Hey there, Jeff,
Your very best bet is to have a Realtor search the available listings every day for the homes that have the features and price range you're looking for. That way, you'll get an Email alert and/or a phone call the very moment a new home comes onto the market.
Such a Realtor search would, at worst, merely supplement your own efforts. More likely, you'd get info on either a new listing, or a home that has newly reduced its listing price into your chosen price range, much faster and more dependably than you'd find this out yourself!
If you're concerned about 'being sold' or 'harassed' by some Realtor looking to impose an obligation upon you: don't be! Take the time first to locate a Realtor that you're comfortable with. You're going to need one anyway! It's always much better to look at houses, and then enter any purchase agreement, through your own agent, rather than working through the seller's listing Realtor. And your own agent will be committed to providing you with accurate, timely, and pin-pointed information about the very best houses, just as soon as they come onto the market. There's no substitute for this and the other advantages a caring but respectful Realtor can add to your own efforts.
I can make a full report on this important topic available to you. Just let me know if it might help, and best wishes on finding that home soon - especially if you'll be entitled to the first-time buyer tax credit!