Consider finding a lender and determining what price range you can afford, cnorris, unless you are a cash buyer. Then hire a free agent or broker to send you listings of home in your price range in the area(s) you choose to purchase. That will certainly get you started. Please call, text or email if we can help further. Good Luck!
Call a local Realtor! Banks list properties with Real Estate Brokers and put them on the Multiple Listing Service, which makes those properties available to all area agents and consumers alike. Have your agent set you up to recieve bank owned properties automatically as they become available. That way, you're never too late on the hot ones. You may have brokers in your area that list and sell only REO properties. You might also get in touch with one of these offices...they will likely be able to show you properties once they are vacant and before they hit the market. Then you can jump as soon as they get a price on it.... more
You seem to be on the right track, gathering as much data as possible is a sure way to validate your offer. I would not worry about making a lowball offer if you actually have data to back it up. Make sure your agent that you pick will be as knowedgable and be able to communicate that data to the other listing agent.... more