Your very best bet is to have a Realtor search the available listings every day for the homes that have the features and price range you're looking for. That way, you'll get an Email alert and/or a phone call the very moment a new home comes onto the market.
Such a Realtor search would, at worst, merely supplement your own efforts. More likely, you'd get info on either a new listing, or a home that has newly reduced its listing price into your chosen price range, much faster and more dependably than you'd find this out yourself!
If you're concerned about 'being sold' or 'harassed' by some Realtor looking to impose an obligation upon you: don't be! Take the time first to locate a Realtor that you're comfortable with. You're going to need one anyway! It's always much better to look at houses, and then enter any purchase agreement, through your own agent, rather than working through the seller's listing Realtor. And your own agent will be committed to providing you with accurate, timely, and pin-pointed information about the very best houses, just as soon as they come onto the market. There's no substitute for this and the other advantages a caring but respectful Realtor can add to your own efforts.
I can make a full report on this important topic available to you. Just let me know if it might help, and best wishes on finding that home soon - especially if you'll be entitled to the first-time buyer tax credit!
If you have not purchased a home yet and are a health care provider, please check out my website http://www.homebrokerpro.com and go to the Homes for Heroes page.. I am an Exclusive Buyer's Agent offering a portion of my commission back to Health Care providers at no cost to you
True North Realtors
You're right, the inventory near the U of R is very low right now. It's a very popular area, so homes tend to sell quickly. My office lists a large percentage of homes in that area. If you're interested, you can e-mail me more about what you're looking for (price, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage), and I'd be happy to let you know in advance if I hear of any upcoming listings!
You can contact me at KWahl@RealtyUSA.com, or call me on my cell phone at (585) 455-5524. Good luck with your home search!