Washington real estate web site Incolo.com tells investors how to overlook bank-owned properties that have cosmetic flaws. Doing so can mean big savings. By being willing to invest a small amount up-front, buyers can save as much as 20% on a home purchase.

Issaquah, WA -- Many [Washington real estate investors] pass over investment opportunities too easily says Incolo.com founder James Hua. Homes that have been on the market a long time usually have cosmetic problems that mask their real potential. That spells opportunity for savvy buyers.

Sometimes the worst smelling home could make the best investment, which is the case with this Washington home for sale. Hua gives the example of what he has dubbed the urine house. The four bedroom Home in Issaquah was listed for $287k. On that summer day in the Issaquah Highlands it was a hot 94 degrees. There were visible stains of urine throughout the house. The heat made the smell unbearable. The home was probably neglected for at least six months. There were no windows open to air things out.

Next door to the home was a townhouse listed for $355k (the price had dropped from its previous list price of $379k in March 2009). It had new hardwood floors, clean carpet and was ready to move in. Hardly a bargain compared to the home next door -- even with the extra investment required to rehab the home.

Don't overlook the bargains. Sometimes all it takes to rehab a home is $15k. Often you can negotiate with the seller in these situations. In this case you could probably get the home for $270. Put in $15k and you will be all in at $285k. There are absolutely no 4 bedroom homes selling in the Issaquah Highlands for remotely close to that price, Hua explains.

The repairs needed for these types of homes usually include installing new carpet, painting, fixing water damage, and other cosmetic repairs. Buyers willing to do the repairs can often capitalize on bank's negligence in keeping the home in good condition.

It's amazing how banks become so negligent in keeping homes up. This fact scares away 70% of buyers who do not want to deal with cosmetic repairs. But all it takes is some vision. In my opinion, these are the homes with great investment opportunity. Most people steer clear from this. If you have vision this home might be your next great investment, said Hua.

The Washington real estate market has many homes that for a little work could be profitable investments. With the help from Incolo's staff anyone can find a stinking deal.