KathyP, since you bought “as is” did you worry about lead paint or asbestos?
no, i knew that lots of work had been done in the house over the years. new floors, paint, etc. even though the owners trashed the place as they left, i had a pretty good idea what i was getting into. the worst problem other than the torn up cupboards, holes in the walls, etc. was the old wiring and that was not to hard to fix. it was code, but not split up properly.
check tax lien properties. those auctions are sometimes pretty good. you need cash and sometimes can do the bids online so that you don't have to stand on the front lawn and bid :-D
right now in our area, there are tons of houses on the market, but all those folks who have bad credit, have been foreclosed on, etc. are looking for places to rent. renters are a PIA because there is a reason they are renting instead of buying....but if you can put up with that, you can make some money. tax write offs can be helpful. the more work you can do yourself, the more you can save on the fix up.