These days, competition and affordability are two of home buyers' main concerns. This isn't surprising, as no one likes to pay more for less. Naturally, we prefer to find a bargain and we certainly don't want to have to fight off other interested buyers to get it. That's why recent research looking at the country's most competitive markets is of interest. The results show the most competitive markets are located in the West, though in just about any desirable neighborhood you could find more buyers than available homes. That means, even if you aren't living in San Francisco or Seattle, you should be ready for the possibility that you won't be the only home buyer interested in the house you choose. So what's the best way to increase your odds of beating the competition and getting the house you want? Preparation. Be prepared and get prequalified before you start shopping. Buyers with financing in place before they start looking at houses are more appealing to sellers. If you've got your financing in place and a firm idea of what your price range and budget are, you will be in better position should you find yourself in a bidding war. More here.