But from time to time we find perfect homes that the owner just can not get there head above water and they have no other option but to give the home back to the bank. Some times you can get homes for $70,000 or less. The best time to get these homes is at the start of the fiscal year. Most banks have written their dead money off and will make almost any deals to get the home off their hands. Just keep in mind that buying these homes can mean doing a lot of work.
First, pray for wisdom to find and recognize the perfect home for you. If the lure of the bargain TO YOU outweighs the risks of things like I mentioned above, then shop for an agent. Often a truly excellent Buyer's agent can help you better define your wants, needs and qualifications, THEN find a realistic bargain that's right for you--perhaps even something not on the market. For example, if you want a certain neighborhood, look for an area specialist (hint, they may have a website or slogan they use specific to that area so you can try search terms with that info. I specialize in Lynbrook High Homes, so my website is lynbrookhighhomes.com, for example). Those agents are more likely to know about homes not yet on the market (upcoming listings) and others potentially needing to sell soon due to job transfer, graduation, health, etc.
Also, look for an ABR-Accredited Buyer's Representative. Check with places like the BBB. Look for agents in places where foreclosure info is posted, such as foreclosurestogo.com. Once you find one, ask if they have experience & also are they registered with REOtrans, a system for submitting offers for bank-owned properties.
Here's an encouragine example for you. I had a client in May who wanted a fourplex in a specific school district, and wanted to buy it before school starts in August--the only problem is there are only 45 of them at all (no challenge there), none were on the market and this area typically gets between 5-10 direct and hand-delivered RE solicitations WEEKLY.
OK, so I prayed a lot first. :-) I consulted with my client on exactly what he needed, fully prepared him (pre-approved with lender who could close in 7 days, had him sign a contract), then devised a strategy and a marketing plan designed to get these previously-resistant sellers to call me. God answered our prayer and the only owner who responded was the one who had absolutely the most desirable property of that type in the area, and took exceptional care of it. We paid a fair price, which is actually a bargain because of how meticulously cared-for the property is--and today my client is now registered for the school his son needs. I see miracles in this business every day. I hope you find one, too.