic fixes. Stained or damaged flooring can be replaced, but a cramped kitchen is going to take a lot more work to update.
Which brings to mind the biggest question of them all: how much money and time are you willing and able to actually spend on top of the new mortgage you're going to have. Many people recommend giving yourself 10-15% buffer to your renovation estimate. Using cost vs. value tools to help you determine what the best projects will be to help booster your overall home value, you can make an educated budget for yourself and your new projects.
Keep these tips in mind, and always feel free to contact me with questions, when out on your next house hunting trip and you're sure to start seeing some diamonds in the rough.