Hey there Pat,
There are a few ways to acquire a house with little to no money out of your pocket and bad credit. The first thing to do however, is to EDUCATE YOURSELF. The last thing you want to do is jump into something willy-nilly (Do people even say that anymore?) without knowing the entire process.
I completely agree with Ms. Sue Archer. Join your local REIA, get a mentor whom you can work under and learn from, take some classes and seminars (just not the ones that are too pricey...start small), start playing the game "CashFlow 101" by Robert Kiyosaki, go onto forums such as http://www.reiclub.com
to share questions and ideas, listen to Real Estate Investing Podcasts such as "The Real Estate Guys Radio Show" and "Get Real...Real Estate Investing for the Rest of Us" = (BOTH OF WHICH ARE FREE IF YOU HAVE iTunes), start watching Dave Ramsey on TV, and read...read....read many different books by different Real Estate Investors. And........for any of those so called Gurus on TV who say that it's easy....I beg to differ. I've worked my tail off and I've sacrificed more than I every could have imagined to learn what I've learned.
Develop you own base of knowledge and become financially literate. A good foundation of how real estate Investing works is paramount. Couple that with the ability to be a financially sound individual (eliminate bad debt such as credit cards and wasteful spending...etc) and you have a powerful combination. Being a Real Estate Investor is just as much about knowing which deals NOT TO DO, as it is finding the quality "No Money Down" deals. You end up maximizing profits and deals by education. The more exit strategies you are able to master and employ, the more deals you can create.
In a nutshell the keys are:
1. Become Financially Literate
2. Work to Learn
3. Find Mentors, build a quality team around you
4. Work for yourself
5. Create Money
6. Give Back
In my opinion, some of the better teachers/educators out there are as follows:
Unequivocally..... Bob Bruss - the late great real estate columinist who covered many topics. LOVE HIM!
Wendy Patton - Broker and Real Estate Investor
Robert Kiyosaki - You HAVE TO read Rich Dad/Poor Dad and he has many other books.
William Bronchick - Attorney and Real Estate Investor
Claude Diamond - Lease Purchase specialist and Mentor to MY Mentor
Andy Heller - overall good guy and Real Estate Investor
If you couldn't tell, Real Estate Investing is a passion of mine. I read every article and tid-bit I can. I'm a sponge for both the good and the bad points of Investing and I constantly seek to learn.
I may have rambled just a "tad" too much, but like I said....It's a passion of mine and I have a long road of success and hard work ahead of me. Maybe you do to.
Best of Luck