1) Craigslist- FSBO (For Sale By Owner) will post on Craigslist and offer CD financing many times even if it is not initially offered. You just need to know how to structure the deal.
2) The MLS- We have filters on our State-Wide database where I can custom a search specifically for only CD properties, and you get notified instantly. Between Craigslist and the MLS you should catch almost all CD listed properties.
The problem, and always will be, is INVENTORY. Contract for Deed listings account for less than 5% of all home sales...that does not give you very many options.
So a 3rd way is I created my own program where you can now buy any property off the MLS; not just the stuff that is already advertised. That allows my CD clients to access the 95% of inventory they previously could not buy. All you have to do is contact me for more info.
As to your second question it is quite easy. You compare rent to a mortgage payment first and see which will be more expensive. You then review the market and make some decisions on where we are heading. If you believe prices will go down probably not a good time...but if you think prices will go up than it is a great time to buy. Like others have said the balloon payment is a refinance scenario not a purchase. You get equity in home-ownership versus nothing in renting. You do also get the MID deduction as long as you keep good records, so there is a tax benefit as well.
I also see you went through foreclosure maybe July 2011. There is a new FHA program where you can buy in 2 years if you meet some qualifications instead of the typical 3. It just came out this fall, so if you want to try traditional financing we can attempt that first.
As most information for this site, the aggregate data from several sources. One is usually the county tax data. If there was a change in the deed, refinance, name change/marriage, etc the property will show as transferring (of some sort). It depends on how that county records their properties. Because of this, you see things similar to what most real estate websites call sales. Our county is notorious for having "sales" when all that actually happened was the buyer/owner cleaning up their deed information.... more
Have you considered the possibility of purchasing on a contract for deed? This would let you opt out of getting a mortgage with a bank, and lets the sellers act as the bank for you. Its a pretty nice option because you can negotiate how much you want to put as a down payment and then the monthly principle and interest gets paid to the sellers over something like a five year time frame, with a final lump sum to be paid at the end. It is another option to consider if you are having difficulties with financing! If you have any questions or need help, I offer a free service for my buyer clients! : )... more