Once you do find a condo that you are excited about, you can either do the research on that condo in advance of making an offer or you could get it under contract before someone else purchases it. The Colorado Real Estate Commission contract to Buy and Sell gives you provisions that enable you to have time to inspect the home, do research on the HOA, examine the title, etc before closing so you will have time to do these items - especially with a condo or town home, you do want to research the HOA to make sure you understand the financial condition so that hopefully there will not be any surprises after closing (for example, a special assessment to paint the entire complex or to re-roof all of the buildings).
I would recommend visiting with a mortgage loan officer and getting pre-qualified before you begin your search so you know whether you can obtain any financing that might be needed and to see how much you can qualify for - no point in looking at homes that are more expensive than you can comfortably afford.
Also, find a Buyer's Agent that you are comfortable with - a buyer's agent will reduce the amount of time you will spend, increase your knowledge about the home buying process, and in just about all instances, you will not have to pay for the agent's services (because for homes that are in the MLS, the Seller has agreed to pay a fee for the Buyer's Agent - most For Sale By Owner's will also pay the fee for a Buyer's Agent). The agent can assist with the research, negotiate and be an advocate for you, and help you better understand whether pricing for a particular condo is reasonable. The agent can also provide names of reputable mortgage loan officer's, inspectors, and other professionals you may need as you go through the process of acquiring a new home. Buying a home is a major purchase and there are plenty of ways a Buyer can gt tripped up - if you are a first time home buyer, then I would more strongly recommend finding an agent to help you as that person will be able to reduce the liklihood of stepping on a mine as you navigate through the minefield. Best of luck with your search.