List the basic features you're looking for in a home. Think about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want and the storage space you need. List these features according to their importance. Remember that extra features such as walk-in closets and new appliances are likely to increase the cost of a house.
Hire a buyerâ€™s agent. Every city has licensed real estate agents who specialize in assisting home buyers. A buyerâ€™s agent can give you up-to-date information on the available homes in your price range. Agents also have direct access to the homes being sold by other real estate agents and can schedule appointments for you to view them. These services are free to home buyers because real estate agents are paid by the sellers. Contact your stateâ€™s real estate commission for a list of licensed real estate agents in your area or ask family members and friends to recommend an agent. You may need to sign a contract to have an agent represent you.
Visit your favorite neighborhoods. Discover newly listed and for sale by owner (FSBO) properties by regularly driving into neighborhoods and the areas close to your workplace or school. You might find FSBO properties that have not been advertised but may be priced below their market value. Take down contact names and phone numbers.
Check real estate publications. Look beyond properties listed for sale in the Sunday newspaper; most of these homes are usually in a higher price range. You can find free real estate publications in most cities; look for them in grocery stores, for example. You also can search for homes for sale online at craigslist.com and zillow.com.
Search for government-owned properties. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sell foreclosed properties (see Resources for a list). You can bid on these properties through an authorized real estate agent. Some of the properties are eligible for special government discount programs, such as HUDâ€™s Neighbor Next Door programs, which provide substantial sales price discounts to qualified home buyers.
source : http://homeguides.sfgate.com/perfect-house-small-budget-7003.html