Without a doubt, buyers using the FHA or VA programs are at a significant disadvantage. Along with a lot of competition from 'cash' buyers, there is the 'FIX" in place regarding the appraisal process of the banks that many owners are simply unwilling to tolerate. Read the entries of buyers AND sellers. The common theme is not hard to pick up on.
The real estate you should be looking at with the best potential for success are those homes an investor has already updated and is flipping. There are seasoning requirements. Your real estate professional can advise you regarding these requirements. In this situation you are unlikely to encounter price creep.
What you must be able to do is respond quickly. No, you won't have time to 'contemplate' the house. No, you can not bring your uncle, grand father and in-laws by to get their opinion. You must act quickly. At the speed of a lightning bolt these home will be SOLD!
Now do everything you can to get on your agents 'A-List.' This means your agent can include you in the early look programs. These are for buyers who can make decisions quickly. If you have already failed in this aspect, it will be hard to get back on the list.
This also means, when your agent says, "This is the one." it's not the time for you to second guess.
Accept the fact you are at a real disadvantage. Your financing and price point create a situation requiring a 'miracle' worker. Work with your agent and realize compromise will be necessary, don't second guess and waste your agents time. Of course there is much more to this than a Q&A on Trulia can cover. It however is not a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. But it will require trust and speed.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL