It all depends on your financial situation as well as if you know where and how you would like to live. If you pay cash for the home, then you don't have to wait on bank approvals which will speed up the process. You also need to consider that sometimes it takes time to find the "perfect" home for you but if you are working with a good agent who listens and shows you homes that fit your needs and likes it is def. possible
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me
Sandra Gold - Realtor
The Infiniti Group International
It's crucial you also hire an inspector to verify the condition of the house and search for chinese drywall, sinkhole soil movement, incorrect structural components, roof, etc.
Alternatively if you are willing to take the risk, you can go to the courthouse foreclosure auction and bid. You will then own it in 10 days after the auction and get a Certificate of Title. You need to learn the ropes before going this route because you will not necessarily get a Clear Title and you cannot inspect and may have to evict an owner or tenant, too.
So to get an idea what you can actually buy, have your Realtor only send you REGULAR sale listings.