There are some very good deals available, but it takes time, patience, and often some money to fix up the property. Feel free to get in touch if I can help.
Best of luck on your home search and your wedding.
Please feel free to contact me directly. I do a lot of business on the North Shore representing Buyers on purchasing foreclosed properties. I am very active with RealtyTrac and would be happy to help you find a good deal in this area.
Eric and Jennifer Erickson
REO's are usually the best way to go, just like you said they are sold as is, so be prepared to get your inspections done within 10-14 days...
The other options is to buy a home thats a regular sale thats been bought at an auction and fixed up by the investor. This way, you will probably have a clear termite, new paint, new carpet, appliances, flooring, etc..now you will probably pay a bit of a premium, but at least you don't have to do the work before you move in.
When you say "deal, deal, deal" now ask your realtor in the area to give you what the median list vs sold price is, most of the time the banks aren't unloading the properties at like 80% of the market value. I don't know your area, but in my area the max discount I've seen for the year is 3 to 4% off the list price. Just last month our sales data came out for October and people are still bidding $5,000 higher than list price.
Good luck with everything and wish you the best of luck to purchase your home.