There may be some "free money" in the form of interest-free loans for rehabs in certain neighborhoods in certain municipalities. In the current budget crunch many cities and counties are facing, that might be hard to come by, but it doesn't hurt to ask. You can call the local housing authority and ask if they have a ny current programs.
As for 203k loans-- what a blessing! They are FHA loans, same 3.5% (since Jan 1) down payment, and you can borrow the money for the purchase along with the rehab. There is a stream-line version and then the full-blown, depends on the needed repairs/upgrades. You can borrow money to make major renovations or just cosmetics or even put in a pool! The minimum loan on the rehab is $5000. You need to get an approved contractor's estimate of the cost in advance and the money gets paid directly to the contractor as the work progresses. You do get it yourself, and so precludes you from doing the work yourself. You can borrow up to 110% of the AFTER RENOVATION appraisal, as long as you qualify. The interest rate is a little higher than the regular FHA loan, but a lot cheaper than putting the carpet on your credit card, lol!
Ask for a lender referral. Many lenders do not know how to do this loan, but it is not that hard or complicated and most major lenders participate. I like Darlene Brown at Nation City Mortgage, 757-715-LOAN, but you moght want to work with someone closer to home.