I do not know what things are like in Arizona, but we do things alittle differently down here in New Orleans...which is why at the end of the day we live in the greatest city of the world... .
and what makes our city so great is that the American dream is still alive and well and yes one can get a fixer upper, even if it is in deplorable condition.
Check with 1st Community Bank, Gulf Coast, and several more.
3) Closing costs
Living in a property while it's being renovated is no picnic. Imagine not being able to use your bathroom for a week while it's being ripped out, or not having access to your kitchen for a couple days.
Any structure defects need to be addressed before anything else. These are often times some of the most expensive repairs, and you have to deal with them right out of the gate.
You also have to consider the current market. You're going to want to be pretty choosey with want properties you get yourself wrapped up in. You may be able to get a house at a good price right now - but factor in the cost of repairs, then factor in possible price deflation - selling costs, etc - and you may not come out as far ahead as you might think. The right property in the right neighborhood for the right price can still present a great opportunity - just be very careful.
Aside from that - there are some loan programs out there specifically for your type of situation. FHA for example has a program that will allow you to buy property that needs updating, and finance the cost of repairs up-front (i believe it's the 203K loan). Don't know a whole lot about it - but it may be something to look into.
Once you have a basis of what you can afford for a single family house, and have a clear idea of how much cash you need to have for a downpayment, then you can start looking for a fixer upper.
Take a look at my website to get a handle on what it takes to remodel a home in our area.
Alot is going to depend on where and what you buy, and how you buy and finance.
Email me and I can direct you to people who can help you get financed, then I can give you details on what it takes to remodel and sell.
Here is a start with a little example:
A typical gutted double in New Orleans: $100,000.00
Downpayment required to purchase as a "fixer upper": $20 to $25,000.00 plus closing costs
For such a 1500 SF double, it can cost you $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 to renovate and upgrade.
Depending on the neighbourhood, you may be able to sell the renovated property for $180 to $220K.