That's a good question. There are several factors that you should know about your investment strategy. Of these factors, price range, demographics, cash flow, return on investment term, financed/cash/hard money financing, and potential maintenance expense would narrow down a property profile. Your ability/desire to landlord, your proximity to your investment, and setting up your back office systems to effectively market, manage, and stay compliant is another factor that will help determine the range of areas that would work for you.
I have several pro formas I used to analyze rehab expenses, subject to value, financing, monthly expenses/roi/cash flow that may help you determine the purchase price you are most comfortable.
Buying right is key, you have to move quickly - the good deals get offers within the first few days. You must have verified funding documents (proof of funds or prequalification) on hand to submit with any offers on bank owned or short sales. The westside has attracted several buy and hold guys that seem pretty bullish on the area.