Look for that motivated seller. A motivated seller is one who really needs to sell fast because of job loss, death in the family, divorce, transfer, or because he or she has already purchased a home and is paying two mortgages.
Try to get the property for a price that is at least 20% below what you feel is market value for the home. You figure market value by looking at the comparable homes that have sold in that area.
Look for homes that need cosmetic repairs rather than the huge structural rehabbing. Know how to make these repairs or know someone who will do the repairs for a reasonable price.
Consider a home with little or no curb appeal that has been sitting on the market for a period of time. Sometimes these ugly looking homes can be turned into gems with cleaning, painting, and landscape work.