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.
One of the first pieces of advice I give to those interested in buying a home is that you shouldn't make any big purchases and watch how you're spending in regards to credit. More specifically, don't do anything that may affect your credit score. So, no late payments, no adding to current debts, and no closing of credit lines (because creditors like to see a long and varied history).